A key moment in college football lore is that about a century ago, Texas A&M had to grab a 12th man out of the stands to complete a game. You’d think in the modern era of college football we’d never have a moment like that, but Navy had to grab a freshman quarterback out of its stands in the season opener against Fordham.
Midshipmen starting quarterback Tago Smith got hurt on a big gainer in the first half, and was later seen on crutches.
With an entire half to go, coach Ken Niumatalolo needed to make sure his backups were ready to go. Only one problem: One of those backups was in the stands, enjoying his first football game as a Navy student.
Freshman QB Malcolm Perry was not dressed to start the game. He was pulled out of the Brigade when Tago went down. Will wear #5 in 2nd H— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) September 3, 2016
Perry,didn’t dress for the team’s first game because he’s sick. He quickly got his gear on, and up 49-13, got in the game.
Perry, whose parents are both retired Army veterans, was listed as one of two third-string quarterbacks, but went into the game ahead of fellow third-stringer Zach Abey. Up multiple scores with the team's QB1 on crutches, the team presumably wanted to preserve backup Will Worth.
Most conferences place a limit to how many players a team can dress for road games, meaning they have to provide a pregame list of which players on their roster are eligible. However, those restrictions typically don’t apply for home games. That means Navy was allowed to play any player on its roster in the game, including Perry. But that also raises the question of why Navy didn’t choose to dress Perry if he was just one injury away from potentially playing.
So Navy now has a modern day version of the Aggies’ famous story. And their student base is a legit corps of 5,000 soon-to-be servicemen. So they’re basically Texas A&M but better? Bye, logging out before I get any emails.