I was reminded today that the 2007 season won’t be senior tight end Travis Dekker’s last at the academy. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Albuquerque native broke his foot between his freshman and sophomore seasons, sat out his sophomore year (2005) and received an extra year of eligibility, which he’ll use in 2008.
With his size (6-foot-4, 245 pounds) and his athleticism, Dekker – and the Falcons’ tight ends in general – was surprisingly underused in 2006. Dekker was the only tight end to catch a pass during the season, and he had just four.
He should have many more this year.
“I feel like they’re finally kind of just using what we’ve had, but now they’re kind of exploiting it,” Dekker said. “Which is good. I feel like we’ll definitely be a much more integral part of the offense.”
No wonder Dekker referred to Calhoun as “The Mastermind.”
Who stood out: Senior wide receiver Devin Hart. After playing football his freshman year and part of his sophomore year, Hart did not play last season. But Hart, who also competes for the academy’s track team, was lured back to the gridiron by the new coaching staff and some of his fellow seniors.
Hart has been limited in the preseason due to a bruised ankle tendon. But his speed is intriguing. And Wednesday in practice he broke off a route and jumped to make an impressive grab along the sideline. If he can get healthy, I could see him giving Chad Hall a break at the “X” wide receiver position early in fourth quarters when opposing defenses are tired and his speed becomes more of a factor.
Lasting image: At the end of practice, Air Force’s offense practiced its Hail Mary play – three receivers go deep, ending up in a line with about five yards between each of them (think one at the goal line, one at the 5-yard line and one at the 10). The ball is thrown in the direction of the middle receiver with the other two looking at him (in other words the receiver on the goal line facing back toward the offense, the receiver on the 10 with his back to the offense).
After that the Falcons practiced what many teams call the “victory” formation – when the quarterback takes a knee to run out the clock.