Ring just finished his second year in Annapolis, Md., and he started three games at nose guard during the 2012 season. Ring played in all 13 games last season and was listed as the starting nose guard on the depth chart by the end of the year.
At 6'2", 260 pounds, the sophomore from Lighthouse Point, Fla., gave defensive coordinator Buddy Green a strong and athletic anchor in the heart of his 3-4 defense that could help stop the run. He only recorded 17 tackles and one sack last season, but he had the ability to eat blocks and free up the Navy linebackers to make tackles. Going into the 2013 season, Ring was expected to be one of the key returning starters the team could count on.
Next on the depth chart at nose guard for the Midshipmen is sophomore Bernard Sarra. Sarra has good size for the position at 6'1", 303 pounds and he's coming off a strong spring in which he received the Admiral Mack Award for being the player who improved the most during the spring. With Ring no longer around, Navy will need Sarra to continue to improve and be ready for significant playing time once the season starts.
Navy's defensive line is one of the more disadvantaged units in college football. Because of the physical requirements at the Naval Academy, the defensive linemen on the football team are usually facing much bigger players who have the ability to wear them down over the course of the game. Losing a player like Danny Ring puts that much more pressure on the rest of the lineman on the team.
It seems fitting since pressure and adversity is exactly what individuals at the Naval Academy sign up for.