Race is on to replace Carter

Senior Jameson Carter scored two touchdowns in 2009. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Seems like I’m going to be the “first” to bring this up: Army will be without Jameson Carter in 2010, with several players already in place to take his job beginning tomorrow when practice begins.

Almost every preview written this season mentions the solid returning slotback duo of Carter and senior Pat Mealy… only Carter is not on the roster. Oops.

West Point’s offensive preview mentions it, very briefly:

Following the post-spring loss of Jameson Carter, [head coach Rich] Ellerson will hold an open competition for the lead role opposite Mealy at the other slotback spot.

“Those positions have to be more dynamic and explosive,” said Ellerson. “We have to find a little magic out there. Pat Mealy is absolutely in the front of one of those lines, but we are looking for some magic. We think we have stacked some younger players at the position that could force that issue.”

Brian Cobbs is a candidate to replace Jameson Carter on the offense. (Danny Wild/USMA)

This could hurt. Carter is a veteran back with speed who scored a few touchdowns last year and already has a grasp of the option offense; he was in line to start this year and was atop the depth chart this spring.

Carter was Army’s fourth-leading rusher in 2009, appearing in all 12 games, rushing for 238 yards and two touchdowns, only one less than Mealy. He also caught four passes, which ranked him third in receiving.

There’s four players now in position to replace the Matthews, N.C., native: junior Malcolm Brown, sophomore track stars Brian Austin and Brian Cobbs, and freshman Raymond Maples, a USMAPs grad who has “speed to burn.”

Cobbs was a defensive back as a freshman who made five tackles in nine games last year. He played on the offense in the spring scrimmage, although Carter did as well.

It sounds like Brown, who was a back-up slotback last year, has the edge going into summer camp.

Brown started five games last year, picking up 112 yards on 26 carries before switching to wide receiver during spring practice.

Ellerson ranked the Bay Shore, N.Y., native as one of the team’s top players.

“We feel Malcolm Brown is one of our best football players,” Ellerson said. “He picks things up quickly, he’s position-flexible and very intuitive. His legs were a lot better this spring than they were in the fall. He surprised me with his speed.”

As for Carter, I don’t want to speculate, but I think we’ll all find out tomorrow at media day, whether it was an injury over the summer or something else.

Army posted it’s special teams preview yesterday (featuring punter Jonathan Bulls, who was literally born at West Point) and a piece today about practice opening up tomorrow at Michie Stadium (featuring my photo of Ellerson).

Definitely wish the best of luck to Jameson — finishing off a four-year stint at West Point alone is enough of a challenge in itself.

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Danny Wild is a reporter and photographer for MLB.com. He volunteers as a photographer at West Point. This blog in no way reflects the views of MLB or USMA.

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