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The Against All Enemies All-CIC Team 2019

The staff at AAE voted and we are proud to present the All-CIC Team for the 2019 football season

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 14 Army v Navy Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the 2019 football regular season officially came to a close last weekend with Navy’s 31-7 victory over Army at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, the staff at AAE set out to show some love to the best of the best from the service academies this year.

It’s been a year of significant turnarounds, outstanding performances, and yes, some pretty big disappointments. But overall, we have seen tremendous play on both sides of the ball all year from our service academy student-athletes on the gridiron. And so, without further ado, we are proud to present your 2019 All-CIC Team!

Quarterback: Malcolm Perry, Navy

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 14 Army v Navy

Look, DJ Hammond had an absolutely terrific year guiding the Falcons to a 10-2 record and berth in the Cheez-it Bowl. We will get to him more later, because he deserves some recognition. But this was an unanimous vote among our contributors and for good reason. Perry put a stamp on the regular season last weekend with his 304 yard rushing and two TD performance against Army, but this choice was already locked up well before that game took place.

Perry has led the resurgence of the Navy football offense this year, and Coach Niumatalolo even went as far as to call himself “the moron coach” who moved Malcolm around and didn’t stick with him at quarterback last year. Perry has now rushed for 1,804 yards this season, which is the all-time single-season record at Navy, and he needs 117 yards to set the all-time FBS record held by Jordan Lynch of NIU. That’s good for 4th in the entire country behind some pretty darn good running backs. His 21 rushing touchdowns also puts him second in the nation currently in that category as well.

What’s really been the standout this year, however, has been Perry’s ability to simply take over games when needed. The Air Force game, Tulane game, SMU game, and of course, the Army game, all come to mind as outings in which Malcolm in some cases willed the team to victory. It’s also worth noting that it was not just his running ability and elusiveness that made his year successful. He also finished with over 1,000 passing yards as well, ending the regular season with 6 passing touchdowns to 3 interceptions.

Navy would certainly not have bounced back to reclaim the CIC Trophy, earn a share of the AAC West title, and get to 10 wins without Perry under center this year.

Running Back: Kade Remsberg, Air Force

Air Force v Hawaii Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Remsberg had a tremendous season for the Falcons at the slotback position. He ended his regular season campaign with 872 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns on the ground, meaning he needs just a 128 yard performance against a porous Cougars defense to hit the 1,000 yard club this year.

The junior from Kansas will be a huge component of an extremely dangerous Falcons offense next season, but he was pretty dang good in 2019 too. It seemed that when you needed big run after big run, Remsberg was the guy you could count on for Air Force to deliver. He had his best games in two of the bigger wins for the Falcons on the year, as he was the go-to guy against PAC-12 foe Colorado, rushing 23 times for 146 yards and a touchdown, and then stepped up when Air Force was relying on its third string quarterback against Hawaii, adding 91 yards on the ground and two touchdowns in that performance as well!

Fullback: Jamale Carothers, Navy

Tulane at Navy Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

If you would have asked anyone on our staff who would be All-CIC at fullback in early October, you would have gotten some love for Nelson Smith, Sandon McCoy, Connor Slomka, Timothy Jackson, and Taven Birdow. Each of those contributors were off to great seasons, and the name Jamale Carothers wasn’t known to anyone.

Carothers, who started the season on the JV squad before bursting onto the scene against Tulsa in the fifth game of the year, turned out to be an absolute stud the remainder of the way in his sophomore campaign, ending the season just behind Birdow and Jackson for most fullback rushing yards with 712 in just 8 games played. What was more impressive though was the touchdown numbers he racked up in those 8 games, scoring 14 on the ground and tying the Navy team lead with two through the air. That means Carothers averaged two touchdowns per game for the year in the games he played. His best game hands down was his 5 touchdown performance against Houston, in which he had 188 yards rushing and a 47 yard reception, totally taking over the game on offense at times and going untouched multiple times into the end zone.

It is safe to say Carothers will play a major factor in the Navy offense moving forward next year, and the team has discovered a game changer at the fullback position.

Wide Receiver: Geraud Sanders, Air Force

NCAA Football: San Jose State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

We knew going into the season that Air Force was going to rely heavily on Sanders in the passing game, even before we knew who would be taking the snaps under center and distributing the ball his way.

The senior from Frisco, TX responded in a big way, grabbing 29 receptions for 736 yards and hauling in 7 touchdowns along the way. This included three 100 yard receiving games on the season, including a 5 catch, 156 yard performance coupled with a pair of touchdown receptions against New Mexico that put an exclamation point on his year.

What may be the most eye-popping stat though is that for those who have enough catches to be eligible, Sanders is first in the entire country for average yards per reception at a solid 25.4 YPC!

Wide Receiver: Ben Waters, Air Force

NCAA Football: Air Force at Colorado State Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

While we expected Sanders to have a great campaign, we also wondered who else would step up in the receiving game for the Falcons this year and the answer was Ben Waters!

Primarily a contributor on special teams the past two seasons coming into the year with 11 tackles, the converted wideout responded to his new position with a tremendous 2019 season that nearly matched Sanders step for step. Waters finished the year with 20 catches for 646 yards and 7 touchdowns.

If he ends up with enough receptions following the bowl game to qualify, he could even eclipse Sanders yards per catch mark with an astounding 32.3 YPC right now.

It’s safe to say that the Falcons had a pair of wide receivers that played a significant role in the turnaround for Air Force this season as they went from back-to-back 5-7 seasons to a 10-2 record and berth in the Cheez-it Bowl!

Offensive Line: David Forney, Ford Higgins, Billy Honaker-Navy

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 14 Army v Navy Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Navy offensive line paved the way for the resurgence of the Navy football team in 2019, and these three played a pivotal role in that happening. Navy finished the regular season first in the country in rushing offense at 363.7 yards per game, nearly 70 yards in front of the next closest team in Army.

Forney was named first-team All-AAC for his efforts this year. Higgins was one of Navy’s four team captains, joining Malcolm Perry as the other offensive captain and being voted by all team captains within the Brigade as the Captain of the Captains for 2019-2020. And Honaker, a junior from Schertz, TX, occupied the right tackle spot starting in all 12 games this year.

Offensive Line: Scott Hattok, Nolan Laufenberg-Air Force

NCAA Football: Air Force at Colorado State Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Air Force saw a similar turnaround in 2019, thanks in large part to an offensive line unit that helped pave the way for third in the country in rushing at 292.5 yards per game and leading all service academies with 131 passing yards per game.

Hattok and Laufenberg were both named first team All-MWC for the years they had, and that earned them All-CIC honors from us as well!

Flex: Donald Hammond, III-Air Force QB

NCAA Football: Wyoming at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Normally in fantasy football, only wide receivers or running backs would be eligible for the flex position, but we decided to open up the All-CIC flex spot to any offensive player. Since the tight end position is not used as much by these three teams, we thought it would be worth it to recognize another player who should be in the starting 11 among SA offensive stars, and there is no doubt that Hammond is worthy of this selection.

The junior from Hampton, GA, who battled injuries at multiple points throughout the year, finished his 2019 regular season with 1,286 yards passing and 13 touchdowns thrown, leading all service academy players in those two categories. He also finished his year with 491 yards rushing and 11 rushing touchdowns, giving him 24 total touchdowns on the season.

He will be the focal point of the Air Force offense next year with Remsberg and Timothy Jackson, and should have the Falcons in line for another terrific season in 2020!

Defensive Line: Kwabena Bonsu, Army

NCAA Football: Army at Texas-San Antonio Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

It was certainly a season that did not meet expectations for the Black Knights, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t several players who deserved recognition for their performances on the year, and on the defensive side of the ball one of the positions they have to look forward to is at defensive line.

Kwabena Bonsu, the terrific sophomore, and Edriece Patterson, both had great years for Army, and it was Bonsu who was voted onto our All-CIC team for his campaign.

He finished his season with 33 tackles including 2 sacks as well as 2 fumble recoveries.

Defensive Line: Mosese Fifita, Air Force

NCAA Football: Boise State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The 330 pound anchor of the Air Force defensive line put an exclamation point on a terrific career in 2019 by having his best season to date, finishing with 45 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.

He also earned All-MWC first team for his efforts and is very much deserving of his spot on the All-CIC team for 2019!

Defensive Line: Jordan Jackson, Air Force

NCAA Football: Boise State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson, who will return for one more year to anchor the Falcons defense in 2020, had another terrific year as he continues to make his mark as one of the all-time DL greats for Air Force.

He finished the year with 38 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 passes defended, and a forced fumble, earning himself All-MWC honorable mention honors for 2019.

Linebacker: Cole Christiansen, Army

NCAA Football: Morgan State at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The senior and two-time team captain had a monster senior season at the MIKE spot for the Black Knights, finishing with 112 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. The leader on and off the field will be missed next year for the Army defense as his contribution and productivity have been top of the line the last three seasons.

However, this year, he took it to another level. His 112 tackles are good for a top 20 stat in the FBS in 2019.

Linebacker: Diego Fagot, Navy

NCAA Football: Army at Navy Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Fagot has had a monster season himself out of the MIKE spot for Navy. Only a sophomore and having had a great freshman campaign as well, he has a chance to go down as an all-time Navy great when it’s all said and done.

This year, he spearheaded the defensive turnaround under first year coordinator Brian Newberry, finishing his season with 93 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, an INT returned for a TD, and a forced fumble. All of that earned Fagot first team All-AAC honors on the year!

Linebacker: Demonte Meeks, Air Force

NCAA Football: Air Force at Colorado State Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Meeks was a part of a defense that finished the regular season as a top 20 team in both yards per game (16th) and points per game (19th).

Meeks anchored the linebacker corps, leading the team in tackles with 97 and finishing second on the squad behind Fifita with 4 sacks. He also added a forced fumble to his credit as well!

That performance was good for second team All-MWC and a spot on the All-CIC team!

Linebacker: Jacob Springer, Navy

NCAA Football: South Florida at Navy Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Springer is hard to place as he mans the STRIKER position for Navy, which is a hybrid safety-linebacker spot. However, since the AAC named him second team All-AAC at linebacker, we kept him there as well.

All the junior did this season was put up a remarkable stat line as he was disruptive game after game all year. He finished with 65 tackles, led the Navy defense with 8 sacks, had 2 passes defended, and 3 forced fumbles.

Cornerback: Elijah Riley, Army

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

We sung Riley’s praises all last year and this preseason and he lived up to the hype, as a major bright spot on Army’s campaign. The senior led the team in sacks with 4, passes defended with 6, interceptions with 3, forced fumbles with 3, and finished third on the team with 79 tackles.

He will absolutely be missed next year in the defensive backfield for the Black Knights as he has been a contributor all four years on the banks of the Hudson.

Cornerback: Milton (Tre) Bugg III, Air Force

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Bugg said he was going to take his game to another level during his junior season and he did just that. He may have only had 17 tackles on the year, but he led the Falcons secondary with 3 interceptions including an INT for a touchdown. He will be counted on in 2020 with the departures of Zane Lewis, Jeremy Fejedelem, and Grant Thiel.

Safety: Kevin Brennan, Navy

NCAA Football: Navy at Houston Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Brennan took off in his sophomore year, finishing second on Navy’s defense with 78 tackles, adding 4 passes defended, and tying for the team lead with 2 interceptions. He will be a huge part of a back seven in 2020 that is only losing one starter and will look to build on their success in Newberry’s second year with his defense.

Safety: Jeremy Fejedelem, Air Force

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Fejedelem finished off his Air Force career in style, and is preparing to cement his legacy in the Cheez-it Bowl against the Cougars of Wazzu. The senior from Lemont, IL who has been a significant contributor the last three years finished his 2019 regular season with 73 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 passes defended, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble, anchoring the safety position for the Falcons each of the last two years.

Kicker: Jake Koehnke, Air Force

NCAA Football: Colgate at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Koehnke faced some stiff competition from Navy freshman Bijan Nichols, but the senior from Carlsbad, CA ended his Falcons career with a 2019 season that saw him go a perfect 12/12 on field goals. This included 4 from beyond 40 yards and a long of 57.

Punter: Owen White, Navy

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 USF at Navy Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Owen White, who was a Ray Guy award semifinalist this year, ended his Navy career with a season that saw him average over 43 yards per punt, including 6 that went for over 50 yards, 15 being downed inside the 20 and 11 of his 36 attempts resulting in fair catches!

Long Snapper: Michael Pifer, Navy

NCAA Football: Navy at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Last but not least is long snapper Michael Pifer, who was named the top long snapper in the country earlier this year by Special Teams U and has been invited out to the NFLPA Bowl as he looks at a potential pro career like fellow SA long snappers Joe Cardona and Austin Cutting.

Just to recap, here is the AAE All-CIC team for 2019!

Quarterback: Malcolm Perry, Navy

Running Back: Kade Remsberg, Air Force

Fullback: Jamale Carothers, Navy

Wide Receiver: Geraud Sanders, Air Force

Wide Receiver: Ben Waters, Air Force

Offensive Line: David Forney, Navy

Offensive Line: Ford Higgins, Navy

Offensive Line: Billy Honaker, Navy

Offensive Line: Nolan Laufenberg, Air Force

Offensive Line: Scott Hattok, Air Force

Flex: Donald Hammond III, Air Force

Defensive Line: Kwabena Bonsu, Army

Defensive Line: Mosese Fifita, Air Force

Defensive Line: Jordan Jackson, Air Force

Linebacker: Cole Christiansen, Army

Linebacker: Diego Fagot, Navy

Linebacker: Demonte Meeks, Air Force

Linebacker: Jacob Springer, Navy

Cornerback: Elijah Riley, Army

Cornerback: Milton (Tre) Bugg III, Air Force

Safety: Jeremy Fejedelem, Air Force

Safety: Kevin Brennan, Navy

Kicker: Jake Koehnke, Air Force

Punter: Owen White, Navy

Long Snapper: Michael Pifer, Navy