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Position Preview: Linebackers

Linebackers
WLBMLBSLB
C. Graham
or Mouton
Thompson
or Ezeh
Crable
LoganPanter
Ezeh
or Mouton
Evans

Herron

This is a definite rebuilding year for a linebacker corps losing two of three starters. Shawn Crable is the lone returning starter, and is expected to turn in an All-conference season. He is backed up by redshirt freshmen Jonas Mouton and Obi Ezeh at the SAM position. Freshman Brandon Herron also plays the SAM, and will probably redshirt.

Middle linebacker will be manned by both Johnny Thompson and Obi Ezeh. Thompson is a stronger player against the run, Ezeh against the pass. Junior College transfer Austin Panter does not yet have the strength to play against the run, but will likely earn some playing time this year. Thompson was a monster in the 2005 Iowa game in David Harris's absence, but has not shown a whole lot in his other game experience. The other two players are relative unknowns.

At the weakside position, Chris Graham is expected to be the starter. Former safety Jonas Mouton, a redshirt freshman, is considered the stronger player in coverage, and may take over the starting role by the end of the year. Graham is a little guy at only 5-11, which may hold him back. Brandon Logan provides depth, and true freshman Marrell Evans will probably redshirt. In fall camp, he has looked impressive at the position, but needs a year of weight training to get up to playing size.

My completely arbitrary and meaningless rating: 5/10

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“Position Preview: Linebackers”