Season Preview: Linebackers

Season Preview: Linebackers

Devon-Lewis Buchanan is the only returning starter in the linebacker core for the 2011 season. The Cajun's will need a number of young athletes to step up for the defense to improve over last season's performance.

LINEBACKERS
Starters returning :1
Lettermen returning: 5

PROJECTED STARTERS

11 Devon Lewis-Buchanan (6-2, 218, Sr)
38 Brandon "Trae" Johnson (6-1,225, Fr)
21 Lance Kelley (6-2, 210, Sr)
30 Le'Marcus Gibson (6-0, 205, Sr)

KEY RESERVES

48 Andrew Hebert (6-2, 212, So)
34 Justin Anderson (6-3, 240, So)
59 Jacob Molbert (6-1,220, Fr)
28 Marcus Jackson (5-11, 195, Fr)

NOTES
Injuries : None
Top-Performer: Sr. Devon-Lewis Buchanan
Top-Newcomer: Fr. Brandon "Trae" Johnson
Straight Talk: Gone from last years unit are Grant Fleming 54 tackles and Daylon McCoy 68 tackles. Both athletes played a huge roll on the Cajun's defense over the past four years. Neither will be easily replaced and two other experienced linebackers Richard Brooks 26 tackles and Brandon Nash 22 tackles are not in the two deep of the depth chart.
Who Returns: Devon-Lewis Buchanan 63 tackles, Justin Anderson 21 tackles, Andrew Herbert 20 tackles. (Lance Kelley and Le'Marcus Gibson played safety last season.)
The Good News: This unit has more speed then last years group and the defense is designed to stop the run. With two former safeties in Gibson and Kelley, both can play in the nickel or dime packages. Devon-Lewis Buchanan also provides the coaching staff with similar versatility; he is able to cover tight-ends and running backs in spread offenses. Anderson, Hebert and Molbert skills are all geared more to rushing the passer and stopping the run.
The Bad News: Le"Marcus Gibson and Lance Kelley are both coming off of seasons with knee injuries. Gibson has a history of knee injuries, having sat out his freshman season at Hawaii with a torn ACL. As a unit, this is a small group of athletes that will have trouble stopping offenses with power running games. The starting unit consists of two former safeties, one true freshman and only one seasoned athlete. The second group brings very little experience with two true freshmen and two sophomores that played in a different scheme. With the exception of Marcus Jackson, Anderson, Hebert and Molbert are much better against the run then in pass coverage. Season Outlook: This unit is very young and inexperienced in a new defensive scheme. With the overall lack of size, this group will struggle against teams with a power running game. They will need better play from the defensive line this season in order to take advantage of the units speed to make plays from sideline to sideline. While the defense should be better overall, the LBs are the unit with the most questions to be answered during the 2011 season.
Quotes of Note: "It's all about running to the ball and stopping the run. We do that consistently, you are going to win some games. We still are adding some packages, but I feel the defense is better then it was in the spring."- Trae Johnson

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