May 26, 2009

GBK.com looks at the USMAPS Class of 2009 Defense

GBK.com takes a look at the second half (defense) of the 2009 recruiting class that will arrive at the USMAPS this summer. Comparatively speaking, the offensive topped the defense in our overall grading of this class.

And if this group was judged on quantity, it might be considered a bust, but if measured in quality then it has some favorable talent coming in.

For example, the Black Knights' staff pitched a solid game by landing 3-star defensive end, Julius Warmsley.
Warmsley football resume is impressive, but for the standout defensive end there has not been much down time since football season ended. Following his accomplishments on the gridiron, he moved to the hard-court, where he was All-District 7-4A choice -- after averaging 22 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

From basketball, it was onto April's Louisiana State High School Olympic Weightlifting Championships. Warmsley won the 105-kilogram class (power lifting) and had the second best overall lift of 211kg. From that venue, it was onto track & field, where he was the Class 4A runner-up in the javelin with a toss of 182-7 that ranked among the area's leaders.

As he closes out his senior year, he has one more event that he hopes to capture. He is one of three male finalists who will be named for Athlete of Year for the state of Louisiana.

In addition to Warmsley, there are several other quality prospects that bring athleticism, talent and versatility to the Black Knights' football program. Such as fellow Louisianan & cornerback, Brandon Porter who is the starting point guard for John Curtis High School, where he averaged 16 ppg, six assists, and doing what he does best, pull off two steals per game.

However, the downside for this group is there is not a pure defensive tackle listed as a newcomer to date. Although, if there's anything that Army fans are beginning to realize, is that Rich Ellerson is not afraid to convert any player from one position to the next, if it's going to add value to the team.

GoBlackKnights.com takes a look at the rest of Class of 2009's talent that will be heading to the USMAPS, position by position.

DEFENSIVE END - The Pipeline Continues



Commits (2): Julius Warmsley & Robert Kough

Grade: B

While most of the attention has been on the offensive side of the ball there is no doubt that USMAPS is developing a pipeline of talent at the defensive end position, with players like current Black Knight, Josh McNary and soon to be prep graduates Derek Bisgard and Jarrett Mackey leading the list.

So with 3-star commit Julius Warmsley on board, the trend continues. Also joining Warmsley will be Kough. Another defensive end to be noted I J.T. Lang. However, in our initial report on direct admits, we failed to indicate that Lang was indeed going direct.

The downside is that aside from Warmsley, the only other "defined" defined DE, is Kough.

The upside is that under Rich Ellerson, there are several players at linebacker and even commits like Sikorski (Mike) and Blankenship (Frazier) who are labeled as athletes, but could easily transition to either of the DE positions.


LINEBACKER - Talent & Versatility


Commits (7): Clay Rutherford, Clayton Keller , Colby Miller, Nicholas Tengtio, Casey Brewer, Alan Akin, Taylor Hayes-Leak

Grade: B+

The thing for the Black Knights' class is that they have some versatility with this group of players and are not locked into having a player like Rutherford only lining up inside with the ability to play either of the three linebacker spots. Or there is nothing that says that Keller will see all of his time at backer during his career either versus stepping into the "Quick" defensive end position akin to that done by Josh McNary … or even a look at the "B" back (fullback) spot.




DEFENSIVE BACK - Deep at Safety

Commits (8): Brandon Porter, Devonte Anderson, Jordan Crockett, Casey Hughes, Jon Pozonsky, Lyle Beloney, Alfred Fields, Demarkus Chambliss

Grade: C+


For any recruiting class, there's always room for a top cornerback or two, and as such the demand for what is typically the most athletic player on the field makes one of more challenging position to land talent. Although the Black Knights did not land that prototype corner back (5'11" + and 180 pounds +), they were able to pull in three fast and quick corners in Porter, Crockett and Anderson. Of the three, Porter has faced the deepest competition coming out of John Curtis, also plays bigger then his roster size, and could be a pleasant surprise for the Black Knights.

Although, safety wasn't a pressing need position, landing Beloney, Hughes, Fields, Pozonsky, and Chambliss could create a sudden depth and strength at safety come this time next year. All five are all intriguing safety prospects, with players like Beloney and Fields being rover-back possibilities.


ATHLETE - More Depth & Talent

Commits (3): Hunter Frantz, Mike Sikorski, Frazier Blankenship



Grade: B

All you have to do is look at the highlights of Frantz to realize that he can motor. The question that was always in play was about what position "Flash" would suit up at in college. While being recruited, some schools were looking at him as a running back while others saw him at quarterback or some wanted him as a wide receiver. Either way, the Black Knights won out and don't be surprised to see Frantz getting a couple carries here and there and at the slot position during his career on the banks of the Hudson.

Both Sikorski and Blankenship have the versatility at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds and 6-foot-0, 248 pounds respectively to do several things for the Black Knights when he steps onto the practice field this summer. The Army coaching staff knows that they have a good one in Blankenship and he could end up anywhere on the defensive line or fullback on offense for Army.

In the case of Sikorski, even if they are not sure which position exactly, one thing for sure is that California commit will get a chance to make a name at whichever position it is.



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