Navy Spring Depth Chart Review: Inside LB-2

The Navy Midshipmen football team recently completed spring drills. will now review each Navy position to project a starter, a backup and a player to watch. Today we'll discuss the inside linebacker position (part 2).

Starter: James Britton #51 Jr.
Backup: Vinnie Mauro #31 Sr.
Third string: Anthony Lewis #49 Jr.

Junior James Britton (6-2, 223) moved from safety to SAM linebacker in the spring. Britton had added considerable weight since arriving at the academy which facilitated the move. During the 2012 season Britton had seven tackles and recovered a fumble against Texas State. During his plebe 2011 season he saw primarily special teams action coming up with four tackles. Academy football analyst Jim Lawler wrote some things about Britton which seem to indicate that the move to inside linebacker might bode well for the Arkansas native and Navy.

"He is an active and physical defensive player who is quick to support against the run," wrote Lawler. "Jimmy can make the big hit and is a very good open field tackler. He lacks pure man-on-man cover skills and has average speed (4.61 speed in forty yard dash) for an FBS safety."

Senior Vinnie Mauro (6-2, 231) is entering his final season at the Naval Academy and still has yet to see the field. Mauro was one of the more celebrated signees as a plebe but has almost continuously struggled with injuries starting with a back injury his first season. Mauro turned down offers from Wisconsin and Vanderbilt to be a Midshipman and many thought he would be an early contributor. Lawler commented on Mauro.

"The fiery Mauro can play inside or play either the striker or raider outside linebacker position in Buddy Green's defense," wrote Lawler. "Mauro is very physical, has sideline to sideline range and very good ability to read and react. Mauro is simply a tremendous talent."

Junior Anthony Lewis (6-0, 229) appeared in five games last season but did not register a tackle. The Utah native, along with Mauro, is one of the few Navy linebackers who has actually played linebacker since arriving at the academy. Lawler wrote about Lewis last summer.

"Lewis, who is 6-0, 220 pounds, added ten pounds since last summer," wrote Lawler. "He has speed and mobility but needs to improve his understanding and knowledge of the system. Anthony isn't ready yet but he's a very good athlete with a terrific upside." Top Stories