Wanted to get a few things into the blog that I had left over in my notebook from Air Force’s spring football sessions, which ended on Tuesday. I’ll post Part 2 tomorrow.
Wallerstein to lead way: Air Force coaches are expecting big things from sophomore right guard A.J. Wallerstein, the lone offensive lineman with considerable game experience.
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun noted Wallerstein (at 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds) has “a body that often we don’t have here at the academy.
“But what he has to go with it is he’s a really, really smart football player who enjoys the heck out of being out there. … He’s just got such a good work ethic, and he’s a guy that loves playing football so much that he’s going to make improvement continually. … He’s got a chance to be a really, really good player.”
Wallerstein is well on his way. Offensive line coach Clay Hendrix said he revisited the grades linemen were given last year after games and Wallerstein “might have played as well as any of those other guys when he played last year.
“There were quite a few weeks when he graded the highest. And that’s where we got to the point where he played a third of the time (at guard).”
Lamendola misses spring: Junior inside linebacker Ken Lamendola, whose 2009 season was cut short by a knee injury suffered against Navy, missed all of spring practice after having another surgery on the knee.
Calhoun said this week that Lamendola has “still got a ways to go.
“And it can’t be one of those where, all of a sudden on Aug. 20, it’s abra cadabra and, boy, now I feel perfect. He’s got an awful lot of work ahead of him. Now, he’s a guy that’s dedicated and loves football and knows what has to be done in terms of rehab, but not just in terms of rehab but in terms of physically getting himself fit and ready to crunch noggins.”
There’s no question Lamendola can play through pain. He played nearly the entire 2008 season – from the second week on – with a separated shoulder and a hernia. Despite those injuries he started every game and made a team-high 118 tackles.
TJ update: Sophomore quarterback Tim Jefferson was held out of most of spring drills as he was recovering from knee surgery. But he participated in some drills the last few practices, including seven-on-seven passing.
Calhoun said Jefferson didn’t fall behind significantly because of the time he missed.
Kons Ahead at Left Tackle: Freshman Jason Kons has established himself as the starter at left tackle heading out of the spring.
Kons, who attended the prep school, began to get time in practice last season.
“He’s going to be a really, really good player for us,” Hendrix said. “He just needs to continue to develop. … He has a great work ethic and does well in school.”