Let me first begin, however, by reviewing our 2005 season. We went into it concerned about three (3) major areas:
Overall, I was pleased with our season, but somewhat disappointed in our last game versus Navy. I do not, however, want to allow thirty-one minutes of not-so-good football to distract from the progress we made in 2005. Our loss to Navy only strengthens our resolve to win that important game.
In summary, we made some improvements but we are still climbing the mountain. Below is a listing of some accomplishments:
* 1st four game winning streak since 1996.
* 37th best Defense in the country.
* 10th best Pass Defense in the country.
* Zac Dahman, QB, accomplishments:
* All-time career total offensive leader in the history of West Point football.
* Career passing leader in:
* Most career 200 yard passing games.
* Ranked 2nd in history of Army football for touchdown passes.
* Carlton Jones, RB, accomplishments:
* 2 consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons.
* 2nd in career rushing in history of Army Football.
* 3rd in career all-purpose yards.
* Scott Wesley, RB, became the #1 Kick-Off Return Specialist in total yards in the history of Army Football.
Now for an update on recruiting. Up to this point, it has gone well. We currently have twenty-eight commitments to our prep school, and twenty-nine direct commitments. We have one more weekend of visits, and are hopeful of having around thirty-five direct commitments, and around forty prep commitments. The numbers are good, and we are equally pleased with the quality of the student-athlete we are bringing into West Point. You never know how any class is going to turn out until they have been here a year, but I have to say at this time, we are pleased.
Looking to 2006, our schedule is a tough one. It includes road games with Texas A&M in San Antonio, Texas and Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. TCU, the eleventh ranked team in the country in 2005, will visit us in October, and as always, we have our rivals, Air Force and Navy, both with good returning squads. Offensively, we must find a new quarterback, running back and tight end. We return every offensive lineman in our program, and have a good collection of receivers returning. There will be stiff competition in the spring at quarterback and running back. Regardless of who wins out, we will be inexperienced. Tim Dunn should prove to be a very adequate starter at tight end since he has had extensive playing time. Defensively, we must fill both corner spots and one defensive tackle spot. We will be very inexperienced at corner regardless of who wins the position and we lost three key performers at defensive tackle; although junior Tony Fusco (6’00", 290) does return as a starter.
All in all, we return eight starters from 2005 on offense, and seven/eight starters on defense. Both kickers are back (a big improvement in 2005), but we must find a return specialist. We lost a good one in Scott Wesley.
Our off-season program is now in full swing and we are anxiously working toward our test week in March to measure our improvements. Spring Ball begins Tuesday, March 28th, and concludes with our Black/Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 22nd. We are hopeful some of you can get back for our spring game.
Speaking for all of our coaches and players, we thank you for all you have done for us. Hopefully, we can make you proud in 2006! If we don’t see you in the spring, we look forward to seeing you at our annual golf outing in July!
Coach Bobby Ross