Former Teammates Turn Rivals on Monday

There is no bigger question mark for Navy this season than at linebacker where the Mids will be replacing all four starters from 2009. One of the players who will be called upon to fill a vacancy will be right at home this Monday when Navy takes on Maryland at Ravens Stadium. Baltimore-native Jerry Hauburger is confident that the 2010 linebacker corps will get the job done.

Although the Navy football media guide lists Jerry Hauburger's hometown as Baltimore, Maryland, the 6-2, 220 lb linebacker was born and spent the first twelve years of his life in Long Island, New York. However, emotions will probably running high for the senior when he takes the field on Labor Day in Baltimore because not only will his family be in attendance, but there will be a familiar face on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

Both Hauburger and Maryland back-up tight end Ryan Schlothauer attended Eastern Technical High School in Essex, Md.  Hauburger graduated in 2006 and Schlothauer a year later. And even though Schlothauer hasn't appeared in a college game in his career, several injuries at the tight end position has set up the possibility of the two former teammates doing battle this Monday.

"We were always on the same side of the ball (in high school), but maybe I can get to go up against him," said Hauburger.

If that opportunity does present itself, Hauburger said that he will not lose focus.

"It will be the first time I will play anybody from my high school, and he may have been my friend back then, but times have changed and I will have to do my job," he said.

Hauburger who said he wasn't recruited by Navy until his senior year did receive some passing interest from the Terps as well as from FCS schools, Towson, Hofstra, and James Madison. However, every one other than Navy was interested in him as a defensive back.

"(Maryland) talked to me. They wanted me to come to their camp but I didn't go.  They recruited me as a DB. I guess I was just too small in high school (for them) to consider me at linebacker."

"(In the end) I thought the Naval Academy was the best opportunity for me, personally," he continued.

Hauburger, who entered the fall camp even with sophomore Collin Sturdivant for the starting job at outside linebacker, also had to hold off a late charge by another sophomore, Brye French. In addition to the fierce competition, Hauburger also had to overcome a knee injury he suffered early last season.

However the senior said his knee is "100 percent" and that he is ready to go against the Terrapins.

Speaking of the geographically close opponent, Hauburger wasn't interested in talking about the whole notion of Navy being favored against Maryland.

"I'm not going to get into the news and who is favored. I'm just going to show up on September 6th and let you guys see the outcome," he said.

And when asked if he thought whether Navy had closed the perceived talent gap with Maryland since the two teams last played – when Hauburger was looking at colleges - the general engineering major spoke frankly.

"For me, talent isn't everything. I think for a team to be successful, they have to have some talent, but it all comes down to the heart of the team – how they play – the drive to win. Talent can't win games – not on the Division One level. You need all 11 players playing together to win a game."

And according to Hauburger, the lack of significant playing time for three of the linebackers at Navy shouldn't be an issue against Maryland.

"We have some good guys at linebacker. We may be young, but we will fly to the ball. We know our assignments and we will get our job done – regardless of our inexperience." Top Stories