Seven Black Knights Named Preseason All-Independent

Robert Kough started all 12 games as a sophomore in 2012.

Robert Kough started all 12 games as a sophomore in 2012.

May 24, 2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio  –  Senior RB Raymond Maples, junior DT Robert Kough and junior FS Geoffery Bacon all earned first-team Preseason All-Independent honors from Phil Steele Publications. The group of first-team selections accounted for three of Army’s seven total honorees.

Junior FB Larry Dixon and junior OG Stephen Shumaker were second-team choices, while junior C Ryan Powis and sophomore LB Alex Meier picked up third-team accolades.

Maples enters his final season at West Point among Army’s all-top 10 in rushing. The Philadelphia native ranks sixth on the Academy ledger with 2,489 rushing yards, including 1,215 as a junior. Maples is one of only three players in Army history to reach the 1,000-yard mark in consecutive seasons.

Kough anchored Army’s defensive front last season, starting all 12 games. He led the Black Knights’ interior linemen with 42 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks. Kough was one of just seven Army players, and one of two defenders, to start every game of the 2012 campaign.

Bacon played middle linebacker in 2012 and was Army’s leading with 136 stops, the ninth-highest total in Academy history.  He moved to free safety during Army’s most recently completed spring practice sessions. Just four tackles short of 200 for his career, Bacon is on the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive player.

Dixon was Army’s third leading rusher as a sophomore with 839 yards. He was second on the team with six rushing touchdowns and was the only Black Knight to have at least 100 carries and average at least 6.0 yards per attempt. Dixon gained at least 100 yards four times last season.

Shumaker started all 12 games last season at right guard, and is slated to start the 2013 campaign at left guard. He helped pave the way for the nation’s No. 1 ranked rushing offense that set Academy records with 4,438 yards and a 369.8 yards per game average.

Powis was recently named to the preseason watch list for the 2013 Rimington Trophy which is given annual to the nation’s top center. He has started 17 games in his first two seasons, anchoring the offensive line that blocked for the nation’s top rushing offense in each of the past two seasons and its record-setting performance in 2012.

Meier played in all 12 games last season, starting 10 times. He was third on the team with 71 total tackles, making two behind the line of scrimmage. He also intercepted one pass and recovered two fumbles. Meier missed spring practice after suffering a knee injury in the season finale versus Navy.

A total of six schools will compete as Football Bowl Subdivision independents in 2013, including Army, Navy, Notre Dame, BYU, Idaho and New Mexico State.

Army starts the 2013 season on Friday, Aug. 30 versus Morgan State. Kickoff at Michie Stadium is set for 7 p.m.

Season, single-game and group tickets are on sale now for all five of the 2013 home games.  Season ticket packages start as low as $105 for the "Spirit Zone" section located in the northwest and southwest corners of Michie Stadium.  A sideline season ticket is priced at $170, and West Point faculty and staff seats are $145.

In addition to a discount for purchasing 20-or-more tickets, Army also offers a sales representative for the seamless organization of group outings. With plenty of tailgating opportunities and a full day of events unlike any other sporting event in the country, a visit to West Point is about more than just the game. Contact your Army group sales representative at 845-446-2375 or to book your day on the banks of the Hudson and experience the West Point tradition.

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