Levy Headed to Detroit

Starting every game at outside linebacker over the last three seasons for University of Wisconsin, durability was an obvious big selling point for former Badger DeAndre Levy. With the Detroit Lions desperately needing playmakers, the Lions spent their 76th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft on Levy.

MADISON - Big numbers were never lacking with DeAndre Levy.

Led the team with five sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss during his senior year and finishing second on the team with 73 tackles, Levy was a fixture at linebacker on Wisconsin's defense over the course of his career, as he started every game during his last three seasons.

Combine the durability and making 210 tackles and forcing six fumbles during his college career, Levy was the 76th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.

"I know a lot of guys who are good athletes, but I think being a football player is a little more important," Levy told Scout.com. "I can do the small things that can make a difference, and I'm willing to learn. I take criticism well, and I'm a guy you can depend on day-in and day-out whether it's in the weight room, on the field or off the field."

At the NFL Combine, the 6-foot-2, 236-pound linebacker pulled his hamstring during the broad jump, and then tweaked it again about a week before his school's Pro Day while pushing himself to recover, putting his draft stock in limbo.

Even so, Levy held his own personal pro day and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, completed the three-cone drill in 7.12 seconds, the short shuttle in 4.2 seconds, posted a vertical jump of 35.5" and a broad jump of 10'3".

Eight NFL teams made the trip just to watch him perform, including representatives from the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, according to Levy.

At the Combine, he had formal interviews with a number of teams that included the Steelers, Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Detroit Lions. Levy's first interview was with Detroit and the Lions obviously remembered.

Combined with fellow NFL draft entree Jonathan Casillas over the last three seasons, Levy provided the other half of a powerful one-two linebacker punch that made the duo one of the best in the Big Ten. Starting at sam linebacker, Levy's numbers, along with his leadership, increased every year, which was evidenced by his peers selecting him as a team captain.

Ranking fourth on the team with 50 tackles, Levy led the team with six quarterback sacks and was named UW's defensive player of the week twice during his sophomore year. He boosted his numbers during his junior year, finishing second on the team with 70 tackles and third with 10 TFLs, and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a win over Indiana, when he registered eight tackles, a QB sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass break-up.

Levy one-upped that honor this past season when he was named Big Ten and National Defensive Player of the Week after nine tackles, including four TFLs, a 5-yd QB sack and his second career interception in UW's win at Fresno State. Levy finished the regular season of his senior year with 65 tackles (a career best).

In addition to putting up big numbers, Levy played his best in the bowl games. In the 2007 Capital One Bowl, Levy made three solo stops and a key interception late in the third quarter to help UW to a 17-14 win over 12th-ranked Arkansas. In 2008, Levy recorded six tackles against No.16 Tennessee in the 2008 Outback Bowl.

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