Our middle linebacker position features a great player. Our two outside linebacker positions also feature some pretty good names for the Eagles in 2011, some of whom are just beginning to come into their primes. Some of these were players that helped make Boston College’s rushing defense number one in the nation in 2010, and while that’s a tough act to follow, these dudes are up to the task.
Divitto played last year as a true freshman, and did a fine job as the second-string weak-side linebacker behind Kevin Pierre-Louis. KPL has stayed as the starter on that side, and with Mark Herzlich and Mike Morrissey’s departures, Divitto is now the starter at Sam. Last year, he made twenty tackles, one-half of which was for a loss, and he recovered two fumbles. He doesn’t have all of the speed that some of the other linebackers do, if you want to believe a stopwatch, but Divitto earned his keep as a freshman and should get at least as much playing time as he got last season.
Clancy was the third-string linebacker on the strong side last season, with Mark Herzlich and Mike Morrissey in front of him. Unfortunately, neither one is on the team anymore, so as a junior, he figures to see a lot more playing time. Will he start, I don’t know (the depth chart has him and Divitto essentially tied for the top line), but I do know he recorded six tackles last season in eleven games. I also know that he reportedly runs a 4.6 40, so the speed to succeed is there.
Lawrence was redshirted in 2009 and only appeared in three games in his redshirt-freshman year, so it’s hard to make a determination about what he’s done for this team and what he projects to do in 2011. What I do know about him, however, is that the Eagles beat out UConn for his services and that he is third on the depth chart here.
It was reported in March that LB Alexander DiSanzo had left the program. That appears to have been borne out, as he is not on the 2011 roster. The reasons would appear to be pretty clear: as a redshirt freshman, he started four games while appearing in all the rest, but last year, he only played in two games and amassed a whopping two tackles. He went from a lot of playing time his freshman year to virtually none last year, so with that all being said, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.
The whole linebacking corps is not a major cause for concern. In just the last few years, we’ve had some great names come through this bunch, and more are on the way. It would be a lot to ask of them to help the defense at large lead the nation again in stopping the run, but the talent is definitely there. Tomorrow, we flip to Kuechly’s other side, the weak side.