It’s unclear who Air Force’s quarterback is going to be in 2020. But whoever is under-center, they’ll sleep better at night knowing that two of the best offensive linemen in the country are protecting them.
The 2020 watchlist for the Outland Trophy was released Tuesday, and two Air Force players — Parker Ferguson and Nolan Laufenberg — were among the selections. Air Force is one of 17 schools with two players on the 85-player list honoring the best interior offensive lineman in the country.
Air Force rushed for 298.5 yards per-game last season, which was the best in the Mountain West and second-best in the nation. The offensive line also allowed just four sacks in 2019, which was the fewest in the nation. Anchoring that unit was Ferguson and Laufenberg.
The 6-foot-5 Ferguson is a native of Greenwood, Indiana and he has started 23 games over the past two seasons. Laufenberg, a 6-foot-3 native of Castle Rock, Colorado, has started 22 games over the past two seasons. Both will be seniors this upcoming season.
Around the Yard — Air Force
- Air Force has been picked to finish third in the Mountain West’s Mountain Division, according to a preseason poll. Based on reporting from Brent Briggeman at the Colorado Springs Gazette, some voters dropped Air Force in their rankings after news came out that star quarterback Donald Hammond III was no longer a cadet in good standing.
- The Athletic ($) examines Air Force football. Despite the program riding an eight-game winning streak, Troy Calhoun isn’t downplaying what they lost in the off-season:
“It has zero to do with this upcoming year. We lost 30 seniors, guys that played a lot of football — we’re starting all over again. We might struggle hard for a while. We have a long, long ways to go.”
- Air Force is moving to mobile ticketing for sports events. Brent Briggeman has more for the Colorado Springs Gazette.
- Former Amherst head coach Jon Thompson will be the new offensive coordinator for Air Force men’s lacrosse, according to InsideLacrosse.com. He replaces John Grant Jr., who left Colorado Springs to join Johns Hopkins. The Falcons were 4-3, and notched an upset road win over Duke, before the coronavirus ended their 2020 campaign.
- A two-star dual threat quarterback from Nebraska committed to Air Force. TJ Urban also had offers from Army, Wyoming, North Dakota and Illinois State.
- Air Force also picked up a commitment from three-star defensive tackle Roderick Brown Jr. The Texas native is listed as the 120th best at his position in the 2021 class. He also had offers from Army, Navy, Arkansas State, Houston and Georgetown.
Elsewhere in the intersection of the military and sports…
- College basketball fans, y’all remember the Plumlee’s, right? From Duke? Well, Marshall Plumlee is in the Army now and is the leader of a rifle platoon stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington. The New York Daily News has more.
- VMI also has a new head men’s lacrosse coach in James Purpura.
- The Citadel has added a handful of grad transfers in baseball and women’s soccer.
- Former Citadel men’s basketball player Lew Stallworth signed a professional contract with Baschet Club (BC) Timișoara, which plays in Romania’s top league. Stallworth played in Ukraine last year. A 6-foot-1 guard, Stallworth averaged 20.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per-game while shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range as a senior in 2018-19.