Navy Football: Midshipmen have high expectations in 2018

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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If Navy football can put together all the pieces and stay healthy in 2018 they have the talent to contend for an AAC Championship. Will they?

Typically, Navy football is fairly quiet between their bowl game and the first game of the season. However, the Midshipmen have experienced a relatively eventful offseason. There have been notable injury updates, significant changes to the coaching staff, positional switches and a slew of adjustments made to both sides of the ball.

The Midshipmen have continued to adapt as necessary and are focused on the task ahead. The goal is an AAC championship. Can they get there?


Malcolm Perry is currently listed as the team’s starting quarterback. Perry suffered a foot injury in the second half of last year’s bowl game against Virginia. Due to the significance of this injury, Perry was not fully recovered by the scheduled start of Spring Camp. Therefore, Coach Ken Niumatalolo delayed Spring Camp to allow Perry to participate in the specific drills.

Additionally, Tre Walker, one of Navy’s starting running backs, was unable to participate in spring practices due to a knee surgery. Zach Abey, Navy’s primary quarterback last year, had shoulder surgery this off-season. He too was limited this spring.


Navy’s coaching staff has been shuffled around since the end of last season. Despite rumors that Coach Niumatalolo was the front-runner for the Arizona head coaching job, he ultimately stayed at Navy. However, Coach Shaun Nua, the defensive line coach for the past six years, has joined Herm Edward’s staff at Arizona State.

Coach Nua was a player’s coach while at Navy, bringing great energy and rapport with his linemen. Replacing Nua is coach Tony Granthom who returns to the team this off-season. Coach Granthom left Navy in 2013 to join Louisville as their linebackers coach.

Finally coach Joe Dupaix has joined the staff as a running backs coach. Coach Danny O’Rourke moved to work with the offensive line. O’Rourke has now coached the secondary, inside linebacker, wide receivers, running backs and offensive line. O’Rourke also is in his second year serving as the Special Teams Coordinator.

Position Changes

In addition to coaching changes, Navy has moved a few players to new positions in hopes of filling some gaps. Most notably, Malcolm Perry switched from running back to quarterback. Consequently, Zach Abey, a great athlete who needs to be on the field, finds a new home at wide receiver.

From the defensive side, Aleksei Yaramus transitions from inside linebacker to receiver with hopes he can dominate blocks against undersized defensive backs. Nizaire Cromartie, one of Navy’s best athletes on defense, moves from defensive line to outside linebacker.