2019 Linebacker Discussion

Discussion in 'Football Talk' started by OSUBasketballJunkie, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  2. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  3. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  5. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  6. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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    Linebacker

    The candidates: Malik Harrison (Sr.), Pete Werner (Jr.), Tuf Borland (RS-Jr.), Baron Browning (Jr.), Teradja Mitchell (So.), Dallas Gant (So.), K'Vaughan Pope (So.)

    Leaders: Malik Harrison, Pete Werner and Tuf Borland

    Breakdown: Before every collectively loses their minds, there's a lot remaining for Al Washington to figure out, and he didn't come close to naming all three starters.

    Only a couple things on the second level of the defense are close to certainties.

    Harrison will start at weakside linebacker. He's a senior returning starter who tied for the team lead with 81 tackles last season. Al Washington didn't outright name him a starter this spring, but he came close enough to doing so that it's fair to assume there's no competition.

    Also, Werner is in a good position to return as the starter at strongside linebacker. His backup, K'Vaughan Pope, has flashed at time this spring, but it's unlikely he supplants Werner. Werner's playing time could decrease due to the implementation of the bullet, but when the coaches employ three linebackers, expect him to be on the field.

    [​IMG]
    The situation at middle linebacker is much more complicated.

    Borland, who has nearly two full seasons of starting experience, missed the entirety of spring practice due to injury. Therefore, Browning played the majority of first-team snaps during practice and in the spring game at middle linebacker. Mitchell also took advantage of the increased practice reps with the backups, becoming a physical thumper and earning extensive praise from Washington at last week's Ohio State coaches' clinic.

    All three middle linebackers could start for Big Ten teams, though only one can start for the Buckeyes. But will that matter, or will Ohio State rotate them? Even Washington might not know at this moment. Since Day hired him in January, he has never coached Borland before, so he hasn't been able to fully evaluate him yet.

    It would be tough for Washington to turn away from a two-year starter, but Browning and Mitchell have made pushes for playing time. Mitchell, in particular, has made significant strides this spring, and he could become a player that Ohio State simply won't be able to keep off the field.
     
  7. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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    Linebackers: There's a lot of depth at the position
    No one was happy with the performance at the second level of Ohio State's defense last season. Not the linebackers, not the coaching staff, not the fans. Day recognized the issues and didn't retain Billy Davis. But no one graduated and no one left early for the NFL, meaning the Buckeyes will enter the 2019 season with the same players in the room.

    Ohio State returns three returning starters, but Al Washington didn't name anyone as a starter this spring. That was partially a continued attempt to spur competition, but it also stems from the depth behind Malik Harrison, Tuf Borland and Pete Werner.

    Teradja Mitchell, Baron Browning, Dallas Gant and K'Vaughan Pope each flashed at times this spring, but given the returning starters, there's no clear path to the field for any of them. Washington has the enviable problem of too many players who appear to be ready to play.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  9. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  10. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  12. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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    Day said the linebacker competition is still unsettled. Everyone is still battling.
     
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  13. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  16. TexasBuckeye

    TexasBuckeye Well-Known Member

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    A room loaaaaadddded with talent.
    Keep it simple...see ball...attack and destroy the person carrying or catching it.
    Come on Coach Washington!!!!
    Go Bucks
     
  17. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  18. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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  19. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0 Staff Member

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