Position Analysis: Linebackers
Nick previews Linebackers
Editor's Note: This is a repost of NickSkin's position previews oritinally posted in our discussion forums. Rather than lose these posts to the pruner, we felt it appropriate to repost them to the front page. Thanks to Nick for all his hard work in developing this series.
Miami's defense should be led by returning 6'2" 235lb 2nd Team All-MAC MLB Joey Hudson. Hudson was the team leader in tackles (97) and interceptions (5 - 2nd nationally for LB's) last season as a Sophomore. Perhaps it was because Miami only had 2 wins last season that Hudson was named 2nd team. However, it's clear that he's the heart and sole of the Miami defense. Hudson was held out of the spring practices because of injury but he should be fully recovered and ready to lead Miami's defense.
After Hudson, there should be a lot of competition for the remaining 2 LB spots.
6'2" 225lb R-SO Brad Goatley missed his entire Sophomore season because of injury but should compete at one of the OLB spots while providing very capable back-up for Hudson at MLB.
6'2" 231lb JR Clayton Mullins was Miami's 2nd leading tackler last season with 91. He started slow but came on strong roaming the entire line of scrimmage accounting for at least 7 tackles per contest for the final 6 games of last season, including 2 10-tackle outings.
6'3" 235lb SO Caleb Bostic played quite a bit for Miami as a true freshman. He's spent the off-season working hard while adding bulk and speed. He was a physical freak when he came to campus and has worked hard in the off-season to improve on all aspects of his game. Look for Caleb to make a strong push to be Miami's starting open outside LB.
5'11" 220lb JR Chris Shula filled in quite a bit last season at MLB relying on his instincts and football knowledge to provide Miami with a very capable back-up to Hudson. He's got a tremendous motor and certainly will push others. Shula played in all 12 games last season and will once again to be called upon to be a key on special teams.
6'2" 250lb JR James Case has been a defensive lineman for his entire injury plagued career at Miami. However, in the spring he was moved to compete at MLB. The problem was that Case injured his leg and missed most of the spring action. Somewhat of a wild card this season as Case came to Miami with a ton of promise and talent. Will the LB corps be his place to finally shine?
6'2" 225lb RS-FR Dexter Korto and 6'1" 200lb RS-FR Donnie Hardy will push for time at OLB and will be requested to produce on special teams.
Last February saw Miami load up on the future at the LB position. The question will be how soon that future arrives on the field. Incoming Players like 6' 205lb Michael Baker, 6'2" 225lb Alex Kaufman, 6'2" 200lb David Davis, 5'11" 215lb Jerrell Wedge and 6'2" 220lb Ryan Kennedy could all be called on to help this season. Coach Montgomery won't hesitate for a moment to use any of the true freshman if they're ready to contribute.
One thing is for certain, there is a lot of talent ready to compete for the three LB spots!
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