This one and defensive line is just odd to talk about. While DL has theoretically the same amount of guys as LBs, i’m still trying to figure out just how things are going to look with the LB room and alignment (more on that tomorrow in my defensive practice observations thread).
Back are the two starting ILBs from last years 3-4 in Luke Reimer and Nick Henrich. But this is going to be a very different scheme than what they’ve been running in the past. Further, both of these guys are chronically hurt. Henrich being out this spring has given way for some other guys to get some reps which is not a bad thing at all. But at the end of the day we need our elite guys playing at a high level.
I will find it interesting if these two are able to get things done with the new scheme and the changes. While I know Reimer led our team in tackles last year, Henrich got hurt and will need to show he is healed from that to get serious playing time.
With Henrich out
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up John Bullock who is a walk-on from Crayton Prep but getting a ton of reps and impressing the staff quite a bit. Don’t sleep on Garrett Snodgrass as well, who is helping everyone along due to his ability to quickly pickup the new scheme.
Who will break through with a new staff?
Gbayor has been impressing me a bit in the and I think he may have a new lease on things here. Don’t forget, he’s from the northeast and this staff has ties back that way, so that could bode well for him. I’m curious who will emerge from Kpai and Malcom as it’s about time for one of those guys to make a move. I do feel like we will lose someone from this group after the spring.
Jimari Butler has been getting a ton of praise, and rightfully so. However, MJ Sherman has shown the versatility to play that spot or shift down to DE on passing situations. I would give those two the edge right now but you also have Chief Borders trying to make a name for himself as well.
Maverick Noonan is also playing this spot as a true freshman and has looked good going up against fellow freshmen but struggles against people that have been in college weight programs for a bit longer.
I think they have Kaine Williams the transfer at this spot and I see him moving on as well. But what i’m really curious about is where they are going to play Fields from Oklahoma when he gets here. I think they will want him at ILB so he can run sideline to sideline for us, but he’s the guy that Rhule and staff are extremely high on. Always tough to know the thoughts with the true freshmen coming in.
I don’t want to give too much away for the practice observations tomorrow for defense, but LB is the group I know the least about despite returning a couple starters. I’m excited to go into more of the scheme tomorrow and break it down a bit.
Sorry for the short one this morning but with 7 posts this week I didn’t want to get redundant
Tomorrow we will have S&C differences and SSO practice observations for defense!
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