Looking Ahead to 2013 Husker Football: Linebackers

Eric Francis

With so many linebackers at Bo Pelini's disposal, could Nebraska be looking at a 3-4 alignment this season?

With Will Compton, Sean Fisher, and Alonzo Whaley departing, it's a whole new set of linebackers. Speed was an issue last season with this group of seniors, but after Zaire Anderson torn ACL was discovered, Bo Pelini didn't have much of a choice: play the experienced seniors, or pull someone's redshirt. He chose to go with the experience in 2012. In 2013, there is no other choice. These guys will play, ready or not.


2013 Previews
* Quarterbacks
* Running Backs
* Wide Receivers
* Tight Ends
* Offensive Line
* Defensive Line
* Secondary
* Special Teams

Returning: David Santos, Jr; Zaire Anderson, Jr.; Trevor Roach, Jr.; Michael Rose, RFr.; Thomas Brown, RFr.; Jared Afalava, RFr.; Max Pirman, So.
Incoming: Josh Banderas, Verbal; Courtney Love, Verbal; Marcus Newby, Verbal
Departing: Will Compton, Sean Fisher, Alonzo Whaley

Mike: If you thought Nebraska was inexperienced on the defensive line, just look at linebacker. The rules of the game changed dramatically for Bo Pelini when Nebraska jumped to the Big Ten and needed at least one more linebacker on the field at all times, as opposed to in the spread-happy Big XII. That conference switch meant Nebraska was undermanned at linebacker. So now we'll find out if Pelini has found some solutions to Nebraska's linebacker issues in recent years. Zaire Anderson looked like quite the player in one game with a torn ACL. Earlier this week, he tweeted that he was back in one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills.

So that's looking interesting. After that, who knows. My gut suggest that we'll see Michael Rose and Thomas Brown play alongside Anderson, but that's just idle speculation for now. We really won't know much until the spring game, and even then, we might not know much as well.

Same conclusion here as I had with the defensive line. There is a potential that the new guys will be better than the departing seniors, but when you consider the loss of experience, it's also possible that linebacker play could be worse in 2013...and if that happens, that's going to be very difficult for Bo Pelini to work around.

Brandon Cavanaugh: This corps is jam-packed with studs. Almost to the point where I could legitimately see Pelini switching to the 3-4, but he doesn't read my diary that often and I'm not sure it could be effectively done in the Big Ten. Then again, if Nebraska has issues up the middle again, it may be time to go back to the drawing board.

My predicted starters are Zaire Anderson at WILL, Michael Rose at MIKE (no pun intended) and David Santos at BUCK. There's so much talent, guys can get plugged in across the board and be effective. I expect to see one or two guys take an Eric Martin approach and be pass rush specialists during their first year. If you're looking for an area to have the least amount of redshirts, I have to think it's the ‘backers.

Jon: Santos started once last season, against Michigan, and lead the team in tackles in that game with ten. Anderson played in three games before tearing his ACL. Roach saw significant time backing up Compton and finished the season with seven total tackles.

That's the experience of the entire group. They'll have to grow up quickly with UCLA coming to town for the third game next season. The good news is, like Brandon says, there is plenty of potential in the group and they should outperform their predecessors as the season goes on.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Corn Nation

You must be a member of Corn Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Corn Nation. You should read them.

Join Corn Nation

You must be a member of Corn Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Corn Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker