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UConn Football Preview: Linebackers


Connecticut LB Scott Lutrus is on the preseason Bednarik award watch list, recognizing the nation's best linebacker.Scott Lutrus, Lawrence 'Bama Wilson and Greg Lloyd Jr. are the heart of the Connecticut defense. All three are ballhawkers who always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Lutrus, now a junior, busted onto the scene in the 2007 spring game, picking off three passes and returning one for a 91-yard score. He did not disappoint the following season, finishing third in tackles with 107 and was named a first-team Freshman All-American.

As a sophomore a year ago, Lutrus picked up right where he left off, leading the team with 106 tackles.

Named a captain in the spring, he ran into some trouble off-the-field when he was arrested for 'interfering with an officer' during an incident that involved his brother. All charges were subsequently dropped as the whole thing was out of character for a person that found himself on the Big East All-Academic team in 2008.

Putting all that behind him, Lutrus has remained a captain, a bode of confidence from Randy Edsall for sure, and has been named to the 2009 preseason Bednarik Award Watch list, an award that is given to the nation's top linebacker each year.

'Bama Wilson, a second-team Freshman All-American in 2007, when he finished second on the team in tackles (113), continued his stellar play as a sophomore in 2008. In perhaps the most exciting win of the season,  Wilson picked off a Hunter Cantwell throw late in the fourth quarter and returned it 45 yards for the go-ahead score to give the Huskies an emotional win at Louisville, after starting QB Tyler Lorenzen went down with a broken foot. He finished the year with 73 tackles, once again second on the team and looks to build off his first two seasons.

Then there is Greg Lloyd Jr., the son of the former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Greg Lloyd. The junior middle linebacker returned to the Huskies in the Internationl Bowl after missing the final two regular season games due to 'personal reasons.' Lloyd, who provides an intimidating presence in the middle, had 56 tackles a year ago, when he started nine of the first ten games.

Should any of the trio experience an injury, the Huskies are a little short in terms of depth at the linebacker position. Greg Robinson, a junior who is most remembered for his stop of Matt Grothe at the goaline during UConn's first-ever win over a ranked opponent (South Florida), is the only other linebacker in the two-deep to see the field for the Huskies.

Redshirt freshmen Jory Johnson and Sio Moore, who have both done some good things in camp, are untested should they need to be thrown into the fire.

However, entering 2009, the linebacking position is the strongest it's been since Connecticut moved into the Big East, which is saying something considering the past talent that has roamed Rentschler Field in the past six seasons.