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Air Force football: Notes and observations from fall camp's second scrimmage

By Brent Briggeman, The Gazette, 08/20/19, 6:30AM PDT


Notes and observations from fall camp’s second scrimmage:

• James Jones IV started at cornerback for the first time, moving past Elisha Palmand Zane Lewis at the position he picked up a few weeks ago. Jones was a starter at safety as a sophomore in 2017 but missed the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. Jones said he was informed he would start a few minutes before the scrimmage.

• Freshmen quarterback Zach Larrier saw a large number of snaps and put his speed on display. He broke a long touchdown run and on another play bought time with his legs and then improvised by hitting tailback Chance Stevenson, who had broken from his route and was open deep down the sideline.


• Another freshman quarterback, Jake Smith, also had a strong scrimmage for the second straight week. It is already easy to envision a battle between Larrier and Smith in spring similar to the ones in recent years between then-freshmen Arion Worthmanand Ryan Brand, Isaiah Sanders and Miller Mosely and Donald Hammond IIIand Beau English. In each case, the winner of that position battle — Worthman, Sanders and Hammond — went on to start games as a sophomore, while the other transferred.

• Returning starter Kade Remsberg saw little action at tailback, but his backups were given opportunities that they used to show some savvy moves. Senior Nolan Eriksenfollowed a blocker into a hole off tackle, hesitated for a moment, then showed a burst of speed for a sizable gain. Junior Josh Stoner utilized a stiff arm on the edge to open himself up for extra yardage.

• Freshman slot receiver Dane Kinamon once again played with the second team and caught several passes. Freshman tight end Kyle Patterson, an Arizona native who chose Air Force over a slew of Power Five offers that included Alabama, also saw snaps with the upper varsity units.

• Sophomore receiver David Cormier, who has turned heads since arriving with his 6-foot-3, 225-pound size and background as a stellar football/basketball player from Albuquerque, missed practice early in the week after a minor injury suffered in the team’s first scrimmage Aug. 10. He entered late in the scrimmage Saturday against the lower groups and dominated — catching two long passes and a scoring throw from about 15 yards.

• Kicker Jake Koehnke, who returns after hitting 9 of 12 field-goal attempts last year, nailed a field goal from 52 yards and later added a boot from 47 yards that cleared the uprights with about 10 yards to spare.

• Some individual defensive highlights included an interception from outside linebacker Nathan King when sophomore quarterback Warren Bryan was hit while throwing (Bryan, who played with the third team, later limped off the field with an apparent ankle injury). Senior safety Jeremy Fejedelem dislodged a pass attempt from Kinamon with a big hit in the open field. And freshman linebacker Cade Carter, a three-star 6-3, 220-pound outside linebacker from Concord, Calif., made a tackle-for-loss by clinging onto a running back on the edge.

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