I know no one reads this blog, so I’ll humor myself here by telling you how pumped I am to get back to Michie Stadium tomorrow for Army’s annual spring Black/Gold game, which is essentially a glorified scrimmage and a good excuse to hang out at West Point on a Saturday.
There should be some new faces on the field tomorrow, so if I can figure out who’s who, I’ll get all you devoted readers (wink wink) a preview of who might break into the lineup this fall.
“We’re looking forward to Saturday,” said head coach Rich Ellerson. “This is something that is a lot of fun for the players and something we’re looking forward to. It’s that part of spring where I am anxious to get off the field fresh and healthy but it’s a chance for the guys to play in a game and keep score.”
If you haven’t been following the “news” of the offseason, here’s some updates: the cadets will be moving to the east stands for 2010 — the ones near Lusk Resevoir. This was done to better show off the Corps of Cadets during Army’s national telecasts on CBS College Sports.
Speaking of TV, Army announced earlier today (two months earlier than expected) that all five home games will have 12-noon kickoffs and will be nationally televised via CBS College Sports… awesome, that is good news for me, I love that nice midday autumn sunlight for shooting. No word yet on when the Army-Rugters (at the new Meadowlands) and Army-Notre Dame (at the “new” Yankee Stadium) will start.
Fullback Jared Hassin has gotten some attention this winter during practices as he is probably going to assume a role in the running game this season in the absence of Kingsley Ehie, who has shifted to linebacker. Senior slotbacks Pat Mealy and Jameson Carter will get a good chunk of Army’s running game next year.
“I try and lead by example,” Mealy said this week. “As far as talking, I am one of those guys who doesn’t talk much unless something needs to be said. This spring, the way guys have responded, it’s made being a leader that much easier. The guys are working hard.”
Hassin, referred to this week as the most “eye-catching” player in spring camp, has apparently impressed Ellerson. I need to get some shots of him, I’m betting Army will need a few for the 2010 media guide.
“Jared continues to impress,” Ellerson said of Hassin, a 6-foot-3, 218-pound sophomore-to-be from Wisconsin. “We’re not spending a lot of time running against our defense. We’re running against composite defenses, so you take everything with a little bit of a grain of salt. But he continues to impress.”
“I’ve got arguably one of the easiest jobs on the field,” Hassin said. “It’s really basic things for the most part. You either go right or you go left. It’s kind of hard to mess up. But being able to compete physically, yeah, I think I’m ready to go.”
Ellerson called Ehie the best athlete on the team earlier this winter, so I’m looking forward to seeing him getting into the action on defense this fall alongside DE Josh McNary, who was an All-American in 2009.
“It’s going alright,” Ehie told me of the transition to defense. “It’s has it’s ups and downs.”
LB Stephen Anderson and McNary will miss this game, I think, due to off-season injuries/surgery. It should give the rest of the group a chance to prove themselves for Ellerson’s staff heading into summer.
Kickoff for the scrimmage is 1pm, with some pre-game festivities highlighting a nice day at West Point — the baseball team, defending Patriot League champs, will host their home-opening doubleheader against Cornell at 12-noon. Expect photos from both coming up!