I am a candidate for USAFA and I am currently in the middle of completing my application and interview. I plan on going to MEPS in a few weeks to do early entry into the Navy. My plan has always been: a) Join the academy (if I am granted an appointment) or b) enlist in the Navy. I don't want to do ROTC. Should I have an issue getting out of DEP and going into the academy if I am granted an appointment? I am curious because it would be a different branch if I go enlisted, so would enlisting hurt me later on?
You need to talk to your recruiter about the contractual obligations of the DEP (Delayed Entry Program for those unfamiliar). When I was in DEP, albeit for the Air Force, we could be called at any time with a job and a ship date for basic training. If it is the same for the Navy, then there is a chance you could get that call before you hear back from a Service Academy.
My advice is to hold off on initiating the enlistment process until you know you are not getting an appointment.
If you do not get an appointment and end up enlisting, then consider the programs for enlisted troops to cross over to the dark side via Service Academy. The AF version is the LEAD program. The other services should have similar ones. It is possible to apply for a different service's Academy. A transition from enlisted Navy to AF officer is not out of the question.