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Air Force Academy cornerback finishes probation, may play against Navy

September 28, 2015 Updated: September 28, 2015 at 10:51 pm
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photo - Boise State wide receiver Matt Miller catches a pass over the defense of Air Force defensive back Gavin McHenry for a 9-yard gain during the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, at Falcon Stadium on the Air Force Academy, Colo.   (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Boise State wide receiver Matt Miller catches a pass over the defense of Air Force defensive back Gavin McHenry for a 9-yard gain during the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, at Falcon Stadium on the Air Force Academy, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

Air Force will have the services of two-year starting cornerback Gavin McHenry for Saturday's game against Navy.

The academy confirmed that McHenry, a senior, had successfully completed six months of conduct/aptitude probation and his status has been returned to a cadet in good standing.

McHenry lost his good standing as the result of an undisclosed incident in March. According to the academy, "he was restricted from participation in intercollegiate athletic competitions, club events, or musical and theater performances. His probation requirements included journaling, mentoring, counseling and initially restricted to the cadet area."

Falcons coaches had hinted that McHenry would be eligible at this point if everything went to plan. He practiced through fall camp and last week was taking reps with the second-team defense. He saw some time on Monday with the top unit.

McHenry's role on the team remains unclear, as Kalon Baker and Roland Ladipo have taken starting roles. Both have interceptions this season and Lapido leads the team in tackles.

"He's a great guy and it's great to have him back on the team," Ladipo said. "He handled the situation really well. He addressed the team as a whole, told everybody the situation and what was going on, and I think he handled it really well. It just goes to show that you might put yourself in a hole, but you have to dig your way out."

The Parker native started all 12 games in 2013 as a sophomore. McHenry played in all 13 games as a junior, but started just six as he split time with Justin DeCoud.

He instantly becomes the most experienced player in a secondary with first-time starters at three positions.

"We've been waiting all year for that," safety Weston Steelhammer said. "What he's done since he's been here has been great. It's some more depth back there. He's been practicing hard all season. To see him out there on Saturdays is going to be big for us."

Coach Troy Calhoun said Monday that McHenry will not be available to media this week, but he would be traveling with the team to Navy. The Falcons take all seniors on the trip, including the injured. They do not do this for all games, because of the limitations on size of traveling squad for conference games.

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