New flexbone a better option for Minter

Navy notebook

Plebe wide receiver makes waves in first game

September 05, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

When Marshaun Minter was first being recruited from Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio) prep school, the Naval Academy did not appear to be a good option (pun intended).

The Midshipmen were running an option offense that accented the quarterback, fullback and slotback with the ball in their hands, and the wide receivers were blockers and afterthoughts in the offense.

But when Minter learned that Navy was "putting in a whole new passing attack," he was elated. "I got lucky. And I was happy. I knew I would get the ball a lot."

He became the plebe to make the most impact in the team's opening loss to Temple, making two catches, one a sterling grab on a 39-yard touchdown play.

Slightly over 18 years and 3 months old, Minter now figures to be an integral figure in the flexbone attack.

"I knew there was an opportunity to play when I came," he said. "At first, I didn't expect to see much action, but now I see the chance. The biggest challenge is getting back in time for the no-huddle after running 50 yards down the field."

With the exuberance of a freshman, Minter said he "can't wait to play" 11th-ranked Georgia Tech on Saturday in the home opener. "I think we're prepared for them."

Awesome defense

With coordinator Ralph Friedgen gone to coach the University of Maryland and quarterback George Godsey coming off off-season knee surgery, the Yellow Jackets will have a less diversified offensive look.

But it is a defense which has allowed only two touchdowns in victories over Syracuse and The Citadel that concerns Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie.

"People forget how good their defense is," Weatherbie said. "They've got two All-America candidates at end [Greg Gathers and Nick Rogers] who are as good as we'll play.

"Chris Young is a great safety and run supporter, and Jeremy Muyres a tough, hard-nosed player."

The defensive leader is linebacker Daryl Smith with 17 tackles on a team that has an average allowance of 222 yards per game, one that could be lower had not coach George O'Leary called off the top unit early against The Citadel.

Et cetera

Navy is anticipating a crowd of more than 28,000 for a game that will be televised by Comcast SportsNet locally. The first 10,000 will receive magnetic schedules. ... Backup defensive end Ralph Henry of Navy and backup linebacker Anthony Lawston of Georgia Tech were teammates at Eastern Tech two years ago. ... The Midshipmen will be playing without two reserves, wide receiver Mark Tedrow (broken hand) and safety Marc Giorgi (broken arm).

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