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Air Force football loses two top receivers after drop in cadet status

Air Force wide receiver Brandon Lewis is taken down after gaining 18 yards on a pass play in the second quarter at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., Nov. 3, 2018.

JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

By BRENT BRIGGEMAN | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) | Published: August 22, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Tribune News Service) — A pair of Air Force receivers expected to vie for starting jobs will not be available to the team because of academy issues.

“Cadets Brandon Lewis and David Cormier are not in good standing,” the academy said in response to an inquiry from The Gazette. “Cadets who have received a loss in status are not able to represent the U.S. Air Force Academy in any official capacity.”

The school offered no further explanation, leaving the nature of the offenses and the length of time the players will be unavailable in question.

Infractions over this offseason have taken a significant chunk away from Air Force’s offense. Fullback Cole Fagan, who ran for 997 yards last year as a junior, and tailback Joseph Saucier, whose 6.4 yards per carry led the team, were removed from the team. Both seniors remain cadets.

Add Cormier and Lewis, and that makes four potential contributors at skill positions the Falcons will be without.

“Got to earn a spot. Every day you earn a spot,” coach Troy Calhoun said Tuesday when asked why Cormier and Lewis were playing on the scout team instead of with the varsity. “That’s the way we work. You earn it here. Everything matters and you’ve got to earn a spot. That’s just the way we work.”

Lewis appeared in four games last year as a freshman, catching five passes for 100 yards. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound San Diego native with sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash speed was the team’s lone slot receiver returning with substantial experience at the position.

Junior Ben Peterson, senior Ben Waters and freshman Dane Kinamon are the top contenders for playing time at the position, and junior tailback Josh Stoner has also seen practice time at the spot.

Cormier was a football and basketball standout in Albuquerque with a 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame that had new receivers coach Ari Confessor in awe this spring.

“You look at him and you think that’s David Boston when he played at Ohio State,” Confessor said in March. “I’ve never seen a person physically look like that who played receiver. So, physically, he looks unbelievable.

“But more importantly, he works, man. He’s coachable. He listens to everything you say. You see him on the sidelines when he’s not in on special teams, he’s working on his craft on the sideline.”

Senior Geraud Sanders is expected to start at wide receiver, but the team has no experience behind him at the position.

©2019 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
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