Hassin, Army can’t lose in Black/Gold game

Army fullback Jared Hassin looks to throw a block. (Danny Wild/USMA)

For those interested at a peek into the 2010 Army football season, you probably showed up to brave the cold of Saturday’s annual Black/Gold Army football spring game at Michie Stadium. For those who are only mildy interested or stumbled upon this entry, you can enjoy the sights without the cold hands.

I dropped by Army’s practice on Saturday, which was more of a intrasquad scrimmage in front of about 500 or so fans at West Point. The top offense and defensive units played the first drive or two and then sat out the rest of the afternoon, watching backups and cadets striving to make the team next fall have at it. I’ve got about 90 photos here of some of the most notable and obscure players in uniform during the game.

It was somewhat of a debut for fullback Jared Hassin, who has garnered a lot of ink and attention from Army since the winter practices began. Hassin was the first to commit to Army during the 2008 recruiting season, although it was an unusual marriage — the Wisconsin running back initially liked West Point but ended up going to rival Air Force, where he spent three months before realizing he was at the wrong academy. He transfered to USMA but was unable to join the football team in 2009 due to NCAA rules. Now entering his sophomore year, he looks to be the Black Knights’ starting fullback in 2010.

Jared Hassin
Jared Hassin played a set of downs for Army in the scrimmage. (Danny Wild/USMA)

The Times Herald-Record’s Kevin Gleason has a nice bio on Hassin which explains his journey to the Hudson:

Hassin wore an Army football jersey for his third-grade class picture. His dad graduated from the Academy in 1971. Hassin committed to Army as a junior at Kettle Moraine High in Wisconsin.

How the heck did this guy end up with Air Force? Either way, he’s here now and has teammates excited.

“He’s going to be a huge asset,” said quarterback Trent Steelman. “He’s going to be a load to take down.”

“To me, West Point football players are the epitome of all good things in the world,” Hassin said.

At least he says the right things. Hassin’s emergence has also meant a new assignment for Kingsley Ehie, who shifted to linebacker and played with Army’s top defensive unit on Saturday.

Kingsley Ehie
Linebacker Kingsley Ehie showed off his defensive talents. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Steelman played a few downs but the offense was led for the most part by juniors Jimmy Reitter and Taylor Hall. Steelman rolled out for more passes than usual, which was very encouraging to see. Senior WR Alejandro Villanueva made a brief appearance on the field, although he wasn’t in his football uniform — he was presented an award prior to the scrimmage. I later spotted him walking by Johnson Stadium when the baseball team beat Cornell, although he was coming back from some weapons training or something.

Army quarterback Trent Steelman relaxes on the sidelines. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Lonnie Liggins ran the ball well and Army’s defense had a couple of picks from senior Donovan Travis and junior Jack Finan, who picked Hall and returned it for a touchdown. Check out the photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannywild/sets/72157623732423718/

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