There hasn’t been this much talk in Washington about an offensive line since the 80’s. However, St. John’s head coach Joe Patterson features a front line that is being called the best in the WCAC. Drew Luongo, Mike Ward, and Ryan Whyte all stand 6’3” in height and weigh between 275 and 285 pounds. Not only will the size of the line make Patterson’s job easier, it’ll take some of the pressure off junior quarterback, Josh Johnson.
At first glance, Johnson looks more like a linebacker than a quarterback. But it doesn’t take much to see why he’s the Cadets starting QB. Johnson has an extremely live arm and can get the ball downfield in a hurry. He’s very exciting to watch and proved that last year when he came in with St. John’s trailing to Gonzaga and led the Cadets to victory. Johnson is more of a pocket passer but can run if needed. With the size of the offensive line, however, Johnson will most likely have time to get the ball to his receivers, especially junior Delonte Armstrong.
Armstrong is an extremely fast receiver (4.5, 40-yard dash) who was third-team All-WCAC last year as a defensive back and should be Johnson’s first option at the receiving position. At running back, senior Stephon Hampton will lead the Cadets on the ground. Hampton is a third-year varsity player who will play both offense and defense, which just might be the Achilles heel of this St. John’s team.
Staying healthy is a must if this team is going to succeed. After graduating 16 players last year, the Cadets feature a team that has less than 30 players on the roster. According to Coach Patterson, eight players will be going both ways for St. John’s. However, the Cadets have looked good on the field, especially in a scrimmage against Georgetown Prep where the Cadets dominated the Little Hoyas on both sides of the ball. Antwon Dailey, who will be splitting carries with Stephon Hampton, ran for one touchdown and returned a fumble for another. St. John’s defense held Prep scoreless the entire time the first-string offense was in the game and looked very impressive in the process.
Coach Patterson, who is entering his second year as head coach, went 7-4 last year and made the playoffs. The offense scored more than 30 points four times while holding opposing offenses to seven points or less three times during the 2004 season. The Cadets begin the 2005 season with a home game against Calvert Hall who they beat in the season opener last year 16-13.