Zach Abey is an American football quarterback who attended the United States Naval Academy. He played quarterback and wide receiver for the Navy Midshipmen football team.[1][2][3][4][5]

Zach Abey
161210-A-SW162-0482 (30772756663).jpg
Abey (No. 9) scrambling in the 2016 Army–Navy Game
Navy Midshipmen – No. 9
PositionQuarterback/Wide Receiver
MajorPolitical science
Career history
CollegeUnited States Naval Academy (2015–2018)
Bowl games
High schoolSevern (MD) Archbishop Spalding
Personal information
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight218 lb (99 kg)

College careerEdit

2015 seasonEdit

Abey entered the 2015 season as the fourth string quarterback, sitting behind Keenan Reynolds, Tago Smith, and Will Worth. He did not make a single in game appearance in 2015.

2016 seasonEdit

Abey fights off a tackle as he reaches the end zone in the 2016 Army–Navy Game

Abey began the 2016 season sitting behind Smith and Worth, but moved to second string after Smith suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener against Fordham and Worth became the starter. He appeared in the games the team played against East Carolina and SMU, performing mop-up duty during the large Navy wins. During the 2016 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game, Worth injured his foot and Abey took over for the rest of the game. The Midshipmen lost 34–10 to the Temple Owls. Abey was the starter for the Army–Navy Game, where the Midshipmen lost 21–17 to their arch rival the Army Black Knights for the first time since 2001. He also started for the 2016 Armed Forces Bowl, where Navy lost 48–45 to Louisiana Tech.

2017 seasonEdit

Abey, now a junior, earned the spot of starting quarterback. In his third career start against Florida Atlantic, Abey rushed for 200 yards and passed for 100 yards. This achievement made it the first time in Naval Academy history that a Midshipmen quarterback has done so in a single game. He was named the AAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week.[6]

Through the first five weeks of the 2017 season, Abey ranked fifth among all Division I FBS players with 656 rushing yards.[7] Despite the Midshipmen starting the season 5–0, Abey began showing signs of struggling with reading defenses and pitching the ball on perimeter option players (forcing him to instead run up the middle through the line of scrimmage). In October, he suffered a concussion against UCF and a shoulder injury against Temple.[8] Slotback Malcolm Perry replaced him at quarterback with the exceptions of the Notre Dame (injury to Perry) and Houston (moved back to slotback) games. Perry was eventually named the starter for the Military Bowl against Virginia. With his benching, Abey was considered for a fullback role, though head coach Ken Niumatalolo opted to keep him at quarterback as the backup.[9]

In the Military Bowl, Abey recorded 88 rushing yards as part of a Navy bowl-record 452 total yards on the ground, along with a bowl-high five rushing touchdowns, becoming the first player to score five rushing touchdowns in an FBS bowl game since Kareem Hunt in 2015. He was named the game's Most Valuable Player.[10][11]

Abey concluded the 2017 season with 1,413 rushing yards, the second highest in school history behind Napoleon McCallum's 1,587 in 1983.[11]

2018 seasonEdit

Perry became the permanent starting quarterback for the 2018 season, while Abey was moved to wide receiver.[12] After starting six games at receiver and missing the game against Air Force with a knee injury, Abey became the backup quarterback against Houston behind Garret Lewis when Perry moved to slotback. Abey returned to the starting quarterback role against Cincinnati.[13]

Navy ended the season 3–10.


NCAA career statistics
Navy Midshipmen
Season Games Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yards Avg Lng Pct. TD Int QB rating Att Yards Avg Lng TD
2015 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 5 20 35 352 10.1 64 57.1 1 4 128.2 70 384 5.5 55 6
2017 12 31 72 805 11.2 79 43.1 7 7 149.6 293 1413 5.0 75 19
2018 11 12 28 306 8.8 73 42.9 1 2 114.2 125 306 2.4 15 14
NCAA career totals 29 63 135 1403 10.4 79 46.7 9 13 136.7 488 2103 4.3 75 39

Post-college careerEdit

After graduating from the Naval Academy in May 2019, Abey was an assistant coach for the Midshipmen through the 2019 season before serving as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.[14]


  1. ^ "NAVYSPORTS.COM - The Official Web Site of Naval Academy Varsity Athletics - Zach Abey Bio".
  2. ^ Johnson, Richard. "Meet Zach Abey, the QB whose first career start is in Army-Navy".
  3. ^ "Zach Abey".
  4. ^ Sports, Fox. "Zach Abey - QB for the Navy Midshipmen".
  5. ^ "Navy QB Zach Abey ready for his second chance".
  6. ^
  7. ^ "FBS (I-A) Player Rushing Statistics - 2017". Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  8. ^ "Zach Abey Questionable As Navy Looks To Rebound Against SMU". PressBox. November 10, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Wagner, Bill (December 26, 2017). "Malcolm takes the helm: Perry era at Navy begins with Thursday's Military Bowl". Capital Gazette. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Associated Press (December 28, 2017). "Zach Abey's 5 TDs help Navy beat Virginia 49-7 in Military Bowl". USA Today. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Wagner, Bill (December 28, 2017). "Quarterback tandem of Abey, Perry leads Navy to 49-7 rout of Virginia in Military Bowl". Capital Gazette. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  12. ^ Wagner, Bill (April 30, 2018). "Navy moves former starting quarterback Zach Abey to wide receiver". Capital Gazette. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  13. ^ Wagner, Bill (November 7, 2018). "Abey happy to be back at the helm of Navy offense". Capital Gazette. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Pacella, Rachael; Mann, Alex (May 24, 2019). "Naval Academy superintendent says Class of 2019 has record graduation rate, number of students heading to grad school". Capital Gazette. Retrieved June 19, 2019.