The quarterback competition has reopened in Annapolis.
Both Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo and offensive coordinate Ivin Jasper said earlier this week that the position group is being evaluated. Dalen Morris, who started but did not finish the season-opener against BYU, still seems to be in the lead.
“Good thing about Dalen that I like is that he’s being positive,” Jasper told the Capital Gazette. “Football team comes first.”
In his first collegiate start, the senior from Huntsville, Alabama completed two-of-four passes for 16 yards and rushed seven times for two yards. Morris was on the run often and also took a sack in what was one of the worst displays of blocking by the Mids’ front-line in sometime.
After Morris, freshman Xavier Arline and sophomore Maasai Maynor seem to be the No. 2 and No. 3 candidates, while junior Tyger Goslin and freshman Tai Lavatai are on the fringes of the competition.
It’s unclear who will be starting under-center for Navy on Saturday vs. Tulane, but it won’t be Perry Olsen. The sophomore came into preseason camp as the presumed starter and successor to Malcolm Perry, but Morris overtook him within a week of camp. Still, Olsen played the second half vs. BYU. He decided to enter the transfer portal a week ago after a conversation with Jasper, according to the Capital.
“I respect his decision,” said Jasper, who has publicly critiqued Olsen’s decision-making. “Perry wants to be a quarterback and he wants to play, and he can’t do that here.”
Arline is an interesting prospect as he comes to Navy as a two-sport athlete for football and lacrosse. He was initially committed to UNC to play both, but things changed when Mack Brown returned to Chapel Hill more than a year ago. According to 247sports, Arline also had football offers from Army, Air Force, Fordham, New Hampshire, Rice and Stony Brook, and interest from a handful of Power 5 programs. An attackman in lacrosse, he was tabbed as the fifth-best recruit in his class, according to Inside Lacrosse.
Maynor was the Navy JV’s MVP last year. The 6-foot product of Jersey City has not taken a varsity snap. Coming out of high school, he also had offers from Cornell, Rutgers, Temple and Army.
Whoever gets the call Saturday, they’ll have to perform well on the road in New Orleans in what is the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.