The Connecticut Huskies boasted one of the best defenses in the Big East last season and ranked among the elite units in all of college football. The finished 2012 ranked No. 9 in total defense, No. 19 in scoring defense and finished No. 18 in the country in sacks, averaging 2.75 sacks per game. But with key losses along the defensive line this offseason, the Huskies were looking for help this spring and they may have found it in fullback Reuben Frank.
UConn is looking to replace the talents of graduated senior Trevardo Williams and Ryan Wirth who finished No. 1 and No. 3 on the team in sacks last season respectively. Williams was a force in the backfield from his defensive end position, recording 42 tackles in 2012, including 13.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. Wirth was a steady presence in the middle of the defensive line, recording 51 tackles last season, including 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
Now, Connecticut has to find some depth on the line to replace that lost production and Frank appears ready to help. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound redshirt junior has spent his time at UConn blocking for running backs, but has quickly shown he has the mentality to bring ball-carriers to the ground just as enthusiastically. He played defense in high school before switching to offense in college, but still has the athleticism, strength and size to be a contributor at defensive end.
He’s been getting acclimated to the new position during spring practice and is playing with a reckless abandon that comes from his engrained confidence as a defensive player. He is quick on his feet and has shown aggressiveness in scrimmages as he establishes his dominance on the practice field. The learning curve doesn’t appear to be too steep for Frank this spring, but will he be able to continue his strong play through the fall?