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2014 Training Camp Position Preview: LBs

August 6, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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During the month of August, LibertyFlames.com will preview each position on Liberty's football roster before the Flames open the season on the road at North Carolina on Aug. 30.

LibertyFlames.com continues its series today by looking at the Flames' linebackers, a position that has been a defensive leader on Liberty's squad year after year.

A linebacker has finished as Liberty's top tackler 11 out of the last 13 seasons, including last year when middle linebacker Nick Sigmon tied for the team lead in defensive stops with Walt Aikens (a fourth round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2014 NFL Draft).

Sigmon has been an anchor in the middle for Liberty for the last three years, having started 33 out of 34 contests (missing only one due to an injury). The Roanoke, Va., native finished the 2013 season with 62 total tackles, including 30 solo stops and a team-best 32 assisted tackles.

The three time All-Big South player also was one of seven Liberty players with an interception in 2013, helping the Flames finish the season ranked No. 5 in the country in interceptions (19).

Flanking Sigmon in the middle of Liberty's defense this year will be fellow senior linebackers Andrew Jauch, Dylan Lewellyn and Bobby Partilla.

Lewellyn served as Scott Hyland's understudy in 2013, and he will be looking to replace a three-year starter at weak side linebacker who finished his career as Liberty's active career tackles leader (175).

Lewellyn played in 11 out of 12 games last year, finishing the season with 20 tackles (10 solo, 10 assisted) to go along with three tackles for a loss, two pass breakups and a sack.

Jauch and Partilla shared time at strong side linebacker in 2013 and will look to do the same during their final campaigns at Liberty.

Jauch started the first four games last season and finished the season with 19 tackles (seven solo, 12 assisted). He also returned a blocked punt 30 yards for a touchdown against Kentucky Wesleyan.

Partilla started four out of the last five games of the year in 2013 and recorded 17 tackles (eight solo, nine assisted).

Juniors Miles Hunter and Jimmy O'Grady, along with sophomore Nick Newman, are likely to provide most of the backup coverage at this position.

Last year, Newman was one of a handful of true freshmen to have an impact on the season. However, he recorded his 15 tackles (10 solo, five assisted) as a reserve behind All-America free safety Jacob Hagen.

LibertyFlames.com will take a further look at the linebacker position tomorrow when the website features an interview with Sigmon, along with a practice update from Liberty Head Football Coach Turner Gill.

Front Runners
SLB – Bobby Partilla – Sr., 6-0, 215 or Andrew Jauch, Sr., 6-0, 200
MLB – Nick Sigmon – Sr., 6-1, 245
WLB – Dylan Lewellyn – Sr., 6-1, 205

Miles Hunter – Jr., 5-11, 200
Jimmy O'Grady – Jr., 6-0, 235
Nick Newman – So., 6-4, 210
Zach Schreiber – Jr., 6-1, 201

Dia'Vante Brown – R-Fr., 6-2, 240
Lucas Irons – Fr., 6-0, 205
Dexter Robbins – So., 5-11, 215