How good is Ricky Dobbs?
Good enough to make a run at the Heisman Trophy?
Dobbs, coming off an MVP performance in the Army-Navy game, ran for a Navy bowl-record 166 yards and three touchdowns in Navy's Texas Bowl win over Missouri, his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game. He was also 9-for-14 for 130 yards and a touchdown through the air in the game and now returns for his senior season.
His 2009 numbers, like the quarterback-record 27 rushing touchdowns, are the kind of stuff legends are made of and there was even some Heisman mention at the end of the year. Now, there could be more.
In 2010, Dobbs, who hopes to be president of the United State some day and also hopes not to have to play with a cracked kneecap, which he did at the end of last season, should lead Navy to its eighth straight bowl game, especially since he has most of his cast of offensive characters returning with him.
The Mids will go to the Dec. 23 Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego if they are eligible.
Slotback Marcus Curry got into some trouble in the offseason when he tested positive for marijuana, but was able to prove he didn't know the cigar he was smoking had pot in it. He had Dobbs form a potent 1-2 punch for Ken Niumatalolo.
Spring camp hadn't started yet as this was being written so it's tough to get into things like position battles, but this is a veteran returning team with Dobbs leading the offense and safety Wyatt Middleton the main man on the defense.NOTES, QUOTES
SPRING OBJECTIVES: When you win 10 games, capped by a 35-13 hammering of Missouri in the Texas Bowl, and you then bring back 16 starters, there's really not a whole lot to concentrate on the following spring, other than staying healthy and just continuing to fine tune.
The main goal? Don't get quarterback Ricky Dobbs hurt. He is the key to what makes Navy work. The program was strong before he got there, but it's stronger now and he's the reason for it.
BUILDING BLOCKS: While the Navy defense is often maligned and overlooked because of the attention the option attack receives, this year's Navy team is truly about the offense. More accurately, it's truly about quarterback Ricky Dobbs, a College Football News honorable mention All-American last year.
Dobbs can beat you with his legs, with his arm, with his strength, and he's a winner who played the end of last season with a cracked kneecap. So, you know he's tough.
Safety Wyatt Middleton joins Dobbs as the Navy captains this year and this is a kid who always seems to be around the football.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "In the year 2040, I hope to run for president. Just in the grand scheme of things make the world a better place, but first start with this country and make it have a positive attitude across the world." -- Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs on his future.STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
2010 OUTLOOK: Is there any reason to believe the 2010 Midshipmen won't take the program to its ninth straight bowl game?
The Mids open the season against Maryland in Baltimore and there's Notre Dame at the New Meadowlands and other tough games, but this is a tough team and Ken Niumatalolo's third year should end the same way as the first two, bowling.
LB Vinnie Mauro -- Others wanted him, but he wants to be a fighter pilot. He also hopes to play baseball at Navy.
LB Evan Palelei -- One of two members of this class from Vegas, Palelei originally committed to Stanford but backed out when they stopped showing interest.
DE Daniel Godkin -- At 6-3, 225 pounds, the other half of the Vegas connection just sounds like a Navy DE.
SL Keith McBride -- Brought in to provide a little more bulk to the slot position, this kid has the speed to go with the strength.
--QB Ricky Dobbs was named honorable mention All-American by College Football News and was also named the Metropolitan College Player of the Year by the Pigskin Club of Washington, DC. He received the Frank P. Bolden Award.
--S Wyatt Middleton was tied for third on the 2009 Mids with LB Tyler Simmons. Both were in on 68 tackles and both return for their senior seasons in 2010.
--Middleton also had four interceptions, seven pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.
Previous Report: 03/02/2010