Navy's defenders come to the aid of the offense

April, 2, 2010
4/02/10
12:00
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Navy came into spring not worrying about its starting quarterback position, but as spring practices have progressed, coach Ken Niumatalolo has worried about his team’s ability to scrimmage.

Starter Ricky Dobbs, who had knee surgery in January, is practicing, but he is not allowed to participate in contract drills. That leaves No. 2 quarterback Kriss Proctor leading the first team in scrimmages and plebe Tyler Lynch backing him up as the No. 3.

But the No. 4 quarterback spot is vacant after Gordy Law decided to give up football because of a lingering injury. Niumatalolo said he wanted to have four groups running the offense so everyone could get reps.

“Gordy’s a great kid, but he just couldn’t operate like he wanted to with all of his injuries, “ Niumatalolo said. “The pace of the Academy is hard enough without football and it’s even with football and he just decided he couldn’t do it all.”

Former quarterback recruit turned safety, Brian Blick, volunteered to fill the No. 4 spot, but the transition was for just one practice.

“He was number two on the depth chart at safety, but he’s such a great kid and he would do anything to help the team, all of our guys understand that ultimately it is about the team, but I could just tell he was disappointed he was moving back to quarterback,” Niumatalolo said. “He was willing to do it, but I could tell by his demeanor that he was unhappy and I just didn’t want to screw over Brian. He had worked hard in the offseason to get to this point so I thought it was the right thing to do to move him back.”

With the quarterback position open again, freshman safety Travis Keating volunteered to make the switch. Keating played the position in high school and gave up competing with the defensive backs for the good of the team.

Keating presence under center might be short-lived, though. Niumatalolo said that Keating could move back to safety once the Midshipmen’s recruits arrive in the fall.

Graham Watson | email

College Football
Watson joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four seasons covering the Missouri Tigers and the Big 12 Conference for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also covered college football recruiting for the Dallas Morning News.

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