Air Force released its 2014 media guide on Thursday, and with it our first look at a semi-official roster for the upcoming season (minus the incoming freshmen).
The following are some observations while looking at the roster provided:
Hefty freshman class makes sense
The future Falcons currently in basic training included several larger than 280 pounds – among them OL Hayden Owen (295), OL Mike Sutton (295), DE Josh Davis, OT J.C. Rast (285) and DE Cody Moorhead (281).
Looking at the size on this roster, it makes sense why they went so large. Other than OG Jimmy Manuel, who is listed at 285 (up from 275 last year), no Falcons player is listed above 280. Though the Falcons have 12 players at 260 or more, that is fewer than Navy (20 among its non-freshmen) and Army (14).
Air Force’s heaviest 15 non-freshmen average 264.8 pounds, while Navy’s are listed at 286.5 and Army’s 272.3.
Of course, size doesn’t mean everything; but it generally doesn’t hurt. Also, these numbers are only those reported under virtually no oversight. If teams want to fudge a bit up or down, that’s their choice.
Still, it’s clear that Air Force’s returners are much smaller than even their Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy foes, let alone their conference opponents. It therefore makes sense why there’s a bunch of size awaiting entry into the cadet wing.
Names that are missing
In comparing the roster against the depth chart released before Air Force’s final game of 2013, the only non-seniors who aren’t back are all from the linebacking corps.
Justin Alabi, Reggie Barnes, Jared Jones, Jordan Pierce and Steven Sumpter, all inside or outside linebackers, are not included on the roster included in the media guide. Those five combined for 19 starts, 146 tackles (65 unassisted, 81 assisted) and 8.5 tackles for loss this past season. The total tackles represent 15 percent of the team total.
No explanation has been given for the players’ omission from the roster.
Aside from that group, everyone of note who finished 2013 as part of the Falcons is expected to begin 2014 with them as well.
Unlike last year, Air Force has a Colorado Springs native on the roster in junior Eric Wermuth.
Wermuth, a junior defensive back, graduated from The Classical Academy in 2011.
He was the Titans’ team and defensive MVP as a senior and was a two-time all-state academic selection in football.
Wermuth ran for 958 yards and nine touchdowns over his final two years at TCA, while catching 38 passes for 406 yards and two scores. He also made 129 tackles and three interceptions.
He’s one of six Colorado natives on the roster, joining Castle Rock brothers Connor and Patrick Healy (Mullen), Bounder’s Sevrin Remmo (Fairview), Parker’s Gavin McHenry (Chaparral) and Highlands Ranch’s Keith Link (Rock Canyon).
Huntsman listed as WR
Senior Colton Huntsman spent spring practice as a quarterback, mostly out of necessity as the Falcons had lost Kale Pearson and Pate Davis to injuries, leaving only Kale Pearson and Karson Roberts to man the position.
However, Huntsman is listed as a wide receiver and not a quarterback on the new roster, indicating that time was likely simply a precaution should the team face a situation similar to that of 2013, when it shuffled through four starting quarterbacks.