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2012 NFL Draft Profile: Nebraska Linebacker LaVonte David

LaVonte David has been a top playmaker on Nebraska's Black Shirt defense the past two seasons, leading the team in tackles both years.
LaVonte David has been a top playmaker on Nebraska's Black Shirt defense the past two seasons, leading the team in tackles both years.

Height: 6' 1"

Weight: 233 lbs

40 Yard Dash (Combine): 4.59

High School - Hometown: Northwestern - Miami, Florida

Birthday: January 23, 1990

Collegiate Position:
Outside Linebacker

Executive Summary:

While at Nebraska, Lavonte David set the single season record for tackles at Nebraska with 152 in 2010, and became the school's leading tackler amongst two-year players. He broke Demorrio Williams' record of 220, set in 2002-2003.

Fans would do worse to make a comparison between Williams and David. When Williams was drafted in 2004, his biggest downside was considered his size, 233 lbs, too small for a linebacker. Williams will enter his ninth year in the NFL in 2012, having played from 2004-2007 with the Atlanta Falcons, 2008-2011 with the Kansas City Chiefs, and has signed a one-year contract to play for the San Diego Chargers in 2012.

Collegiate Awards:


First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media,,, Phil Steele)

First Team All-American (Coaches,,,, Phil Steele)

Second Team All-American (Walter Camp,, AP)

Butkus-Fitzgerald - Linebacker of the Year (Best Linebacker in Big Ten)

Butkus Award Finalist (Best Linebacker in the Nation)

Preseason All-American (Athlon, 1st Team; Lindy's, Sporting News, Phil Steele, 2nd Team, 2011)

Nebraska Team MVP


First-Team All-American (,

Second-Team All-American (AP,

Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year (Kansas City Star)

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year (Coaches, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

2010 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year (AP, Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express-News)

2010 - First-Team All-Big 12 (Unanimous)

Nebraska Defensive MVP

Career Highlights:

David was a JUCO transfer, arriving at Nebraska in 2010 after playing his first two seasons at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. At the time his coach, Jeff Sims commented about his "football intelligence" and that he could play both pass and run very well.

David was pressed into action immediately due to Nebraska suffering serious injuries to two projected starting linebackers at the beginning of the 2010 season. He started the first game of the 2010 season and was tops on the team with 13 tackles against Western Kentucky.

He would go on to break Nebraska's single season tackle record in 2010 with 152 tackles. He also recorded six sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and had 10 pass break ups.

He finished 2011 with 133 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.

Key Collegiate Play:

His forced fumble against Ohio State (video) sparked the biggest comeback in Nebraska history. The Huskers were down 27-6 until David ripped the ball away from Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller, the key play in a 34-27 Nebraska win.

Why You Want Him On Your Team:

David has a knack of always being around the ball as shown by his immediate impact and 152 tackles in 2010. He's a high-energy player, an excellent tackler (152, whooo!), and has not had any injuries.

David has no character issues.

Bottom line - the guy makes plays. His JUCO coach talked about his football intelligence and how that would allow him to make an immediate impact before he played a down at Nebraska.

Mel Kiper has stated that David is capable of going in the first round, but he's most likely a high second-round pick.

Why You May Not Want Him On Your Team:

The knock on David is his lack of size. At only 233 pounds (he played at 225 in college), he's considered small for a NFL linebacker.

If your defensive coordinator is one of those guys who doesn't believe in intangibles and can't figure out what to do with a guy that doesn't fit exactly into a round, square, or triangle-shaped hole, he's probably not a good fit.

Are you going to play him at linebacker or are you going to play him at safety? Correct answer - wherever you need playmaking ability the most.

Hey, maybe you just hate the color red.

Projected Draft Status:

Every year, SB Nation NFL sites get together and go through an entire mock draft that's hosted by SB Nation's Mocking the Draft. In this year's draft, David was chosen by the Carolina Panthers, Pick 40 of the second round.