Army linebacker Leo Lowin makes most of his opportunity to play and serve

·3 min read

WEST POINT – Leo Lowin is proud to get an opportunity to serve the nation, but wasn't quite sure West Point was in the cards until Army football and assistant coach Mike Viti recruited him out of Texas.

“That guy right there just leaves a great impression and a great representation of this place,’’ Lowin said of Viti. “When I met him it was kind of a person that I wanted to be like.’’

Lowin was brought in as a secondary player and saw action in 11 games as a freshman in 2020 on special teams. The linebacker corps suffered significant graduation losses and injuries this season prompted defensive coordinator Nate Woody to move Lowin to outside linebacker.

Army safety Leo Lowin (23) recovers a fumble by Louisiana Monroe quarterback Colby Suits (16) in a 2020 contest. Lowin has since moved to linebacker. JOHN JONES/USA TODAY Sports
Army safety Leo Lowin (23) recovers a fumble by Louisiana Monroe quarterback Colby Suits (16) in a 2020 contest. Lowin has since moved to linebacker. JOHN JONES/USA TODAY Sports

That’s easier said than done. In the secondary, you are taught to make your first step backward. At linebacker, the first move is going forward.

“A lot of it was trying to fix the footwork,’’ Lowin said. “I didn’t know a lot of gap schemes but I think playing safety also helps me conceptualize in terms of pass fits and stuff, like what the goal of the defense is in that play. That helps me know where to be and what we’re looking to do.’’

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“Leo's stepped in and done a great job of helping us,’’ Woody said. “He's done a good job of understanding from a pass coverage standpoint where he needs to be and how coverages work. What he had to do was pick up his fits and the scheme of the defense from a linebacker standpoint. That's not always easy.’’

This season Lowin has made 10 solo tackles and 10 assists. On Saturday against Massachusetts, he posted a career-high 10 stops, four of the solo variety.

“Leo’s a really impressive player,’’ said outside linebacker Andre Carter, the nation’s sack leader. “Leo is a very sound tackler and is very athletic. He put on a little weight and is just getting better and better.’’

Lowin credits all of his defensive coaches – especially Cortney Braswell – for getting him prepared for the new role. He said playing with linebackers who draw a lot of double-team attention has freed him up to make more plays.

“I’m just trying to do my assignment, trying to do what the coaches say,’’ Lowin said. “I run hard and play as hard as I can every play. My big thing is making sure I give my best effort for the team, for the name that I represent, the people and the Army, everybody.’’

With Spencer Jones expected to return to his starting role at linebacker against Liberty on Saturday, Lowin is listed as a backup once again. Woody said Lowin will remain as a linebacker headed into 2022.

Lowin said he’s glad he made the decision to attend West Point.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity and I felt like it was a good fit,’’ Lowin said. “I think serving your country is super, it’s respectable.’’

kmcmillan@th-record.com

Twitter: @KenMcMillanTHR

This article originally appeared on Times Herald-Record: Army sophomore Leo Lowin impresses with switch from safety to linebacker

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