Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Idowu Sets the Pace in Lb Unit Redshirt Junior Stands out So Far in Practice

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Idowu Sets the Pace in Lb Unit Redshirt Junior Stands out So Far in Practice

Article excerpt

Each day, Josh Conklin tweets who the previous "Dog Soldier of the Day" was for the defense. In Pitt parlance, that essentially equates to the player of the day for a given practice.

For the first two days of camp, Conklin didn't have to change his pick.

Outside linebacker Oluwaseun "Sean" Idowu, a redshirt junior out of North Allegheny, is 2 for 2 on getting that nod. "He defines the mentality once again," Conklin wrote early Thursday on Twitter.

Perhaps that's no surprise, given that Idowu earned his way from walk-on to starter last year, after an injury to fellow North Allegheny graduate Elijah Zeise in the season opener. He was the team's third-leading tackler in 2016 with 74, and now he's setting the tone for the defense so far in 2017.

"He's consistent," linebackers coach Rob Harley said Thursday after practice. "That's the word you'd use for Sean. Every day, you know what you're gonna get: Great energy, great effort and the guy is just meticulous about the details. He's been a big-time leader for us through the summer, obviously last year - he played basically every snap for us - and we're looking for him to be a guy that really leads the entire defense this year, not just the 'backers."

That coaches' support of Idowu isn't notable just from a leadership standpoint. He's also someone who's trying to hold down the spot he took over a year ago because of an injury.

When senior middle linebacker Quintin Wirginis returns from his three-game suspension, that will mean four relatively experienced linebackers for three spots in the starting lineup. Wirginis could push Saleem Brightwell to outside linebacker, which would displace either Idowu or Zeise.

"We've preached for three years since we've been here, there's no job that's final, and that's weekly all week long during the season. …

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