• Recognizing Rembert

    Fri, April 30, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Air Force rising senior cornerback Reggie Rembert was recognized in an article on “Bleacher Report” as a 2010 All-Small American performer.

    Rembert, at 5-foot-8, 185 pounds, certainly qualifies. But his play makes his size irrelevant.

    Rembert was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference performer in 2009. Look for even bigger things from him and the rest of the Air Force secondary in 2010. Rembert’s been named an honorable mention preseason All-American by nationalchamps.net.

  • Friday Morning Links

    Fri, March 5, 2010 by admin with no comments

    I wrote for today’s edition of The Gazette about cornerback Reggie Rembert and how he’s having a much more free and easy spring than he did a year ago. And Gazette columnist David Ramsey wrote about quarterback Connor Dietz, and the improvements he’s made, in his blog: http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com.

    Coming in the next couple days: A look at the secondary in general. Who will replace Chris Thomas? And how good could this group be?

    Moving to hoops, it’s a pretty good year for freshmen in the Mountain West Conference. Five are among the top 15 scorers in the league: San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard (eighth with 12.4 points per game), Colorado State’s Dorian Green (11th, 12.0), Utah’s Marshall Henderson (13th, 11.8), BYU’s Tyler Haws (14th, 11.7) and Wyoming’s Desmar Jackson (15th, 11.3). Here’s an article about Green from The Denver Post.

  • Falcons Open Spring Practices

    Fri, February 19, 2010 by admin with 2 comments

    Sure didn’t feel like spring out at Falcon Stadium this afternoon.

    It was cold and, near the end of practice, some snow began to fall.

    But that’s how Air Force coach Troy Calhoun likes it.

    I wrote for tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette about the Falcons’ offensive line. Though Calhoun noted that the starting spots are written in pencil, here was the group that worked with the first-team offense, from left tackle to right tackle:

    Freshman Jason Kons, junior Tyler Schonsheck, sophomore Michael Hester, sophomore A.J. Wallerstein and junior Chase Darden.

    As I noted in the article, Calhoun would like to find eight players who he can use on a rotating basis (two centers, three guards and three tackles). But I think it will be important for the Falcons to decide on starters and their backups soon. Because one of the reasons the 2009 line was so good was their familiarity with each other. They knew each other’s tendencies and how to play with one another.

    “Yeah, they did,” Calhoun said.

    Calhoun said he isn’t in a hurry to name a starting five. However, he acknowledged that it would be good to establish the rotation “just because there’s so many calls that change as the defense alters, and you’ve got to be able to communicate it instantly.”

    Odds and Ends
    -Sophomore running back Paul Weatheroy, who blew out his left knee in the fall of his freshman season (2008) and then again last spring, was not at practice Monday. Calhoun said Weatheroy still is rehabbing the knee.

    -A real strength of this team could be the secondary. Both starting corners (Anthony Wright Jr. and Reggie Rembert) are back, along with their backups (P.J. Adeji-Paul and Josh Hall). Starting free safety Jon Davis also returns. It appears as if sophomore Phil Ofili will get first crack at replacing Chris Thomas at strong safety.

    -Air Force has cancelled its March 11 practice and instead will practice tomorrow (Friday) at 4 p.m. at the stadium.

  • Monday Morning Links

    Mon, December 14, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Wrote for today’s paper about junior cornerback Reggie Rembert. A season that started under trying circumstances saw him earn All-Mountain West Conference honors.

    Also, for some good information on the Falcons’ Armed Forces Bowl opponent, check out the Houston Chronicle’s Houston page.

  • Calhoun Says No Contact with UVA (And Practice Notes)

    Fri, December 4, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Air Force coach Troy Calhoun’s name has been mentioned as a candidate for the vacant University of Virginia job, but Calhoun said after this afternoon’s practice that speculation is just that.

    Calhoun said he hasn’t had any contact with Virginia.

    “The only thing I’m thinking about is here,” Calhoun said. “That’s when we recruit, that’s in all of our game prep, that’s in raising our kids. Everything we do. That’s the only thing we’ve even given consideration to, and that’s the only way we’re going to operate.”

    Asked if that meant he’d be at the academy next year, Calhoun said, “I hope so. Absolutely we hope so.”

    Practice Notes
    -In addition to Calhoun, Air Force defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter’s name has begun to circulate as a candidate for vacant jobs. Georgia is one school looking for a new defensive coordinator.

    “All I care about is winning our bowl game and getting these guys ready to play in it,” DeRuyter said. “That’s all I care about. … People are going to say what I want. All I care about is these guys and sending these seniors out the right way.”

    DeRuyter was outstanding in the 2009 regular season. His defense ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense (15.3 points allowed per game) and ninth in total defense (284.8 yards allowed per game).

    -Sophomore quarterbacks Tim Jefferson and Connor Dietz both participated in practice today. More on this in my article, which will appear on-line shortly.

    -Dontae Strickland, who had been practicing at cornerback all season, spent some time at slot receiver this afternoon.

    “We switched him over in the middle of practice,” Calhoun said of the 5-foot-10, 170-pound freshman from Kansas City. “We’ll see. That’s something we’ve been considering for a long time. … It’s something kind of in the back of our minds, we’ve always wondered do we play him at corner or slot. And I wanted to give him every chance in the world to get into the two-deep at corner, and if we think he can get on the field sooner at receiver, then we’ll move him to wide receiver if he wants to do that.”

    -Air Force got just one player on the first-team All-Mountain West Conference squad – junior cornerback Reggie Rembert.

    The most notable omission was senior nose guard Ben Garland.

    DeRuyter said he was “disappointed, because I really thought Benny probably played the best on our defense this year. … I though he deserved it.”

    Calhoun said he thought Garland and MWC Defensive Player of the Year Jerry Hughes of TCU were “clear-cut no-brainers” for the first-team.

    Being a nose guard might have hurt Garland, Calhoun said.

    “We asked him to do a lot where he had to take on blocks and eat up blocks rather than putting him in positions where he was only going to make tackles to enhance his stats,” Calhoun said. “He’s one of those guys he knew what he needed to do and because of it it helped free up the ‘backers like John Falgout and Justin Moore for those guys to make a ton of tackles and he did that. But as a football player, if you only looked at the football part of it there was no doubt, he should have been a first-team pick. And I think also what happens too is I think sometimes coaches tend a little bit to overlook Air Force players, and I think that might have been the case there.”

  • All-MWC Football Teams Awards

    Tue, December 1, 2009 by admin with 3 comments

    The All-Mountain West Conference football teams were announced this afternoon, and just one Air Force player – junior cornerback Reggie Rembert – earned first-team honors.

    Six Falcons were named to the second team: Junior fullback Jared Tew, senior guards Nick Charles and Peter Lusk, sophomore kicker Erik Soderberg, senior nose guard Ben Garland and sophomore cornerback Anthony Wright Jr.

    Teams and award-winners are below:

    Offensive Player of the Year: QB Andy Dalton (TCJ, Jr.)

    Defensive Player of the Year: DE Jerry Hughes (TCU, Sr.)

    Special Teams Player of the Year: Ret. Jeremy Kerley (TCU, Jr.)

    Freshman of the Year: QB Austyn Carta-Samuels (Wyoming)

    Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson (TCU)

    First-Team Offense
    QB: Andy Dalton (TCU, Jr.)
    WR: David Reed (Utah, Sr.)
    WR: Ryan Wolfe (UNLV, Sr.)
    RB: Harvey Unga (BYU, Jr.)
    RB: Eddie Wide (Utah, Jr.)
    TE: Dennis Pitta (BYU, Sr.)
    OL: Matt Reynolds (BYU, So.)
    OL: Erik Cook (New Mexico, Sr.)
    OL: Marshall Newhouse (TCU, Sr.)
    OL: Marcus Cannon (TCU, Jr.)
    OL: Zane Beadles (Utah, Sr.)
    PK: Ross Evans (TCU, So.)
    PR/KR: Jeremy Kerley (TCU, Jr.)

    First-Team Defense
    DL: Jan Jorgensen (BYU, Sr.)
    DL: Jerry Hughes (TCU, Sr.)
    DL: Koa Misi (Utah, Sr.)
    DL: John Fletcher (Wyoming, Sr.)
    LB: Carmen Messina (New Mexico, So.)
    LB: Daryl Washington (TCU, Sr.)
    LB: Stevenson Sylvester (Utah, Sr.)
    DB: Reggie Rembert (Air Force, Jr.)
    DB: Rafael Priest (TCU, Sr.)
    DB: Nick Sanders (TCU, Sr.)
    DB: Robert Johnson (Utah, Sr.)
    P: Adam Miller (New Mexico, Sr.)

    Second-Team Offense
    QB: Max Hall (BYU, Sr.)
    WR: Vincent Brown (San Diego State, Jr.)
    WR: DeMarco Sampson (San Diego State, Sr.)
    RB: Joseph Turner (TCU, Sr.)
    RB: Jared Tew (Air Force, Jr.)
    TE: Andrew George (BYU, Sr.)
    OL: Nick Charles (Air Force, Sr.)
    OL: Peter Lusk (Air Force, Sr.)

    OL: Caleb Schlauderaff (Utah, Jr.)
    OL: Jake Kirkpatrick (TCU, Jr.)
    OL: Zane Taylor (Utah, Jr.)
    PK: Erik Soderberg (Air Force, So.)
    PR/KR: Dion Morton (Colorado State, So.)

    Second-Team Defense
    DL: Wayne Daniels (TCU, Jr.)
    DL: Ben Garland (Air Force, Sr.)
    DL: Johnathan Rainey (New Mexico, So.)
    DL: Cory Grant (TCU, Jr.)
    LB: Tank Carder (TCU, So.)
    LB: Mychal Sisson (Colorado State, So.)
    LB: Brian Hendricks (Wyoming, So.)
    DB: Andrew Rich (BYU, Jr.)
    DB: Anthony Wright Jr. (Air Force, So.)
    DB: Tejay Johnson (TCU, Jr.)
    DB: Chris Prosinski (Wyoming, Jr.)
    P: Brian Stahovich (San Diego State, So.)

    Honorable Mention
    Air Force:
    John Falgout (Sr. LB), Brandon Geyer (Sr. P), Ryan Gonzales (Sr. OL), Chris Thomas (Sr. DB).
    BYU: Coleby Clawson (Sr. LB), Brett Denney (Sr. DL), Scott Johnson (Sr. DB), Brian Logan (Jr. DB), Riley Stephenson (Fr. P), R.J. Willing (Sr. OL).
    Colorado State: Adrian Martinez (Sr. OL), Nick Oppenneer (Sr. DB), Cole Pemberton (Sr. OL), Shelley Smith (Sr. OL), Tim Walter (Sr. OL).
    New Mexico: Kendall Briscoe (Sr. DL).
    San Diego State: Davion Mauldin (Sr. KR), Jerry Milling (Sr. LB).
    TCU: Evan Frosch (Jr. TE), Antoine Hicks (So. WR), Jeremy Kerley (Jr. WR), Ed Wesley (Fr. RB), Jimmy Young (Jr. WR).
    UNLV: Jason Beauchamp (Sr. LB), Joe Hawley (Sr. OL), Matt Murphy (Jr. OL).
    Utah: Joe Phillips (Jr. K), Sean Sellwood (Fr. P), Sealver Siliga (So. DL), Mike Wright (Sr. LB).
    Wyoming: David Leonard (Jr. WR), Austin McCoy (So. P), Mitch Unrein (Sr. DL).

  • Rembert Lone Air Force Player Named First-Team All-MWC

    Tue, December 1, 2009 by admin with 4 comments

    Junior cornerback Reggie Rembert was the lone Air Force player selected to the All-Mountain West Conference first team.

    Senior nose guard Ben Garland, in my opinion, is the biggest snub.

  • BYU Wrap

    Sat, November 21, 2009 by admin with no comments

    For the second season in a row, Air Force showed signs that it’s close to breaking into the Mountain West Conference’s elite.

    And for the second season in a row, the final game of the regular season showed how far the Falcons still have to go.

    In 2008, it was a humbling 44-10 drubbing at TCU.

    This season, it was Saturday’s 38-21 drubbing at BYU.

    Don’t let the final score fool you. The Cougars were up 24-0 in the first half and 31-7 early in the third quarter. This one wasn’t close.

    And that was surprising. Yes, BYU has owned Air Force historically (The Cougars have a 24-6 all-time record against Air Force) and especially lately (Saturday’s loss was the Falcons’ sixth in a row to BYU – and all have come by at least two touchdowns).

    But Air Force seemed to match up better with the Cougars because of its standout defense and secondary (the Falcons led the nation in pass defense heading into the game). Not only that, players seemed to be ready to beat the Cougars. And it didn’t seem like bluster. I could be wrong, but I usually can tell when players are just saying they can compete with a heavily favored team and when they actually believe they can compete with a heavily favored team. I really think the Falcons believed.

    That’s what made it surprising – again, not that Air Force lost, but the manner in which they were dominated.

    “I was very surprised,” junior fullback Jared Tew said. “I thought we were going to come out strong and right off the bat it seemed like they had our number and we pretty much weren’t playing our game.”

    “We’re a lot better than we played today,” junior cornerback Reggie Rembert said. “So, yeah, I’m definitely kind of shocked.”

    The one upside of a loss like this is the Falcons still are a relatively young team. Players can learn from mistakes, and they should remember the sting of this blowout. And maybe in the future they can find a way to compete with the Cougars.

    “It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be hard,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said of catching up to the top teams in the conference. “But it’s doable, and it should be doable. That is to be a program that gets up and (will) go play in a game like this and be able to take a game like this right down to the wire and find a way to win it.”

    Other thoughts:
    -It looks to me like either the Armed Forces or New Mexico Bowls for the Falcons.

    Barring a shocking upset loss by TCU in its regular season finale next weekend (at home against woeful New Mexico), the Horned Frogs are heading to a Bowl Championship Series bowl game. Utah and BYU, which will finish second and third in the conference in some order, likely will go to the Las Vegas and Poinsettia Bowls.

    So the Armed Forces and New Mexico Bowls, which share the third pick, will fight over Air Force. I know the New Mexico Bowl badly wants the Falcons (it has for the last couple years). But Armed Forces Bowl reps aren’t opposed to taking them for the third straight year.

    For Air Force? Well, I’m not sure heading to the same bowl site for the third straight season is the best situation for fans. But the Falcons played at New Mexico this year, so if they go to the New Mexico Bowl, it will be their second trip to Albuquerque in four months.

    Recruiting-wise, it’s a no-brainer. Of the 44 players listed as offensive and defensive starters and backups heading into Saturday’s game, 14 are from Texas. Zero are from New Mexico.

    -Ben Cochran’s numbers weren’t too pretty (14 carries, 47 yards; 5-for-18 passing for 88 yards, one touchdown and one interception), but I thought he did really well considering how difficult a situation he faced.

    The guy had played only garbage snaps this season – and remember, he was playing safety in the preseason. But he came into the game in a tough environment with his team trailing the 19th-ranked team in the country 17-0 and handled himself well.

    “I think he played very well,” Tew said. “Coming up in a big situation like that against a Top 25 team, with not that much experience and right when he came in making that big play to (Josh) Cousins, that was huge and definitely gave us a spark. He definitely stepped up and we know we can count on him.”

    -Max Hall was tremendous today. I thought there were times when Air Force had good coverage on receivers, but he put the ball in about the only two foot by two foot space that it could be caught. He completed 19 of his first 22 passes, and one of the incompletions was a drop and another was one he threw away intentionally. That’s astounding.

    I also like the passion with which he plays. He’s fired up, and he loves to play the game and he loves to win – clearly, he’s won more than any BYU quarterback ever. And that’s something.

    So with all that said, he needs to cut out some of the taunting and celebrating and the complaining to the refs that he did after the first touchdown was called back. Plain and simple, he’s too good a player to have to act like that.

    -After writing my article about how Air Force was on pace to set the record for fewest turnovers in a season and that it hadn’t turned the ball over more than twice in a game all season, I wrote in the blog about how nobody believes in jinxes more than me. So, to Air Force fans, I’m sorry.

  • Sunday Morning Links

    Sun, November 1, 2009 by admin with no comments

    The stories from Fort Collins:

    -My game story deals with the offfense’s breakout performance.

    -Columnist David Ramsey wrote about quarterback Tim Jefferson.

    -I wrote a sidebar on the play of the game, Jefferson’s 34-yard completion to Kevin Fogler.

    -Ramsey wrote a sidebar on CSU’s collapse after a 3-0 start.

    -My notebook deals with the slot receivers, Reggie Rembert, a milestone for Asher Clark and more.

    Also, here’s a story on Air Force hockey’s loss at Canisius.

  • Tuesday Notes

    Tue, October 27, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Air Force is two victories away from becoming bowl eligible for the third time in Troy Calhoun’s three seasons at the academy.

    But Calhoun said today he isn’t thinking about getting two victories. Just one this Saturday at Colorado State.

    “You’ve got to get one,” he said. “This isn’t like stairs, where you can jump up three steps. You’ve got to get one. And the one’s going to be hard. But it’s doable.”

    Bombs Away: Air Force will see a unique offense on Saturday.

    Colorado State mashes with the running game but also takes lots of deep shots down the field. Probably more than any other team in the conference.

    “They’re really a unique combination that way,” Calhoun said. “What they do is physically, I think with their offensive line and their tailback position and being a two-back team, they’re able to run it downhill. We probably haven’t played a team yet, just in terms of pure commitment to being a downhill squad, like we’re going to see on Saturday. And I’m sure size-wise that’s something they’re going to try and mash on us. And then the other part, what they’re going to do, they’re going to throw the ball down the field.”

    Said Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild: “It’s just our mode of operation on offense is to try and run the ball at you and then throw it over your head. … We’re going to try to throw the ball over the top of the defense a number of times during the game. That’s just our approach to offensive football here.”

    Dietz Update: Calhoun said today he’s talked with sophomore quarterback Connor Dietz since Dietz underwent surgery on his right hand.

    “He’s naturally a little bit disappointed,” Calhoun said. “I think anybody that’s competitive and anybody that’s got that much fire in you, which he does, you want to play.”

    Calhoun said because Dietz’s right hand is his dominant hand, “It’s not just football. He’s taking over 18 semester hours right now. You think about something as simple as taking a note.”

    Asked if he would help Dietz with his school work, Calhoun said, “I don’t think he’d want me to do that. He saw my grades when I was a freshman and sophomore at the academy.”

    Other Personnel Matters: Not much of an update on Reggie Rembert, who left last Saturday’s game at Utah after absorbing a pair of big hits on consecutive kickoffs. The junior cornerback/kick returner did not participate in practice Tuesday. “We’ve just got to wait and see,” Calhoun said.

    Senior safety Luke Hyder missed practice because he is sick, but Calhoun said Hyder will be fine for Saturday’s game at Colorado State.