Scout.com All-Service Academy: Defense

Scout.com continues with its third annual All-Service Academy Football Team with selections for Defense, Specialists, and Break-Out Players. The panel who came up with the team totally whiffed on picking a kicker, instead deciding to name all three to the first-team. They each had a good season, with more highs than lows. Hey, even the kickers deserve some love.

First Team Defense

DL:     Josh McNary                                     Army

Comments: As expected, McNary flourished in Coach Rich Ellerson's double-eagle flex system. The honorable-mention All-American tormented offenses all season to the tune of a West Point record 12.5 sacks and mind-boggling 22.5 tackles for a loss. Unfortunately for Navy and Air Force, McNary is only a junior…yikes.

 

DL:     Mike Gann                                         Army

Comments: McNary and Victor Ugenyi get all the press, but senior Mike Gann is very much the unheralded and silent leader for the Cadet defense. His improvement from 2008 was significant as evidenced by his 11 combined tackles against Tulane and Rutgers.

 

DL:     Ben Garland                                       Air Force

Comments: All you have to do is watch a replay of the Navy game to see why Garland is on this team. The Falcons' leader in sacks (4.5) and tackles for a loss (10.5), Garland reeked havoc on the Midshipmen and Cadets in their two meetings. He should have been a first-team all-MWC selection…somebody screwed that up. 

 

DL:     Jabaree Tuani                                    Navy

Comments: Tuani's workload increased before the season ever started when it was announced that Nate Frazier was dismissed from the school. Well, the sophomore responded in great fashion and seemed to play his best in the biggest of games. His sack against Notre Dame in the final minutes and his interception against Louisiana Tech were pivotal plays.

 

LB:      Stephen Anderson                              Army

Comments: Even though he missed the final three games, he still was second on the team in tackles (83), tackles for a loss (9), and sacks (2.5). With surgery on his leg planned for this week, Army fans are cautiously optimistic that the heart and soul of the Cadets' defense will be all set to go for next season. If he is, look out. 

 

LB:      Ross Pospisil                                      Navy

Comments: The unquestioned leader of the Midshipmen defense, Pospisil leads the team in tackles (98) including an impressive 54 of the solo variety. His 14 tackles against Pitt were a season high, with 12 against Air Force being his next best effort. The senior captain also led the team in tackles for a loss with seven. He will be a tough act to follow for the Mids.

 

LB:      John Falgout                                       Air Force

Comments: When Ken Lamendola was lost to an MCL injury against Navy, Falgout stepped in and provided a major lift. The team leader in tackles, the senior had 27 combined tackles against his service academy rivals (13 versus Navy and 14 versus Army).

 

CB:     Anthony Wright                                  Air Force

Comments: The junior turned a lot of heads this season with his four interceptions and even more impressive, his 3 touchdowns (2 via INT, 1 via a punt return). One of his touchdowns came off an errant Ricky Dobbs pass in which he returned 67 yards. He also averaged 41.6 yards on three punt returns versus Army.

 

CB:     Reggie Rembert                                Air Force

Comments: Rembert finally had the breakout season many had predicted for him last season. Air Force's only  first-team all-MWC selection had several great games including his 7 tackle,  2 INT, fumble recovery for at TD, and forced fumble effort  against San Diego State. Best kick-returner of the service academies by a huge distance.

 

S:         Donovan Travis                                 Army

Comments: The junior followed up a solid sophomore campaign with an outstanding season as he led the Cadets with four interceptions and was third on the team in tackles with 71. With Travis, McNary and Anderson all returning next season, Army's defense should be even better.

 

S:         Wyatt Middleton                                Navy

Comments: To no surprise, Middleton had another stellar season. His performance against Air Force alone was almost enough to merit his spot on the first-team. It should be interesting to see if Buddy Green thinks about moving him to linebacker for his senior campaign. 

 

Defense Most Valuable Player

Ben Garland                                         Air Force

Josh McNary                                       Army

 

Honorable Mention

 

LB:       Tony Haberer                           Navy

CB:      Blake Carter                             Navy

CB:      Kevin Edwards                         Navy

LB:       Justin Moore                            Air Force

S:         Jon Davis                                 Air Force

CB:      Mario Hill                                 Army

LB:       Andrew Rodriguez                    Army

DL:      Victor Ugenyi                           Army

 

First Team Specialists

 

K:        Joe Buckley                              Navy

K:        Alex Carlton                             Army

K:        Erik Soderberg                         Air Force                                            

P:         Kyle Delahooke                       Navy

KR:      Reggie Rembert                        Air Force

PR:       Anthony Wright                        Air Force

 

Break-Out Players

Trent Steelman                                    Army

Vince Murray                                       Navy

Anthony Wright                                    Air Force
 
*** A special thank you to the Times-Herald Record's Sal Interdonato and the Colorado Springs Gazette's Jake Schaller for their help in compiling Scout.com's third annual Service Academy football team.