ANNAPOLIS – Navy is taking 75 players to Ireland for Saturday’s season opener against Notre Dame.
Senior wide receiver Brandon Turner is not one of them.
Coach Ken Niumatalolo said Turner, who missed roughly the first two weeks of preseason camp after failing a conditioning test, will not make the trip. Linebacker Josh Tate, who missed a similar amount of time for a flunked physical readiness test, is traveling for the opener.
“It’s an in-house deal, a family deal. … He’ll be back for next game,” Niumatalolo said. “Him and Matt [Aiken]. Matt’s knee is doing better, so we’re hoping Matt will be back for Penn State and Brandon will definitely be on the bus as we go to Penn State in two weeks.”
Navy will likely start juniors Casey Bolena and Shawn Lynch at wide receivers against the Fighting Irish.
BUSH, GREENE GET CAPTAIN NODS
Slotback Gee Gee Greene and safety Tra’ves Bush will serve as Navy’s captains against Notre Dame.
The Midshipmen are going with game captains this season after the academy stripped Brye French and Bo Snelson of their captaincy for unspecified reasons over the summer.
Greene owns 27 career starts, the most on Navy’s roster. Among active defensive players, only Matt Warrick has started more games than Bush’s 12.
“I loved their leadership this offseason,” Niumatalolo said. “I thought they had a great camp. They’re two of our leaders. They earned it.”
BELTRAN’S QUIET CAMP
For all the attention placed on Navy’s kicking situation, hardly anything was mentioned about punter Pablo Beltran this month.
The sophomore was an unknown entering last season, but he averaged 37.5 yards per punt and stuck 10 of his 35 attempts inside the 20.
“Pablo’s been super-steady,” Niumatalolo said. “He’s done really good. He worked hard this summer. He was a steady punter for us last year and we expect the same this year. I love Pablo, but I don’t like to see Pablo on the field. I guess I’m too much of an offensive guy.”
Tuesday was Navy’s final media availability on this side of the Atlantic prior to Saturday. The Mids are to fly to Ireland after today’s practice, then have workouts Thursday and Friday in Dublin.