For Navy’s Keegan Wetzel, rugged play is the only way

Mids LB also has a cerebral side

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Wetzel has a 3.89 grade-point average in systems engineering and is believed to be the only active major-college player to score 1600 on the SAT. But such wisdom doesn’t always translate to the field; for Wetzel, though, it does.

“He’s just so cerebral and understands the game and understands the flow and where things are going to be,” slotback Bo Snelson said. “I feel like he looks in the quarterbacks’ eyes and reads their minds because he knows what they’re going through with their progressions. He just knows where to be and does it so well.”

It’s made him invaluable for Navy, which has found its bandaged ‘backer an impressive example all season.

“He’s wrapped up everywhere, but he just continues to battle,” Niumatalolo said. “I think our guys have seen that. It would be easy for him to get in a red or green [noncontact] jersey, but he comes out in a normal practice jersey.”

Not to mention more than his share of medical tape. It isn’t a belated Halloween costume, but it sure helps make Navy’s defense a lot scarier.

NOTES: Niumatalolo said slotback Darius Staten (shoulder) is doubtful for Saturday after not participating in Wednesday’s practice. Kickoff returner/slotback Marcus Thomas (concussion) is probable. Safety Chris Ferguson, who missed the past three games with a dislocated elbow, is expected to play.

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