Stony Brook, N.Y. -
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Stony Brook's 2010 season opener at South Florida, its first FBS game, was a rough game to start to the season. On the bright side, the outcome forced head coach Chuck Priore and his staff to play true freshmen. Three year later, the plan clearly worked. Priore essentially has three starting linebackers entering the first season of CAA Football competition.
Pressed into action in just his second collegiate game, senior Jawara Dudley has made the most of his time at Stony Brook, playing in each of the last 36 games, including 31 starts. A two-time first team All-Big South Conference selection, Dudley statistically ranks as one of the top linebackers in program history. Entering 2013, Dudley ranks sixth in Stony Brook's Division I history with 201 total tackles.
Senior Reginald Francklin started Stony Brook's first FBS game against South Florida, but suffered an injury against the Bulls and was lost for the season. Since then, Francklin has solidified his spot as a starting middle linebacker. He made a career-high 10 tackles against Army and recorded an interception against Charleston Southern last season.
Senior Grant Nakwaasah joined Dudley to make their first collegiate appearances against American International in 2010. Nakwaasah has appeared in all but one game during that time, and has recorded 147 tackles in 35 games. He's also tallied 16.5 tackles for loss.
According to Priore, Dudley, Francklin and Nakwaasah will rotate equally.
Sophomores Julian Quintin and Jeremy Leggiero add depth. Quintin played in all 13 games last season, with most of his time coming on special teams. Leggiero saw limited action last season.
The group of linebackers is the strength of defense in 2013. Having the luxury of three players, all of whom could start, will be beneficial.
• Dudley has increased his total tackles in each of his three seasons
• Francklin made at least three tackles in eight of nine games last season
• Nakwaasah is approaching the top 10 in tackles for loss during Stony Brook's Division I history
• Quintin and Francklin each recorded their first collegiate interceptions against Charleston Southern
• Leggiero was an All-Long Island linebacker at Connetquot High School
Linebackers at a Glance
Players Yr. Ht. Wt. 2012 Stats
Jawara Dudley Sr. 6-1 230 81 TTs, 6.5 TFLs, 3 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FF
Reginald Francklin Sr. 6-0 230 33 TTs, 3.5 TFLs, 1 INT
Grant Nakwaasah Sr. 5-11 220 48 TTs, 5.0 TFLs, 3 PBUs, 1 sack
Julian Quintin So. 5-11 215 6 TTs, 1 sack, 1 INT
Jeremy Leggiero So. 5-10 220 1 TT