Humphreys gets boost from transfer, but roster still thin
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Aaron Mundy said he could hardly believe his good fortune when he spotted Jalen Barmer walking through the door of his office during summer training.
Barmer, a 6-foot, 230-pound senior, had stepped off the plane a couple of weeks earlier after transferring to Humphreys from Pocono, Pa., where he played high school football.
Somebody as big as he is normally would step into a starting line spot, but with speed to burn, Mundy has installed Barmer in the starting backfield, and already, his Blackhawks teammates are calling him Humphreys’ next big thing.
“He’s a good football player and a great kid, and the fact that he runs a 4.6 40 (yard dash) doesn’t hurt,” said Mundy, in his second season as coach of the Blackhawks, who begin the 2015 campaign Friday at Osan; kickoff is 7 p.m. “The PCS gods blessed us; they normally steal from you.”
Aside from Barmer’s ability, he brings to the table leadership and football knowledge, Mundy said, and is projecting him to start at middle linebacker as well. “He’s a solid kid. He’ll be the centerpiece of our offense and defense. He’s going to be a tired kid on Friday nights,” Mundy said.
Barmer is one of several experienced skills-positions players either returning to or joining the Blackhawks’ roster. Among them are sophomore Brice Bulotovich, a quarterback understudy a season ago and is now starting.
He has among his targets juniors Bashr Edmonds and Nate Hellams and sophomore Jordan Holden. “He’s a fast kid, a good athlete, a good blocker,” Mundy said of Holden.
Joining Barmer in the linebacking corps is Owen Williams, nicknamed “Thor” because of his long blond locks and hitting ability.
“He was the only one who could stand up to Jalen in practice,” Mundy said of Williams.
Overall, the Blackhawks are a far better team at hitting the opponent, and Williams is a poster-child example, Mundy said. “Last year, I had to push them to hit; this year, I’m having to pull the reins back.”
The problem, though, is a pronounced lack of experience in the line on both sides of the ball. And with so many players reporting to the team late, the Blackhawks’ ranks are perilously thin going into Friday’s opener; Mundy says he’ll only suit up 18 players at Osan.
“It could be a slow start,” Mundy said. “Our line is going to have to get better, we have to get up to game speed. Easier said than done. We’ll have some answers to some questions” following Friday’s opener.
While the ultimate goal remains playing host to the D-II title game come Nov. 8, “we have some hurdles before that,” Mundy said.