2021 Mountain West Media Days are in the Books
Plenty of intrigue on the roster released in Air Force’s media guide
The Mountain West Conference Media Day’s concluded last week, in near tandem with speculation around conference realignment to the likes of which the NCAA landscape has yet to see. In case your media filters are set to exclude Texas, Oklahoma or the SEC content (not that I would blame you if they were); The three were at the heart of discussions which suggest Texas and Oklahoma will be joining the SEC last week.
Speculation of the ultimate demise of the Big XII by way of the departing Sooners and Longhorns only became more likely with the recent statement which confirms these schools have not renewed their media rights with their current conference, which end in 2025. Oh, and the SEC also released a statement which confirmed the two requested consideration to join the conference. So there’s that.
This kind of move could be the catalyst which reshapes College Football. Buried in all of this inconsequential rhetoric as it relates to the 2021 season was something of much greater importance; the release of the Air Force Media Guide.
Why is this important? Because its July and we need something to talk about! All jest aside, it was our first real peak into the roster composition of the Falcons heading into the fall. There was no official “post spring” depth chart released, as many other teams issue. And with the anticipation of so many talented players returning after a their absences from the program in 2020, there was plenty to glean from their roster.
THE DEPTH CHART
If we’re being honest with ourselves, the depth chart that gets issued by Troy Calhoun and the Falcons offers very little insight on a gameday, much less one that is released in July. Many coaches use a depth chart as a means for ‘gamesmanship’ so this is nothing new.
Because of the lack of credence one can lend to their depth, we’re not going to exhaust too much time dissecting it in great detail. A perfect example would be Brandon Lewis not reflected as an offensive starter. There were a few things that are worth mentioning though, if not exciting even.
Brad Roberts was listed as a tailback. This may be subtle, or even a complete smoke-screen, but Roberts did most of his work as a fullback last season. And he did so with authority. This could be for a number of reasons, not the least of which being need at the position, or Roberts versatility.
Adam Karas is on the 2-deep. As a commit from the 2020 class, Karas was the second most highly rated offensive line prospect to enroll at the Air Force Academy. Offensive tackle is a position of opportunity, and its great to see a guy with so much promise revealed as just a sophomore.
Brice Honaker tabbed as the place-kicker. Last years leg, Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl returns in 2021, but is listed behind Honaker on the depth chart. TSR started out the season with a bang against Navy, but the field-goal game lost momentum as the season went on. Honaker by contrast was used on kickoffs, but not necessarily on field-goal tries.
Let’s quickly establish one key consider as it relates to any Air Force roster; it is never going to completely reflect all players who are participating on the football team. This is likely the case for multiple reasons, so you should never be surprised to see a player on game day, who you can’t find on the roster. But similar to the depth chart, there are still some interesting nuggets on the roster.
Nate Polk makes an appearance. In 2019 the Falcons landed what is to this day, their most highly rated recruit in Safety, Nathan Polk. Though he’s listed as a linebacker on the current roster, this is a name we’ve eagerly awaited considering his prospect rating out of high school.
Another 3-star safety, another appearance at linebacker. Gary Mossop Jr. was one of the more highly rated prospects when he committed to the Falcons back in 2018. Similar to Polk, he was recruited as a safety, but is listed at linebacker on the current roster.
Welcome back Dane Kinamon. Back in 2019, a freshman wide receiver earned meaningful reps, creating plenty of anticipation for the future. Fast forward one turnback season and a position change later, it’s great to see Dane Kinamon, but now rostered as a safety.
The rosters been bugg’d. The return of Milton Bugg III to the team has been eagerly anticipated. But the prospect of having two siblings share the field is a real one now for the Falcons, as 2020 commit Mason Bugg is also on the roster. Milton (Tre) is an All-Conference performer, while his younger brother Mason is a converted high school quarterback recruit, now joining him in the secondary.
Wesley Ndago has been sighted. In the depth chart portion, we remarked about sophomore Adam Karas making an appearance as one of the more highly rated recruits that the Falcon’s have had. Well the commit with the highest composite rating as an offensive line prospect is Wesley Ndago. In a revamped position group, its great to see the sophomores name appear on the roster.
The 2019 recruiting class is well represented. Beyond the household names like Roberts, Patterson or the recently noted Polk; the shear depth that recruits from the 2019 pose to supply looks to be substantial according to the current roster.
Air Force picked third in MW Mountain Division https://t.co/J9rgf0XfIF
— Air Force Football (@AF_Football) July 21, 2021
While nothing included in the recently released media guide is set in stone, it does at least give an idea of how the team may look. If you would like to look at the full guide, its over 100 pages in length, and full interesting facts about the program, players and their rich history, it can be found on the Air Force Falcon’s official site (Here).
The most obvious thing people should take from the media guide is the confirmation of what we were all eagerly anticipating; a bunch of studs returning to the team from 2020 turnback years. Nearly every media source that covers the Mountain West (or College Football in general) has overlooked or dismissed the Falcons. They clearly don’t know what those between the lines in Colorado Springs do. They will soon enough though.