LBs Palmore, Powell partners for defense
Versatile players have developed into true assets for Midshipmen
Palmore & Powell. It sounds like a law firm, and if it were, the partners would be defense attorneys.
D.J. Palmore and Josiah Powell have really stepped up to a higher level as the starting outside linebackers for the Navy football team. The versatile performers have developed into playmakers for the Midshipmen while making their position a strength of the defense.
“It’s a veteran group that is playing pretty well right now,” Navy outside linebackers coach Justin Davis said of his unit. “They can always play better, but for the most part I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen so far.”
Palmore, who plays the outside linebacker position known as “raider,” leads Navy with five tackles for loss and three sacks. The 6-foot-3, 236pound junior has 22 tackles and has contributed two pass breakups, a forced fumble and blocked kick.
“One of D.J.’s best assets is that he really understands football. He knows the game,” Davis said. “As a junior he is bigger and stronger, older and more mature.”
Powell, who handles the “striker” spot, is right behind his running mate with 21 tackles and 31⁄ for loss. The 6-foot-3, 224-pound senior was one of the heroes of the Houston upset with two interceptions, one of which he returned 34 yards for a touchdown. “I think Josiah’s biggest deal right now is he’s confident. He’s understanding everything so much better now and that is showing out on the field,” Davis said. “Josiah is kind of coming into his own this season. He’s showing great instincts and making a lot of plays as a result.”
As a plebe, Palmore ascended the depth chart over the course of the season and played in five of the last seven games. He saw extensive action against South Alabama out of necessity, because of injuries, and responded with three tackles.
Palmore started all 13 games at raider as a sophomore and was solid with 36 tackles (five for loss), two sacks and two fumble recoveries. The Tennessee native acknowledges that the experience he gained a year ago is Saturday, 3:30 p.m. TV: CBS Sports Network Radio: 1090 AM, 1430 AM Line: Memphis by 21⁄
Linebacker Josiah Powell returns an interception for a touchdown against Houston; the senior had two picks in the game. He has 21 tackles and 31⁄ for loss this season.