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June 21, 2013

Revisit: GBK Top Ten Pre-Season 2013

Back in April, GBK announced our Black Knights' 2013 Pre-Season Top Ten.

This past spring, there was plenty of competition, as many players saw their performance push them up the depth chart, while others are hoping to redeem themselves this summer.

As we look towards the summer practices, GoBlackKnights.com is asking for your participation, because it was a difficult task, especially with many of the "potentially" up and coming players M.I.A. this spring as they fight through injury, rehab and even some academic challenges. Many of those players will be looking to prove themselves once again, but until then, here is GBK's Top 10.

Perhaps you aren't in agreement with our Top Ten, so we would like both your comment and hence your vote in the Facebook section below so that we can hear from you surrounding your Top Ten picks.

Voting Criteria: Simple ... A player's importance to the team in 2013, talent and potential for the upcoming season.

Army Black Knights' 2013 Pre-Season Top Ten
Running Back
6-foot-1, 220 pounds

The Philadelphia (Pa) product finished his sophomore campaign 26th in the nation in rushing, where he compiled 1,066 yards with an impressive 7.30 avg., which put him in the top three in the country in that category. Then in 2012 he followed with 1,215 yards on the ground (5.45 avg.). Make no mistake about it, the slotback who wears #1 on his jersey, is our No. 1 Top Ten pre-season Black Knight.
6-foot-1, 250 pounds

The native of Midlothian (Va.), who in 2012 was named as a pre-season candidate for the Rimington Trophy Award which an honor given annually to the top center in the country, has been a rock at center and enters his third season as starter. Although he missed a large segment of spring practice, Powis should be 100% by the time summer training camp opens.
Free Safety/Linebacker
6-foot-0, 207 pounds

The junior defender finished 2012 leading the team in tackles with 136, including 65 solo tackles, 4.5 for a loss, 1.0 sack and one interception. His total tackles ranked fifth in the nation. Bacon's totals may not to be as high next year with more help from a rising frosh/soph. class, along with his move to safety, but he will remain in the middle of things defensively.
Running Back
6-foot-1, 200 pounds

The often injured Baggett has very solid upside and when he has played he can be a game changer and compliments Maples at the other slotback position. He is coming off of a very solid spring performance, but must show that he can stand healthy the entire 2013 campaign. The addition, of RB coach Wayne Moses will only enhance Baggett's ability to reach his potential.
5-foot-10, 230 pounds

Dixon came into the Army program as a 3-star Rivals.com prospect and hasn't disappointed since his arrival on the campus of West Point. In his rookie season (2011) of college football, he accumulated 542 yards on the ground, with an equally impressive 6.2 average. The following season, with quarterback Trent Steelman and Maples pumping out 1,248 and 1,215 yards respectively, the bull-like fullback was only 161 yards short of 1,000 yards himself, which would have allowed Army's rushing attack that lead the nation in rushing to manufacture a ground game trifecta ... three 1,000 yard rushers. Dixon's ability to block is just as effective as his ability to pick up yardage.
Defensive End
6-foot-4, 250 pounds

When the 2012 season unfolded, Kough was embarking on his first full year on the collegiate level. Needless to say, he has the upside and the potential to be a mainstay on Army's defensive front over the next two seasons. The 2013 should be Kough "break-out" year.
Offensive Line
6-foot-3, 250 pounds

H In 2012, Kime moved into a starting role as a junior and provided stability to an O-line in flux from the start of the season. When returning starter was lost when Matthew Villanti didn't return to school and another when center Ryan Powis was injured in fall camp. Kime, who answers to the nickname 'MoMo' started 11 straight games until suffering a knee injury and missing the Army-Navy finale. Although he missed spring ball during his rehab, he should be good to go come summer training camp.
Wide Receiver
6-foot-3, 195

His strength? Catching the football. Lawrence has proven he can do that, along with being a more than capable blocker. He had a good spring pulling down passes and is now playing more aggressive going after it. Like many really good athlete who are receivers, that does not always equate to being burners and he fits into that category. However, he's a great leaper, strong and quick.
6-foot-0, 180 pounds

According to Ellerson, Carnegie had a solid spring after playing way too much as a freshman, but he took advantage of that. And the spring was just what the doctor order, where native of Oakland (Cali.) was able to work on those areas (e.g., open field tackling) that troubled Carnegie during his rookie campaign.
6-foot-0, 200 pounds

Although head coach Rich Ellerson has been reluctant to name a starter, all fingers point to and it is our contention that Schurr is the heir apparent to Trent Steelman. However, we were also reluctant to have the QB on our Top Ten list, because of his lack of in-depth game experience. But after a solid spring, combined with the brief moments in 2012, Schurr rounds out our list.

Honorable Mention

Ironically, each of our Honorable Mention members have one very notable thing something in common and that is that all three are 2nd on the depth chart.

Trenton Turrentine - One could easily argue that our top ten selections could have had 3 players from the slotback lineage. It was Turrentine's performance that truly significant in Army's win against Air Force, where his play was outstanding.

Hayden Tippett- What can you say. Whenever he is in the lineup, only good things happen. It does matter if he is running or blocking, Tippett's value allows for Dixon to rest from time to time, without a drop-off in production.

Anthony Stephens- The senior wide receiver plays behind our No. 8 selection, Chevaughn Lawrence. But just based on his production this spring and the his commitment to the off-season workout ... there isn't a single player on the team that has and is working harder than Stephens. There is no doubt that he will be called upon this season.



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