Five Army Players to Watch

Tony Moore(AP Photo/Nathaniel Brooks)

Loyal Army fans are hoping this is the year that the Black Knights turn it around. Go at least .500 and qualify for a bowl game for the first time in 12 years. Obviously, Army's success will depend on how its players perform, and if they make big plays. Here are five players that will be key to the Black Knights' season:

1. Carson Williams, QB: Williams told his hometown newspaper, The Cullman (Ala.) Times, that he is much prepared for this season because he has adapted to Academy life.

"I was forced to grow up in six weeks," Williams told the newspaper of his freshman year. "My life changed immediately. I had never experienced anything like it."

As a sophomore last season, Williams had some ups and downs, throwing for 1,770 yards with 11 and touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Williams had one win as a starter, against Temple, coming in for the injured David Pevoto in a win over Rhode Island.

Put simply: This season, as Williams goes, Army goes. If he doesn't play well it could be a long season.

2. Tony Moore, RB: Let's hope fans didn't forget about Moore, even though he pulled a disappearing act last year, missing the season with a knee injury. But Moore was solid as a freshman in 2006, leading the Black Knights with six touchdowns. Moore will likely have to fight with the likes of playing time with Tony Dace, Wesley McMahand and Patrick Mealy for playing time. But Moore's track record could help him. He's big and physical, which could help in whatever offense Stan Brock runs.

3. Victor Ugenyi, DL: Only a freshman, Ugenyi made a name for himself at the end of '06, putting up big games against Notre Dame and Navy late in the season.

Maybe a little bit more was expected out of Ugenyi last year, but, by no means, was he a slouch. Ugenyi had 33 tackles and a sack in 12 games last year, including eight starts. Expect those numbers to go up this season. Ugenyi is a first-team Phil Steele All-Independent selection along with junior defensive lineman Ted Bentler and senior linebacker Frank Scappaticci.

4. Ted Bentler and Frank Scappaticci: These two could be the biggest studs on defense for Army this fall. Bentler is fearless in the trenches and never backs down. Scappaticci is all over the place on the field. He was third on the team behind Jordan Murray and Caleb Campbell with 89 tackles. Bentler had 42 tackles and led the team with three sacks.

5. The offensive line: Hurt by injuries and inexperience, Army's offensive line has struggled with inconsistency for the last few years. That play has hurt the Black Knights and the unit will get it together in '09 if the season is a success. Two key players up front for Army will be tackle Mike Lemming and guard Brandon Cox. Both are seniors.

Other Army players to watch: QB Paul McIntosh - Asking a freshman to play, let alone start at Army, is asking a lot. Army fans are dying to see how good this kid he is. If Williams falters, they may call for McIntosh; DB Jordan Trimble - His brother, Jeremy, had a great career at Army as wide receiver. Jordan will likely be just as good on defense. Expect him to hold down one corner as a sophomore this year; RB Tony Dace - The senior rushed for 104 yards against Navy last year; LB John Plumstead - Another gritty player on Army's D, he made 43 tackles last year.

Extra points: Army's game against North Texas in 2009 will mark the beginning of a six-game series.......Through almost two weeks of the New York-Penn League season, Army's Cole White and Chris Simmons have seen limited time with the State College (Pa.) Spike, a Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Entering the weekend, White was 1-for-5 (.200) and Simmons 2-for-7 (.286). Former Army pitcher Drew Clothier is 0-0 with a 5.87 ERA in three appearances out of Jamestown's (Florida Marlins) bullpen.

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