Kwesi Mitchell is Navy’s lone returning starter in the secondary. With that in mind, it seemed clear he would play a major role somewhere for the Midshipmen as a senior.
A starter at cornerback in 12 of the Mids’ 13 games last year, Mitchell’s name dotted the top of the depth chart at three positions during camp.
His destination for Saturday’s opener against Delaware: Rover, the safety spot Wyatt Middleton manned the last four season.
Don’t expect any complaints out of Mitchell, who enjoys the possibilities that come with playing safety.
“I always like moving back there to safety,” Mitchell said. “You have more freedom to roam around. Wyatt made tons of plays and Emmett [Merchant] made tons of plays. it’s a fun position to play.”
And an important one. Mitchell started spending more time at safety after an injury early in camp, and in retrospect it seems like an obvious move.
Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green values versatility among his defensive backs, and the rover plays a large role in lining up the secondary. Placing the unit’s most experienced player there makes some sense.
“Kwesi can play every spot,” Green said. “He’s an experienced guy. He played that position when he was a sophomore, and he’s played nickel. He’s got a lot of reps at that rover spot and he knows the defense. He can make the calls and he can get us lined up.”
—- Patrick Stevens