Army spring review: Mike Linebacker

Army recently completed its first spring practice under new head coach Jeff Monken. ArmySports.com will now review every position, listing the starter, backup and third string player. In this edition we look at the mike linebackers.

MIKE LINEBACKER


Starter: Andrew King So.
Back up: Sean McBryde So.
Third String: Marcus Poling Jr.

Sophomore Andrew King (6-0, 229) emerged as the starting Mike linebacker. King played well this spring and posted four tackles for the Gold team in the spring game. King had a number of huge hits during the spring scrimmages. Last year he appeared in three games and made three tackles as a plebe. King had been the starting Whip linebacker in 2012 at the United States Military Academy Prep School. He established himself as a team leader at USMAPS where he was named the defense’s captain. He brings an intense, fiery presence to the huddle that has been missing in Army linebackers since Stephen Anderson graduated. King is a good athlete can do a lot of different things on a football field. He is a short but well-built player who can take on and shed blockers. King has been timed at 4.97 in the forty yard dash but plays faster because of his motor, intensity and competitive instincts. He is a good linebacker who is always around the ball. He hustles, is very physical and never backs down. King can be an explosive hitter at times. His lack of height can be a liability against taller offensive lines when he can lose sight of the ball. Andrew has worked hard in the weight room and has added over twenty five pounds since high school. As we mentioned last year during our R-day preview he has the potential to emerge as a quality starter.

Fellow sophomore Sean McBryde (6-2, 219) earned the backup Mike linebacker job this spring. He missed the spring game but he had a real solid spring. McBryde made his debut as a plebe against Louisiana Tech. He appeared in the last eight games and made three tackles. He played Rover linebacker for the United States Military Academy Prep School team in 2012 when he split time. McBryde has worked hard in the weight room and has added nearly twenty pounds since R-day. McBryde is the son of a football coach and he understands the game and defensive coverages. Sean is physical and does a nice job in run support but he isn’t the fastest player and he can struggle at times in pass coverage. McBryde grew up near Fort Hood and was the first commit of the 2012 recruiting class.

Junior Marcus Poling (5-11, 212) was dropped to third string on the depth chart. Poling played in ten games last year. He earned two starts two before being benched and losing the Mike linebacker job. Poling (19 tackles) failed to make a lot of plays, missed tackles and was replaced as the starter. Poling missed time with injuries last year and once again this spring costing him much needed practice reps. He sat out the spring game. Poling needs to stay healthy and find a position. Marcus is an excellent athlete who runs very well. He was the offensive MVP at USMAPS in 2011 at fullback and played running back on the JV team in 2012. Poling is a workout warrior. When he was in high school, at a junior combine, he ran a 4.46 forty yard dash on a soft grass field, posted a 37.5 inch vertical leap and a 9'1’’ broad jump. At the end of the combine he was awarded the Combine King medal, the Fastest Man award and the prize for the top defensive back. Marcus has run a 10.89 100 Meters and ran the anchor leg of his school's 4x100 meter relay team which won three state championships. He is a good athlete who needs to translate that ability into on the field production.

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