- 27 tackles
- 18 assisted tackles
- 9 solo tackles
Joel Dublanko is here to make tackles. The redshirt sophomore played his second season with the Cincinnati Bearcats as a backup linebacker, as he worked to create a role for himself on a new-look defensive scheme. He may have been stuck behind guys like Perry Young, Malik Clements and Jarell White, but he still managed to make an impact.
A former four-star recruit, Dublanko came out of 2016 having earned a lot of praise for his work on the scout team. He inched further up the ranks in 2017, playing in 12 games and making a case to be an even more utilized linebacker in 2018. While he didn’t earn a starting role or get a ton of chances, he still made 13 appearances and that experience should help him has he enters next year.
As for his production, Dublanko was a solid help defender, often aiding teammates in finsihing tackles. That’s not to say he couldn’t make plays by himself, but with a total of 27 tackles and 18 via assist, Dublanko was much more of a completmentary piece than a pillar of the defense. While that tackle total wasn’t near the top of the roster, he did manage more stops than Tyrell Gilbert, Ethan Tucky and Curtis Brooks, among others.
The Best of the Best
Oct. 6 vs. Tulane
Four tackles in very limited playing time. That’s a pretty solid showing.
Nov. 3 vs. Navy
Call Dubalnko Chris Paul because he had eight assist(ed tackle)s in this one.
For Next Year
Dublanko will still have a lot of competition for playing time at linebacker. One way he could improve his odds of playing is by showing that he can make more plays in the backfield, particularly in terms of rushing the passer. He has had just 1.5 tackles for loss in two years with the Bearcats and has yet to record a sack. In addition, becoming a more sure-handed tackler on his own could improve his standing. Assisted tackles are great, but being able to finish defensive plays on your own is an important skill to have.