STORRS, CONN. (Dec. 7, 2007) - University of Connecticut linebackers Scott Lutrus (Brookfield, Conn.) and Lawrence Wilson (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) were each named Freshman All-Americans on Friday by The Sporting News.
Lutrus was named to the Freshman All-America first team along with Greg Jones of Michigan State and Alabama's Rolando McClain. Lutrus started all 12 games at strongside "Husky" linebacker in 2007 and made 98 tackles. He showed his potent ability on both sides of the line of scrimmage as he made eight tackles for loss while also intercepting four passes. He returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns, tying both UConn's season and career records and leaving him one shy of the BIG EAST's single-season record of three set by the late Sean Taylor of Miami in 2003 and matched in 2004 by Malcolm Postell of Pittsburgh. Lutrus was named the BIG EAST's Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 21 and Oct. 28, becoming the first player to win that award outright in consecutive weeks since Miami's Nate Webster in 1999.
Wilson was named to the Freshman All-America second-team. Wilson expected to serve as a backup to senior Ryan Henegan at weakside linebacker but Henegan was hurt during preseason camp and, when he was healthy, Wilson had entrenched himself too deeply to be beaten out. Wilson started all 12 games and ranked second on the team with his 106 tackles on the year, including 7.5 tackles for loss. Wilson recovered a fumble, broke up two passes and made an interception at Pitt which he returned 51 yards for a touchdown. The 106 tackles are the most by a UConn freshman in the Football Bowl Subdivision era while his 8.8 tackles per game ranked fourth in the BIG EAST Conference.
Both players helped the Huskies to a 9-3 overall record and a share of the school's first BIG EAST Championship with a 5-2 league mark. The Huskies will face Wake Forest on Dec. 29 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the second bowl berth in school history. The nine wins tie for the most in the regular season in UConn's 109-year football history. Over the course of this season the Huskies defeated three teams which were ranked in the top 10 at some point during the year (Louisville, USF and Rutgers).
UConn made its debut in all of the national rankings during its historic 2007 campaign and presently stand at No. 25 in the BCS. UConn's first-ever AP Poll appearance was at No. 16 on Oct. 28 and marked the highest AP Poll debut of any school since Florida State debuted at No. 10 on Oct. 12, 1964. It came after five years and 10 weeks of FBS (Division I-A) play for the Huskies. Only Marshall has ever moved up from the former Division I-AA and earned a national ranking faster. Helping UConn to this lofty accomplishment was a 7-0 record at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The 2007 Huskies are only the second team in BIG EAST history to post a 7-0 home record, joining the 1993 West Virginia Mountaineers.