Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Larry English
Larry English (DE)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 274
Conference: Mid-American
Hometown: Aurora, IL
High School: Marmion Academy
Featured Prospects
Selected by: San Diego Chargers
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 16 (16)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: After watching their sack output drop significantly with Shawne Merriman injured, the Chargers add another pass rusher with English. The hard worker gives Ron Rivera a possible replacement for Merriman in the event of a rehab setback, and he gives the team three capable rushers in its 3-4 (Shaun Phillips, Merriman and English). With pass rushers at a premium, the Chargers made a wise choice.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

English is a two-time Vern Smith Leadership Award recipient, given to the Mid-American Conference's top player, as voted on by league coaches. He is just the second defensive player to ever receive that honor, as Central Michigan linebacker Ray Bentley captured the inaugural award in 1982. English is also only the fourth player to earn that award twice in a career, joining quarterbacks Brian McClure of Bowling Green (1984-85), Erik White of Bowling Green (1991-92) and Byron Leftwich of Marshall (2001-02).


One of the premier pass rushers in the collegiate game, English ranks second to Phillip Hunt of Houston (33.5 sacks for minus 229 yards) among the NCAA's active players with 31.5 sacks for losses totaling 220 yards. His 31.5 sacks set the school all-time record and rank fifth in Mid-American Conference history. That total also ranks seventh in NCAA annals. His five sacks vs. Idaho in 2007 is topped by just two other players on the NCAA single-game record books.


English wreaked havoc in the opposing backfields throughout his career. His 63.0 tackles behind the line of scrimmage set the school career record and rank fifth on the NCAA all-time record chart (the NCAA began compiling sack and tackle for loss totals beginning in 2000), as he is just the seventh player in major college annals to register 60 or more tackles for loss since those statistics were recognized by the NCAA.


English attended Marmion Military Academy, where the team co-captain and MVP was regarded as one of the most feared players in the Suburban Catholic Conference. The first-team All-SCC, Aurora Beacon-News All-Area, Daily Herald Tri-City All-Area and honorable mention IHSFCA All-State as a senior, he totaled 98 tackles and six sacks from his inside linebacker position and rushed for 312 yards on 38 carries (8.2 avg) as a fullback, despite being hampered early in that season by an ankle sprain that limited him to seven games.


English was named team MVP, first-team All-SCC, Aurora Beacon-News All-Area and Daily Herald Tri-City All-Area as a junior. He led the Tri-City area with 100 tackles, and added two interceptions along with two fumble recoveries. In addition to earning three letters in football, he also threw the discus for the track team as a freshman and added three more letters in basketball. The Honor Roll student was selected team captain in basketball. He received All-SCC and All-Area honors as a junior on the hardwood.


English turned down a scholarship offer from the University of Iowa, enrolling at Northern Illinois in 2004. He made four tackles vs. Maryland in his collegiate debut, but suffered a shoulder injury that would sideline him for the rest of the season, earning a medical hardship. In 2005, English started nine games at right defensive end, moving up from fifth on the depth chart to lead the team's down linemen with 57 tackles (35 solos). The 230-pounder had yet to show his pass rushing prowess, sacking the quarterback just twice, but his eight stops for loss ranked second on the squad.


As a sophomore, English garnered All-Mid American Conference first-team honors. He made 51 tackles (32 solos) in 13 games, leading the team and ranking second in the league with a career-high 12 sacks. That total tied the school single-season record that was first set by Scott Kellar in 1984. He also paced the Huskies with 16.0 tackles for loss and caused four fumbles, the most in the MAC for 2006.


The Vern Smith Leadership Award winner and first-team All-MAC pick led the conference with 10.5 sacks in 2007. His 17.0 stops for loss also led the league and ranked 16th in the nation. He produced 67 tackles (29 solos), fourth on the squad, and also recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. His banner junior campaign came to a crashing halt in the Poinsettia Bowl, as he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee that would require surgery.


The injury bug continued in 2008, as English suffered a torn pectoral muscle in spring drills. He played nearly all season with pins in his broken thumb, but he still led the team with eight sacks and 16 stops behind the line of scrimmage, ranking fourth and third, respectively, in each category among MAC players. He was again named the recipient of the Verne Smith Award, finishing his final season with a career-low 37 tackles (26 solos).


High School

Attended Marmion (Aurora, Ill.) Military Academy...The team co-captain and MVP was regarded as one of the most feared players in the Suburban Catholic Conference...The first- team All-SCC, Aurora Beacon-News All-Area, Daily Herald Tri-City All-Area, and honorable mention IHSFCA All-State as a senior, he totaled 98 tackles and six sacks from his inside linebacker position and rushed for 312 yards on 38 carries (8.2 avg) as a fullback, despite being hampered early in that season by an ankle sprain that limited him to seven games...Named team MVP, first-team All-SCC, Aurora Beacon-News All-Area, and Daily Herald Tri-City All-Area as a junior...Led the Tri-City area with 100 tackles, and added two interceptions along with two fumble recoveries...In addition to earning three letters in football, he also threw the discus for the track team as a freshman and added three more letters in basketball...The Honor Roll student was selected team captain in basketball. He received All-SCC and All-Area honors as a junior on the hardwood...Graduated with a 3.4 grade point average.


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Analysis

Positives: Solid linebacker build, with more than adequate upper-body strength and legs for the position. Good motor, hustles down or across the field until the play is completed, even if initially blocked. Changes direction in space well. Secure wrap-up tackler when man is in his area. Can use his arms to keep linemen and fullbacks off him when standing up. Stays balanced and upright most times on stretch plays. At times he can bounce off a block using his punch. Has quick, violent hands to stay free. Stays at home on option plays until last possible moment. Able to drop back off the line in zone blitzes and stay with tight ends. Strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl eliminated many of the concerns regarding English's level of competition.


Negatives: Lacks the bulk to play with his hand down in the NFL, which he did in college. Gets engulfed by better left tackles on inside pass rush moves, lacks the strength to bull rush and doesn't quite have the speed to get the corner consistently (but has good closing speed when standing up). Fails to hold his ground when directly out of his stance and can't get off the block quickly enough to get to the ball. Will need to prove he can handle coverage duties against better tight ends and that he has zone awareness. Needs to get lower in his backpedal, as he stands a bit tall.


Compares To: ANTHONY SPENCER, Dallas -- Some draft experts claim Larry English is the next Shawne Merriman, but that's a stretch at this point. As a pass rusher, he shows great tenacity, but that seems to be the only consistent aspect of his game. There are too many contests where he got lost in too much trash talk and isn't much of a factor. As an athlete, you have to be impressed with his power, but one look at his clocked speed makes you be concerned that he won't be able to drop back and handle speedy slot receivers outside the short area.


Injury Report

2003: Only played in seven games as a high school senior due to an early-season ankle sprain.


2004: Missed the final 11 games after suffering a shoulder injury vs. Maryland.


2007: Suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee vs. Texas Christian in the Poinsettia Bowl (12/19), undergoing surgery in early January 2008.


2008: Missed most of spring camp with a torn pectoral muscle...Played most of the season with pins inserted in his thumb after breaking his hand in fall camp.


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