Does he have a chance to make the team? Perhaps destined for the practice squad this year, and on the 2010 roster? ====== University of Virginia Football: Antonio Appleby 2007â€“Started all 13 games at inside linebacker ... made 60 tackles ... was in on six tackles for loss, including three sacks ... broke up six passes, tops among ACC linebackers ... helped defense allow just nine rushing touchdowns, the second fewest in the ACC and fifth fewest nationally ... career-high 11 tackles in the opener vs. Wyoming to share the team lead. 2006â€“Assumed a starting position for all 12 games at inside linebacker ... second on the team with 68 tackles ... five QB pressures tied for third most on team ... recorded seven tackles in games vs. Wyoming, Western Michigan, East Carolina, NC State and Miami. 2005â€“Played in every game with two starts ... started the final regular season game against Miami and the Music City Bowl vs. Minnesota ... saw extensive action on the punt team, as well as the kickoff and punt return teams ... 27 tackles led the teamâ€™s true freshmen ... was in on six tackles in his first start against Miami ... made a career-high 10 stops, including eight solos, in the Music City Bowl win over Minnesota. ====== Beach's Appleby hoping to crash the NFL party "I know everybody wants to go to the combine," says Appleby, an inside linebacker from the University of Virginia, "but it's kind of a long, drawn-out process of how they select people. I just took the attitude, there's no reason to cry over spilled milk. I just tried to use it as motivation to get where I am now." If Appleby truly is going places, there are a couple reasons why. One, he's a load of a linebacker - 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds - well able to fend off linemen and stuff runs. And he was a three-year starter in U.Va.'s 3-4 defensive alignment, which could be important. The 3-4 is all the rage in the pros. Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl with it. As many as a third of NFL teams plan to run a version of the 3-4 this season. Who better to work into a fledgling 3-4 than a hulking, mobile guy who understands its intricacies better than most? "That very definitely does help him," U.Va. coach Al Groh said. "When teams can look at a kid playing the 3-4, they don't have to project nearly as much." That is, Appleby says, "they can look at me on tape and directly see what I do within schemes that are similar to what they're going to run. That's really a bonus for me, knowing that a lot of teams are converting over." ====== NFL.com Prospects Former UVA star Chris Long and outside linebacker Clint Sintim earned most of the credit for the success of Al Groh's 3-4 scheme, but Appleby's size and physicality in the middle made him just as integral. With the focus on gaudy statistics, it isn't difficult to understand why Appleby never received more attention. His average output of 67 tackles and six tackles for loss over his three years as a starter isn't eye-popping. For teams looking for a physical inside linebacker prospect capable of making an immediate contribution in a 3-4 alignment, Appleby makes sense as a second-day prospect. ====== The Sabre Roundtable: 2008 In Review Q: Any individual surprises for you? A: The other is linebacker Antonio Appleby, who had the best year of his career as well. He recorded a career-high 72 tackles despite missing time (essentially two full games after getting hurt on the first drive against UNC) with an injury. Appleby was on pace for nearly 100 tackles and he may have threatened Jon Copper for the season lead if he didn't get hurt. Kudos to Covington and Appleby.