Army: Top 5 Linebackers

Despite a proud program history, Army has fallen on hard times in recent years with only one winning season in the last one and a half decades. Coming off a difficult 2012 season, the team may still be a few years away. Fortunately, the linebacker corps should be a strong suit for the Black Knights, a main ingredient that will push the program forward.

Here are five players who are hoping to make a difference at linebacker for Army this autumn:

5. Thomas Holloway- Holloway comes back for his senior season as a linebacker-defensive back hybrid who recorded 23 tackles last year in his junior season. Both Holloway and Justin Trimble will be second-unit guys.

4. Justin Trimble- As a senior, Trimble will be one of the rare veterans on the 2013 team at the linebacker position. Trimble recorded a modest 26 tackles but did lead the team with two interceptions.

3. Alex Meier- Meier was third on the team with 71 tackles in 2012. Like Jeffires, Meier will only be a sophomore in 2013, giving Army some young talent that should keep growing.

2. Brandon Jeffires- Despite being thrust into a major role as a freshman, Jeffires had a strong initial campaign. His 88 tackles were second on the team and he'll be expected to continue to deliver that standard of play even though he's at a new position in his sophomore season.

1. Geoffrey Bacon- Bacon had a monster sophomore season with 136 tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble. His total number of tackles was good for eighth in the country and even exceeded that of Manti Te'o at Notre Dame (among independent schools).

The reality is the top three linebackers are pretty set in stone. The three each acquired major roles and developed a central presence on the team, becoming the top three tacklers for the Black Knights. Given that all three young men will be juniors or sophomores, expect them to be the leaders of the Army defense. Meier, Jeffires and Bacon should help the team improve on its 2012 results. Top Stories