The Black Knights had one of their best seasons in recent memory with a return to the triple option offense. Army runs their triple option a little different than Navy, using the fullback as the feature back more than the QB, and employing a Tight End. Army won the Heart of Dallas Bowl for their first bowl win since 2010.
There’s no argument, West Point is the hardest admissions standards in the United States. It’s not always easy to “reload” like it is at Clemson, LSU or Alabama. But like Navy, Army has to fit their schemes to the type of players they admit- quick, athletic, and intelligent.
Army must recruit a top flight QB to run their offense. Ahmad Bradshaw is a rising senior and while West Point had its first winning season since 2010, he isn't a stellar QB. He threw for 700 yards and a 4:9 TD:INT ratio while running for 4.5 yards a carry with 820 rush yards and 8 TDs. Bradshaw also doesn't seem to have a competent back-up, which is such a contrary issue Navy has where it seems they pulled a QB from the stands and still won games.
Inside Linebacker is another key area for Army and their 3-4 defense. Army loses both starting ILB the Mike in Andrew King and the Will in Jeremy Timpf. King logged 97 tackles with 11 TFL while Timpf had 112 tackles and 13 TFL. Army returns 8 starters on defense.
Another position important to a 3-4 and that Army needs to recruit is the Nose Guard position. While Army has been trying to 1-gap their defensive line, it's still necessary to get a bigger NG in place. Senior Andrew McLean is 270lbs and only picked up 15 tackles in 2016. The backups are two juniors who combined for 12 tackles and 0 TFL. They weight 265 and 240 pounds, which aren't common weights for Nose Guards where we think of Wilfork and Ngata. The Knights need to sign a couple of NG's and have two prospects on their radar at 270 and 290 pounds.