Thursday, February 24, 2011

Looking Ahead: Linebackers

A little more than a week before spring practice starts for the reloading year of 2011, there are question marks at nearly every position on the Frogs' depth chart. Linebacker, however, is relatively question-free with both starters returning.

Senior-to-be Tank Carder and junior Tanner Brock return after combining for 166 tackles (15 of them for a loss), 5.5 sacks, 2 INT's and 8 passes broken up. I guess the only question for these two is if they can match last year's productivity or not.

Behind Carder & Brock on the depth chart are senior Kris Gardner and juniors Kenny Cain and Greg Burks, who will all look to earn the title of "third starter" that was granted to Robert Henson and Daryl Washington in years past. All three have shown us flashes in the past few years, both on defense and special teams.

Linebacker has been one of the positions that the Horned Frogs have always been able to reload at under Patterson. In addition to the guys listed above, there is plenty of returning talent that will ensure the future prosperity of the position: junior walk-ons Logan Sligar and David Stoltzman have both contributed on special teams, and redshirt freshmen Marcus Mallet and Blake Roberts (if he remains at LB...some speculate he could move to DE) have major potential.

Deryck Gildon, who graduated from Arlington Martin a semester early, has enrolled at TCU and will participate in spring practice with the Frogs. He'll be joined in the fall by fellow true freshman Laderice Sanders.

So what do you think- can Carder & Brock match what they did in 2010? Will any of the backups earn more playing time? When Carder graduates, who takes his place as starter in 2012? Of the true or redshirt freshmen on this fall's roster, who will emerge as the next superstar LB at TCU?


shortnkerley's said...

I think they match the productivity, and probably even exceed it. We usually don't have our linebacker's decrease productivity as their careers advance, so why would it start now?

I'm most excited about seeing Marcus Mallet out of any of the young LB's and I think he's the next star alongside Deryck Gildon. I honestly think the main reason I like Mallet so much is because he as a bad ass sounding linebacker name, he was a stud in high school, and he is #54 which is a bad ass linebacker number. All signs point to stud. Cant wait to see him play.

Spit Purple said...

I think the only way their production goes down is if our D-line takes huge steps back. I don't think that will happen.

My guess would be Cain as the third guy though Gardner is said to be one of the defense's emotional leaders.

Mallet is about as good a LB name as Tank. With he, Gildon and Sanders waiting in the wings I say out future looks bright at LB.

Kickass fact: You have to go back to '04 to find a starting Frog linebacker that is not either still on the team on in the NFL.

Lyle Lanley said...

One other thing to consider about some of the youngsters/walk-ons is that the Frogs don't currently have a fullback listed on the roster behind Shivers. Shivers, like William Jackson before him, moved from linebacker to be a multiple-year starter at FB.

Just some food for thought.