I attended the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation’s College Football Kickoff Luncheon today and got to talk to Air Force coach Troy Calhoun about a bunch of topics related to his program and the upcoming season.
Check tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette for a pair of stories – one deals mostly with the Falcons’ personnel (and the reason Calhoun thinks Air Force will “still have a chance” despite heavy graduation losses), and the other is a notebook that includes an update on the progress being made on a new indoor facility.
But I didn’t have enough space in the paper to pass along all the things I thought would be of interest to Air Force fans, so I put the rest of them here.
-Now that Air Force has completed its summer camps, Calhoun and his coaches are looking at tape from spring practices and re-evaluating players. Asked if any players stood out, here was Calhoun’s response:
“If you had to say just off the top of your head guys that stood out a little bit – it’d be interesting to see how Kyle Lumpkin does as a tailback, as much as we utilize the tailback in varied ways. He’s got some versatility to him. Can a guy like (outside linebacker) Bill Keuchler step up and be ready to play? Can Andrew Pipes at center be ready to go even though he’s 249 pounds? I still think he’s got a chance to be a pretty good center. Defensively, can a guy like (inside linebacker) Kenny Lamendola emerge? At safety, (Aaron) Kirchoff, I think he started one game last year. Is he ready to be truly an every-down guy? (Cornerback) Reggie Rembert only started the one game at New Mexico when (Carson) Bird was sick, and yet is he ready to contribute in a significant way as a punt returner, kick returner and then certainly at corner too? Those are some guys that will be interesting to keep tabs on once we get into the season.”
-A bit more on Rembert: Calhoun said he’d start August planning to use the sophomore occasionally at Z on offense in addition to cornerback and in the return game. “I think at the Air Force Academy, when we get a rare guy that has some quickness, that has some athleticism – like Chad (Hall) was that way last year – then I think we’ve got to put a harness on that guy and find different ways to try and tap that guy out.”
Calhoun said he thinks Rembert will be able to handle playing both ways physically, but “if it just hits a point where it’s saturation for the kid, and it’s taking away from what he has to do on defense first and foremost, then we have to pull the reigns back.”
-No change to the quarterback situation – Air Force will enter August without a definite starter. Calhoun said in re-evaluating spring practices, it’s clear that senior Shea Smith was “a little bit more consistent,” but junior Eric Herbort “probably moves a little better.”
I’m looking forward to the battle for the starting spot, which I expect to include freshman Tim Jefferson, who attended the prep school last year.
-Calhoun on Colorado State: “I’ve got to believe that what you’re going to see at CSU is real soon they’re going to be a top two or three program in this conference.”
-Finally, had to mention that Colorado coach Dan Hawkins had the line of the day at the luncheon. Talking about how young his team was, he compared it to a golden retriever puppy. He said they were really energetic and excited and really cute, “but sometimes we chew things up and pee on the floor.”