These picks will sometimes go up on game day, and sometimes the day before. Either way, they’ll be a D1scourse staple for both Navy and Maryland throughout the coming season.
And, yes, they’ll be scrutinized in the aftermath of each game.
Let’s get to previewing Navy’s opener against Delaware.
1. Kriss Proctor will run for 100 yards as he opens his senior season.
Navy is excited about Proctor, in large part because of his elusiveness and how well that fits into running the triple option. Expect Proctor, who rushed for 201 yards against Central Michigan in his lone start last year, to manage at least half of that against the Blue Hens.
2. Jabaree Tuani, who needs 14.5 tackles for loss to become Navy’s outright career leader in the category, will collect at least two TFLs against Delaware.
The senior is arguably the best defensive end to come through Annapolis in recent memory. Even though the Delaware offensive line is large and talented, Tuani’s final season will get off to a strong start.
3. Maryland transfer Travis Hawkins will do something exciting for the Blue Hens.
The cornerback and kickoff returner gets a fresh start to his career after playing sparingly last season for Maryland. Hawkins will be one of the most exciting players on the field, and either an interception, a big hit or a long kickoff return could easily be in the cards. Look out for the man wearing No. 1 for the Blue Hens.
4. David Sumrall will start at left tackle for Navy.
Purely a guess given the three-way race between Sumrall, Graham Vickers and Andrew Barker for this job throughout camp. Sumrall is the senior of the bunch, so the lean from the outside goes toward him. Don’t be shocked, though, if Vickers (a promising sophomore) gets plenty of work as well. This is the position most likely to change hands the most throughout the season.
5. With a bit of a scare, Navy will win its opener.
This one will be close for a while as Navy works out the kinks in a live game. Still, look for the Mids to depart with a victory by 10-14 points and win its opener for the first time since 2008.
—- Patrick Stevens