Army Incoming: Linebackers

Army Incoming: Linebackers

ArmySports.com continues to review this year’s incoming freshman class by each position. The linebackers were one of the weakest areas on the team last year. That must change since Jeff Monken is looking to rebuild the defense around a new 3-4 scheme. His success will depend on the new staff recruiting and developing linebackers. ArmySports.com will now look at the new Black Knight linebackers.

The good news is that the USMAPS defensive MVP last season was John Voit. He should transition to Rush linebacker in the new defense. Voit is one of four linebacker recruits who played last at the United States Military Academy Prep School last year. The new staff added seven direct admits.

John Voit (6-2, 215) was the starting quick end and Defensive MVP at United States Military Academy Prep School last fall. He was a high school star at Lafayette high school in Missouri. Voit made 108 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, posted eight sacks and had an interception return for a touchdown his senior season. Voit earned First team All-State honors for his efforts. He demonstrated his athletic ability also as an all-conference tight end with 27 receptions for 545 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Voit chose Army over offers from Southeast Missouri State, Tennessee-Martin, and Missouri State.

Voit impressed last fall with his play at the prep school. He started every game at the flex defense quickend position and led the team in sacks. Voit helped dominate RPI JV in the opener. He had multiple sack games against Gattaca, Brigeton Academy and Delaware. Against prep powerhouse Milford Academy he was in on five tackles, recorded three quarterback hurries, blocked an extra point and knocked down a pass. He was one of the few Black Knights defenders to play well in the blow out lost against Navy Prep.

Voit is a very good athlete with terrific instincts. He is physically strong and is able to hold the point of attack. He uses his hands well to shed defenders to make tackles and rush the passer. He's very technically sound in maintaining his containment responsibility. He has good first step acceleration and is a solid tackler. Voit can play Rush or Will linebacker in the new defensive scheme. He runs well enough to compete at tight end but I doubt the staff would want to lose his ability on defense. Voit was listed for some reason as an offensive lineman on the R-day list. He is physical, productive and a good leader. He has the ability to make an early impact.

Voit Highlights

Scott Washle was the starting whip linebacker at the United States Military Academy Prep School. Washle played linebacker and fullback at Cardinal Gibbons high school North Carolina. He was a three year starter at linebacker and was named first team All-Conference. Washle chose Army over a preferred walk-on offer from North Carolina.

Washle was incorrectly listed as a running back on the R-day list probably because he was recruited as a B-back. He started and played only at whip linebacker last year. He had a huge game against Delaware and made eight tackles and posted a sack against Milford Academy. Washle (6-1, 215) is an active linebacker who should be a good fit in the new scheme. He is very athletic, can run and drop into space. He'll probably need some time to mature and get stronger but he could be a contributor down the road at Will linebacker or even fullback.



Wahle Highlights

Tyler L’Hommedieu played Mike linebacker at the United States Military Academy Prep School last year. He was a very productive undersized linebacker at East Rowan high school in North Carolina. He finished his senior year with 120 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. He earned All-county honors for his accomplishments. Tyler also played basketball and excelled as a track shot-putter. He was captain on all three of his high school teams.

L’Hommedieu split time at Mike linebacker with another player who didn't make it to R-day. He only played four games before he suffered a season-ending thumb injury that required surgery. His best game was against Bridgeton Academy. L’Hommedieu made three solo tackles and intercepted a pass which he returned 53-yards for a touchdown.

L’Hommedieu (5-11, 185) was listed at just 185 pound and as a running back on R-day. I believe he's at least twenty pounds heavier and he's definitely a linebacker. L’Hommedieu is a solid middle linebacker who is instinctive but isn't very physical and needs to get stronger. He lacks physical tools but he has a real nose for the ball. Tyler always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He is a solid, reliable tackler. He's not very fast but his understanding of the game allows him to play faster than his forty yard dash time suggests. L’Hommedieu should compete as an inside linebacker in the new 3-4 scheme. He'll probably need plenty of time in strength coach's Tim Caron's weight room if he hopes to develop into a factor down the road. He needs to get a lot bigger and stronger.

L’Hommedieu Highlights

Danny Davis is a 6-foot, 234 pounds direct admit who is a local product but played an additional prep year in 2013 at Hebron Academy in Maine. He was a four year varsity starter at Union-Endicott. He earned first team all-conference for three consecutive years at Union-Endicott. Davis was a running back and as a linebacker. He was named his region's MVP for running back his senior season. Davis was a very physical and punishing runner and blocker at Hebron Academy.

Davis has great blood lines for a Black Knights football player. His father is Dan Davis who was a former Army defensive tackle and 1992 co-captain. His uncle is former great Army offensive guard Joel Davis. Joel Davis was the best player on the “Fat Men” offensive line that was made famous in John Feinstein's book the Civil War. Davis was also an Army team co-captain and saw action in the National Football League with the Cincinnati Bengals and the New Orleans Saints. Davis had another uncle Tom Davis who played football at West Point in the early seventies.

Davis has nice size and strength for an Army B-back or fullback. He is a physical North-South runner with below average speed. Davis prefers to run over would be tacklers rather than around them. Davis needs to improve his pad level and run lower. He'll need some time learning to adjust to the mesh hand off in an option offense and learning how to play fullback in a four point stance. Davis best position may be linebacker and he has the size and strength to emerge as a run stuffing inside linebacker in the Black Knights new 3-4 scheme. His position was listed as a linebacker on the R-day report. If he adds more weight he could even possibly develop into an option offensive lineman like his father.

Davis Highlights

Dennis Washington is a 6-foot, 205-pound direct admit linebacker from James Island high school in Charleston, South Carolina. He made 134 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and two sacks this past season. Washington is an excellent athlete with 4.7 speed and can bench press 335 pounds and squat 455 pounds. He isn't very big but he is strong and a explosive hitter with good closing speed. Washington was listed as running back on the R-day list but he was only an outside linebacker in high school. Washington may have enough speed to play SAM safety as well.



Washington Highlights

Myles Brown (6-1, 223) is a direct admit who played linebacker and defensive end at Woodberry Forest high school in Virginia. Brown is another athletic defender that Jeff Monken staff has landed in an attempt to improve the defense's speed. He was named to the First team All Prep team his senior season. Brown is listed on the R-day list as a defensive back but his body type suggests he'll remain at linebacker. He could potentially add weight and play defensive tackle but I don't see him at safety. He did test out impressively running in the 4.7 range, with a 30.5 vertical leap and a 335 pound bench press. Brown runs well to the ball and is a good tackler.

Brown Highlights

Justin Byers is a 6-0, 205 pound direct admit recruit from Panther Creek high school in North Carolina. Byers was a two year starter who played both outside and inside linebacker at Panther Creek. Byers earned honorable mention Southwestern Wake Athletic Conference. I have no idea why he was listed as a running back on the R-day list. Byers only played linebacker in high school but he can long snap.



Jordan Elliott is a direct admit from Camden-Fairview, Arkansas. Elliott was a defensive end in high school. Last year he made 99 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. Elliott (6-1, 215) finished his high school career ranked third in Arkansas in career sacks. He is a natural pass rusher with the ability to come off the edge and split blockers. Elliott projects to Rush linebacker but he needs to get stronger.

Elliott Highlights

Garrett Sweetser is a 6-1, 215 pound direct admit inside linebacker from Esperanza high school in California. Sweetser was an all-league linebacker. He isn't a gifted natural athlete but does a solid job slipping blocks and avoiding the trash. He has below average speed with a 4.91 time in the forty yard dash. Sweetser needs to spend time in the weight room to improve his strength and add a few pounds of muscle to become a factor down the road. He chose Army over an offer from San Diego.

Sweetser Highlights

Aaron Thompson is another active, mobile direct admit linebacker that Jeff Monken and his staff added to this class. He is a 6-foot-2 and 205 pound linebacker from Mobile Christian high school in Alabama. Thompson broke his school record with 379 career tackles. He was a two- way player who also played running back on offense. Thompson is a good athlete with speed and sideline- to-sideline range. He is quick, plays hard and is instinctive. Thompson has a long lean frame. He is a sure tackler but isn't especially physical and is more of a wrap-up tackler. This might be due to suffering a separated shoulder early in the season and he played through the pain. He still led the team in tackles. He would definitely benefit from a year in strength coach's Tim Caron's weight room

Thompson Highlights

Dionte Reed (6-0, 200) was a backup linebacker last year at the United States Military Academy Prep School. Reed played as a very undersized defensive end in a three point stance at Minooka High School in Illinois. He's a big effort player who lacks size and speed. Reed was a backup linebacker last year at USMAPS. He saw most of his playing time late during the season when the Black Knights defense suffered from injuries and suspensions. He looked overmatched filling in during the 48-11 blowout loss against the Naval Academy Prep School.

Reed Highlights

Next: A look at the incoming defensive backs.

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