Former Newsome High three-way star Will Worth entered his final season at Navy one injury from the Midshipmen's starting quarterback job.
That injury has surfaced.
Navy confirmed Monday that QB Tago Smith tore the ACL in his right knee early in Saturday's season opener against Fordham, meaning Worth will start this weekend's American Athletic Conference home opener against Connecticut.
Smith was hurt at the 13:12 mark of the second quarter of the Midshipmen's 52-16 victory. Worth replaced him, throwing a 57-yard touchdown pass and running for an 8-yard score.
"If Tago can't go then Will's gonna be the guy," Niumatalolo said earlier Monday on the AAC's weekly coaches teleconference. "We feel fortunate to have Will. He's been in our system just like Tago has."
The son of two Navy officers, Worth totaled nearly 2,600 yards for Newsome in 2012, earning Tampa Bay Times Offensive Player of the Year honors for Hillsborough County. Operating the Wolves' wing-T system, he totaled at least 140 yards in all 13 games, and 200 or more in all three playoff contests.
He also led Newsome in tackles (104). In his first three seasons at Navy, he had only one pass attempt and 10 total rushing yards while contributing on special teams, but totaled 100 yards on Saturday before being relieved.
"He knows what we're doing; he's a tough, hard-nosed football player, great leader," Niumatalolo said. "He's the type of guy that you look here at the academy, he's just a phenomenal leader."
Including Worth, Hillsborough County now has four alumni currently starting for FBS programs. The others: Marshall's Chase Litton (Wharton), FIU's Alex McGough (Gaither) and Ohio University's Greg Windham (King).