Senior leaders are important on any football team. For the past few years Chris Carlino has probably seen his role change more than anyone else. He enters his final season as a Boilermaker as an established veteran and one that can fill in at a moment's notice.
Chris Carlino - Sr.
Hometown: Fishers, IN (Hamilton Southeastern HS)
6'2", 226 pounds
2011 Projection: Starter/Regular contributor at middle linebacker
It seems as if Carlino has been around forever, but that is because he is a guy that has done everything asked of him from the time he stepped on campus. He earned playing time as a true freshman in 2008, even starting five games. He earned 36 tackles and a fumble recovery that year, and that made him one of our better linebackers in 2009. As a more experienced sophomore that year he started all 12 games and finished fourth on the team with 71 tackles and an interception.
Last year was a little different. The emergence of Dwayne Beckford meant that Carlino split time at linebacker with him. As a result, his numbers dropped, but he was still the leader of a special teams unit. He only had 15 tackles in 11 games, but added another fumble recovery to his totals. He enters 2011 as a player that can enter the game in a pinch and provide leadership and experience in case of injury. Beckford, Will Lucas, and Joe Holland figure to be the starters this year with Carlino, and Joe Gilliam as the top two backups.
Off the field he is not working on a Christian rap solo album, as Google would have us believe. He is also not writing a blog because the judge told him to. He is an Academic All-Big Ten selection in building construction technology management, meaning he will soon be making more money than a lot of us.