Navy Dismisses Starting Nose Guard Nate Frazier
Senior nose guard Nate Frazier is no longer on the Navy football team, Coach Ken Niumatalolo said Monday.
Commander Joe Carpenter, an academy spokesman, confirmed that the nature of the issue that led to Frazier's dismissal from the team is administrative and is not criminal. But "because this remains an ongoing administrative matter, the academy will not be able to provide additional details, in order to protect the individual's privacy," Carpenter said.
Frazier, a two-year starter, participated in the first two weeks of practice and was dominant in a team scrimmage on Saturday. As a junior, he tied for the team lead in tackles for a loss with nine and was particularly disruptive in Navy's shutout victory over Army (seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss).
"In my years here, we haven't had a nose guard like him," said Niumatalolo, who has spent 12 years in Annapolis as either the head coach or an assistant. "From a football standpoint, it's a big loss."
Defensive line was expected to be a position of strength for the Midshipmen, who open the season at Ohio State on Sept. 5. But two of their most experienced linemen, senior Mike Walsh and Matt Nechak, are working their way back from offseason surgery.
Senior defensive end Jordan Stephens moved inside to nose guard during Monday's practice. Walsh and Nechak are listed as ends, but both have experience playing inside as well. Junior Chase Burge, who is currently listed as Frazier's backup, will also get a look. Sophomore Jabaree Tuani, who had nine tackles for a loss last season, will remain at left end.
"We'll look for what the best guys are to play the run, play the pass and move those guys around that have been playing d-end," defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. "See if we can find a guy to play inside at nose."
-- Camille Powell