Football Fall Camp Report - The Linebackers
Aug. 28, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. -
In our last preview, we started to take a look at the 2012 Fordham University defense with a preview of the defensive line. Today we'll continue to concentrate at the defense with a peek at the 2012 linebackers.
The linebackers had a solid season last fall, with the top three 2011 tacklers coming from the unit, led by senior Michael Martin, one of seven team captains for 2011, junior Jake Rodriques. They will be joined in the starting lineup by sophomore Austin Hancock, who missed most of the season with an injury.
Martin, a two-year starter at linebacker who was also named Preseason All-Patriot League, is coming off a 2011 season in which he led the Rams with 94 total tackles, 51 solo, including three for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also had two pass breakups and one forced fumble. Martin finished sixth in the Patriot League in tackles/game (8.5) and recorded double figures in total tackles in a game three times. He made a career-high 15 tackles, 12 solo, against Lehigh and finished with 13 stops, seven solo and one for loss, at Lafayette.
Over his career, Martin has compiled 207 total tackles, 118 solo, including eleven for loss and 6.5 sacks.
Rodriques appeared in all eleven games as a sophomore, starting ten at inside linebacker. He finished the season with 69 total tackles, 44 solo, including five for loss and 1.5 sacks, ranking third on team in total tackles. He also had one pass deflection. Rodriques made a season-high eleven tackles, including five solo and one for loss, at Penn, and finished with nine tackles, eight solo, including two for loss at Rhode Island. He also recorded eight total tackles, six solo, including two for loss and 1.5 sacks in the win over Columbia, and eight more, two solo, in the season opener at Connecticut.
Hancock saw action in the first four games of the season as a freshman before suffering a season-ending injury. He made seven solo tackles in the four games, including one for loss. Hancock opened his career with two solo stops in the season opener at Connecticut and he also had two solo tackles, including one for loss, in the win over Columbia.
DiFusco saw action in all eleven games as a freshman, starting one. He led all freshmen on the roster with 37 total tackles, 19 solo, including a tackle for loss. DiFusco made a season-high nine tackles, two solo, at Lafayette, including a tackle for loss and he recorded seven stops, two solo, at Colgate.
Hodge, who moved from wide out to linebacker last year, appeared in all eleven games as a freshman, finishing the season with 12 total tackles, ten solo, including one for loss. He made a season-high four tackles, three solo, at Army and recorded three total tackles, including two solo and one for loss, at Georgetown.
Merino also received plenty of experience as a freshman, appearing in ten games last fall and compiling seven total tackles, five solo. He finished with three total tackles, one solo, at Army and made two solo tackles at Colgate.
Forbes returns after missing the entire 2011 season with an injury. He played in four varsity games as a freshman, making one assisted tackle in the Yale game.
Barletta, a graduate of New Providence High School in New Providence, New Jersey, was a First Team Group 1 All-State pick as a senior and a First Team All-Union County and First Team All-Conference selection as a junior and senior. He made 105 tackles on defense and rushed for 1,551 yards and 22 touchdowns on offense.
Conroy arrives at Fordham after attending Bridgeton Academy in North Bridgeton, Maine, in 2011 where he was a member of the football squad and played in 2011 Annual Shriners All-Star game at Gillette Stadium. A graduate of Walpole High School in Walpole, Massachusetts, Conroy was named First Team ESPN All-State in 2010 and also earned First Team All-Bay State Conference for two years.
Khouri is a product of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was named Associated Press Division I Second Team All-State in 2011. He was also named Associated Press Division I First Team All-District in 2011 and a 2011 Plain Dealer All-Star. Khouri led St. Ignatius to a state title in 2011, finishing his senior season with 133 total tackles, including 35 for loss and 9.5 sacks.
Bielen, a graduate of Paramus Catholic High School in Paramus, N.J., appeared at linebacker and tight end for the Paladins last fall. He made 57 tackles as a senior in 2011 and was also a member of the basketball team.