Navy ready to set sail with two QBs in 2000

Broadwater will stay put, get time behind Madden

College Football

March 29, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Brian Broadwater, whose midseason injury allowed Brian Madden to step in and lead the nation's quarterbacks in rushing, will not be shifted to another position at Navy this spring.

"He's a senior and it's a little late for doing that," said Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie, whose team will launch spring practice Saturday morning. "If we had to play a game tomorrow, Madden would be the quarterback, but we feel we have two No. 1's. We have two guys who could start at a lot of places in the country."

Speculation had centered on a shift of Broadwater to the defensive backfield, where Navy lost co-captain and strong safety Jamie Doffermyer, but DeJuan Cromer, a junior, has the inside track on that starting job.

"We could have another Fay-McCoy situation," said Weatherbie, referring to several years ago when he rotated Chris McCoy, the superior runner, and Ben Fay, the better passer. "We may be dualing Broadwater's role some and play him at wide-out, but we'll play it by ear."

The switch has involved third-team quarterback Ed Malinowski, who has been moved to safety. Weatherbie, a former quarterback, likes the security of having two potential starters and will use the spring to examine youngsters Jamie Dishroom, Christian Chapman and J. P. Blecksmith for the No. 3 slot.

Navy returns 33 lettermen, including five offensive and seven defensive starters, from a 1999 team that lost six games by a touchdown or less and finished 5-7.

The major vacancies are in the kicking game and defensive line.

Gone are placement specialist Tim Shubzda and punter Tray Calisch and Weatherbie will be searching for a field-goal kicker he can depend on from mid-range. He is more optimistic about the ability of Beau Hufstetler and wide receiver Brian Williams to handle the punting duties.

"Nose guard is a key spot," said the coach of a slot where sophomore Juan Morejon is running ahead of the candidates to replace David Ryno.

"We need depth on the D line," said free safety Chris Lepore, the big-play specialist who is being touted for All-America mention. "Our defense improved to a little higher than middle of the road and we'd like to get up there closer to the top."

The Midshipmen will employ the 3-4 alignment they installed last season, "with a few wrinkles added," Weatherbie said.

Besides Madden, Navy retains Raheem Lambert, called by Weatherbie "the best fullback we've ever had," speedster Dre Brittingham at slotback and Brandon Rampani, who showed a knack for catching important passes last season.

Improvement in two areas -- two-minute offense and third-down conversions -- could shove Navy into the bowl picture.

"I think we've got a great schedule and are catching some teams at the right time," he said. "Georgia Tech lost a lot of its offense, Boston College a lot of its defense, Air Force will play a young quarterback and Wake Forest lost 25 seniors. And with Army in Baltimore, we feel like we've got a home game."

NOTE: Navy has sold 8,000 season tickets. Purchasing that packet is the best way to guarantee a seat to the Army-Navy game on Dec. 2 at PSINet Stadium. About 2,000 remain for the service classic. For information, call 800-US4NAVY

Navy schedule

Date Opponent

Sept. 2 Temple

Sept. 16 at Georgia Tech

Sept. 23 at Boston College

Sept. 30 Texas Christian

Oct. 7 at Air Force

Oct. 14 Notre Dame at Orlando, Fla.

Oct. 21 Rutgers (homecoming)

Oct. 28 Toledo

Nov. 11 at Tulane

Nov. 18 Wake Forest

Dec. 2 Army at PSINet Stadium

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