CB Shalimar Brazier

2002 Statistics

Coach: Paul Johnson
2-10, 1 year
2002 Record: 2-10
at SMU WON 38-7
at Air Force LOST 7-48
at Boston College LOST 21-46
at Tulane LOST 30-51
at Wake Forest LOST 27-30
vs. Army WON 58-12

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Navy Head Coach Paul Johnson brought a proven track record of success with him when he took the job at Annapolis. He won two Division 1-AA National Championships and 86% of his games in six seasons as the head coach at Georgia Southern. Johnson's teams at Georgia Southern developed into an offensive juggernaut. He made great strides in his first season at Navy toward developing the punishing and explosive ground game he had so much success with in 1-AA ball.

Part of good coaching is to assess your players' strengths and weaknesses, and accordingly exploit the strengths while minimizing the weaknesses. On the offensive side of the ball, Johnson will again have a power rushing attack that could be capable of controlling the ball and keeping his defense off the field. Given the lack of physical size/talent on the defensive roster, that is the only way the Midshipmen will be able to slow down opposing offenses.

This year's Navy squad will be very similar to last years - they will be better, but the Midshipmen will need to dominate time of possession and make few mistakes to stay in games. This is not a team that can afford to fall behind opponents by more than ten points. The discipline and work ethic they learn at the academy will help make up for some of the gap in talent they routinely face on the football field.

Navy has put together a manageable schedule this season. Other than their annual matchup with Notre Dame, most of their games look winnable. With a moderate amount of breaks, playing .500-ball is a reasonable expectation for Navy fans. Another couple of seasons under Paul Johnson's reign should bring a winning record and bowl game consideration. But come December, as is true every year, just beating Army will make the 2003 season a success.

Projected 2003 record: 3-9
SB Eric Roberts
QB - 2.5 DL - 1
RB - 3 LB - 2
WR - 1.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 2 ..

Passing: Craig Candeto, 103-51-4, 843 yds., 5 TD

Rushing: Craig Candeto, 177 att., 775 yds., 16 TD

Receiving: Eric Roberts, 17 rec., 429 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Craig Candeto, 16 TD, 96 pts.

Punting: John Skaggs, 46 punts, 41.2 avg.

Kicking: Eric Rolfs, 4-6 FG, 20-21 PAT, 32 pts.

Tackles: Josh Smith, 127 tot., 69 solo

Sacks: Eddie Carthan, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Josh Smith, 2 for 69 yds.

Kickoff returns: Tony Lane, 22 ret., 22.0 avg.

Punt returns: Aaron Weedo, 4 ret., 14.3 avg.


OFFENSE: Bryce McDonald-FB, Chandler Sims-WR, Derek Jaskowiak-OT, Grant Moody-OG, Matt Nye-OG, Brett Cochrane-OG, Mike McIlravy-PR
DEFENSE: Pete Beuttenmuller-DE, Joey Owmby-DT, Andy Zetts-DT, Dan Person-DE, Lenter Thomas-ROV, Michawn Yuvienco-ROV

written by James Johnson

A trend that has developed over the last decade tells us that in order for a military academy team to be successful, it must have a quarterback that is a ball carrying threat. Navy clearly has that in senior quarterback Craig Candeto. Candeto was far and away the Midshipmen's leading rusher, 4.4-yard average per carry. Even more impressive was his total of 16 TDs, particularly the six he scored in Navy's season-ending rout of Army. Entering his second season as starting quarterback, Candeto will be an even stronger catalyst for the Midshipmen's offense. He has shown the ability to connect on the occasional deep throw, and improvement in the accuracy of his intermediate passes would help balance the Navy offense and give him more room to run.

The offensive line loses three solid starters from last season. Junior August Roitsch will return for his second season as an experienced center. Senior Josh Goodin entered 2002 as the third string center but finished it as the starting right tackle. Both players will benefit from their experience and help anchor a fairly inexperienced and relatively small line. Opposing rush ends will only be looking at two tackles that weigh in at an average of 270 pounds.

One of the inherent disadvantages the Navy football program has to deal with is the difficulty of finding mammoth linemen who can adhere to Naval standards so as to get through all of their subsequent military training. To loosely paraphrase John Feinstein's classic book "A Civil War" about the Army-Navy game, football practice is usually the easiest part of a Naval Academy student's day. This year's group, however, will have the Midshipmen's traditional edge in quickness and overall conditioning versus most of their opponents.

Navy does not have a pure wide receiver that will offer any significant threat this season in this option offense. The two featured receivers, junior Eric Roberts and senior Tony Lane are both listed as slot backs. Both had four times as many rushing attempts as 2002 pass receptions. Junior WR Amir Jenkins showed improvement throughout the fall and is predominately used as a blocking receiver for the option, reflected by his three catches.

The Midshipmen will run and run some more. If that is to translate in to a better won-loss record, the men carrying the pigskin will need to continue their improvement. Quality men do exist in this 3-set backfield. The most dangerous is Eric Roberts, who adds another dimension by being the best receiver on the lot, leading Navy with 17 catches. FB Michael Brimage took over when injuries riddled the team. Most recall his scorching performance against Army where he rushed for 291 yards as CBS announcers went crazy. So, this offense directed by new coach Paul Johnson has all the makings of an Air Force type of situation. Good fortunes may lie ahead on this side of the ball.

The pitfall…passing. Craig Candeto completed less than 50% of his 2002 passes, and it will again be very difficult for Navy to play catch-up if they fall far behind opponents. They don't play the old wishbone offense, but the style and mentality of the Midshipmen's scheme is very similar. Unfortunately, their talent isn't capable of handling the subtleties that make a wishbone unstoppable.


QB Craig Candeto


Returning Starters in bold
QB Craig Candeto-Sr (5-11, 197) Aaron Polanco-Jr (6-0, 207)
FB Michael Brimage-Jr (5-7, 203) Kyle Eckel-Jr (5-11, 231)
SB Tony Lane-Sr (5-9, 202) Sam Mathews-So (5-9, 200)
SB Eric Roberts-Jr (5-10, 193) Aaron Weedo-Jr (5-10, 187)
WR Amir Jenkins-Jr (6-1, 191) Mike Yokitis-So (6-2, 204)
WR Lionel Wesley-Jr (5-11, 182) Cory Dryden-Jr (6-3, 213)
OT Nick Wilson-Jr (6-5, 259) Tyson Stahl-Jr (6-4, 250)
OG Sean Magee-Sr (6-5, 287) Denny Ray Phillips-Jr (6-4, 289)
C August Roitsch-Jr (6-1, 255) Dan Peters-Sr (6-0, 283)
OG Shane Todd-Sr (6-4, 304) Matt McLaughlin-Jr (6-6, 285)
OT Josh Goodin-Sr (6-0, 281) Casey Hughes-Jr (6-4, 229)
K Eric Rolfs-Sr (6-1, 168) Geoff Blumenfeld-Jr (6-0, 166)



written by James Johnson

Junior Josh Smith, the Midshipmen's leading tackler from last season, will return at free safety. Both corners were also starters last season and among the team's leading tacklers, giving Navy a veteran secondary for this season.

Senior Eddie Carthan, Navy's second leading tackler, leads the three returning linebacker starters. Carthan is their best hope for developing a big-playmaker.

Senior LT Ralph Henry will be called on to anchor the defensive line. Since all four of last seasons' starters were seniors, Henry, despite the small amount of playing time he has seen in his three years, will be the Midshipmen's most experienced lineman this season. Navy will utilize a 3-4 situation on defense, which takes some of the pressure off of the front line in an effort to stop teams from grinding out a rushing attack.

No defensive lineman weighs more than 270 pounds. The same reasons keep the DL's size down as above listed for Olmen. Only one linebacker, sophomore Jeremy Chase (6'2, 235 lbs.), weighs more than 226 pounds. None of the defensive backs weigh more than 200 pounds. Are you noticing a trend here? Navy has a VERY small defense.

Considering how light the defensive players are, it is no surprise that they gave up over 420 yards and 36 points per game. Without a big push up front, they allowed 4.3 yards per rushing attempt and only recorded a total of 20 sacks. There is no reason to think that will improve significantly, especially since Navy will have to break in new starters up front.

Another symptom of the lack of physical strength on the defensive side of the ball is the inability to force turnovers. The Midshipmen intercepted an amazingly low total of only five passes last season and forced only 16 fumbles. Being 105th in all Division 1-A for TO margin is not going to get any team to the next level.

Navy would have to play gambling styles of defense to make more big plays, yet this would leave them susceptible, too. But if any risks are to be taken, the defense will have a marginally good secondary upon which to lean (Navy's best defensive unit). Their best option will be to continue playing more conservative defensive schemes and hope opponents make enough mistakes to keep the Midshipmen in games. Missed-tackles are not an option under this approach.


LB Eddie Carthan


Returning Starters in bold
DE Pierre Moss-Jr (6-0, 237) Steve Adair-Sr (6-2, 253)
NG Kevin Schwind-Sr (6-1, 285) Babatunde Akingbemi-Jr (6-0, 260)
DE Ralph Henry-Sr (6-1, 260) Jeff Vanak-Jr (6-1, 245)
OLB Lane Jackson-Jr (5-11, 204) Ryan McCabe-Jr (6-2, 197)
ILB Jeremy Chase-So (6-2, 235) T.J. Costello-Jr (5-10, 216)
ILB Ben Mathews-Sr (6-1, 220) Bobby McClarin-Jr (5-11, 211)
OLB Eddie Carthan-Sr (5-11, 218) Reggie Sealey-Jr (6-0, 219)
CB Shalimar Brazier-Sr (5-10, 185) Jontavius Singleton-Jr (5-10, 164)
CB Vaughn Kelley-Jr (6-1, 170) Marcus Sanders-Sr (5-9, 175)
ROV Eli Sanders-Sr (5-11, 195) Lane Montgomery-Jr (5-11, 194)
FS Josh Smith-Jr (6-2, 197) Wayne Irons-Jr (5-9, 179)
P John Skaggs-Sr (6-2, 202) Eric Rolfs-Sr (6-1, 168)




Senior Eric Rolfs returns to handle the place kicking duties for Navy after going 4-for-6 in 2002. He did show some range, connecting on a 44-yarder against Tulane. Should he struggle, junior Geoff Blumenfeld saw playing time last season, giving the Midshipmen the rare luxury of carrying two experienced place kickers.

Senior punter John Skaggs also returns after a recording a monster season just two years ago. While being the nation's best punter statistically in 2001, good enough for NationalChamps.net All-American honors, Skaggs managed to push another outstanding average of over 41 yards in 2002.

Tony Lane was a successful kickoff returner last season, averaging 22 yards per attempt. Junior Aaron Weedo should also get some chances. He also averaged 14 yards on four punt returns and should see more time in that role.

The Midshipmen did well covering kickoffs last season, holding opponents below 19 yards per return. They will need to improve punt coverage this season after allowing more than 10 yards per return last season.