9?Khari Lain???5’10/196 Jr.
15?Kyle Wilson???6’0/228 Jr.
32?Tajhea Chambers??6’2/246 RFr
40?Antwon Turnage??6’2/205 RSo.
51?Kirk Louis???6’2/229 RFr
52?Quanterio Heath??6’2/217 RSr.
55?Xavier Woodson-Luster??6’1/207 Sr.
59?Holden Byassee???6’1/224 Fr.
Even with the loss of Tajhea Chambers early in the season in 2015, this group of fast and athletic linebackers was enough to give opposing offenses fits.
Xavier Woodson-Luster and Khari Lain, though undersized, formed a duo of quick, hard-hitting starters that combined for 152 tackles, five sacks, and three interceptions.
Both garnered preseason Sun Belt honors.
Joining them is Quanterio Heath. The Rison native had 31 tackles in 2015, as well as an interception return for a touchdown. The coaches have praised Heath’s summer, as he lost 10-15 pounds from last year.
Chambers does return after the explosive introduction AStatefans were treated to in 2015. After collecting three sacks against Southern California, an injury on an onside kick ended his season early. Though he has had some touch up procedures on the leg, he now seems to be regaining the form that saw him move from quarterback to starting linebacker as a true freshman.
Kyle Wilson, the junior college transfer from Hutchinson Community College, had a very good spring, and has added mass over the offseason to become, as Defensive Coordinator Joe Cauthen says, “a larger form of Khari Lain”. Wilson has shown a nose for the football and figures to see plenty of action this fall.
Kirk Louis, the Baton Rouge native who redshirted in 2015, has dropped some weight and seems to be more athletic this fall. He figures to work in rotationally and on special teams.
The coaches went out and got Dodge City Community College linebacker Antwon Turnage. A highly athletic linebacker with good football instincts, Turnage arrived at the start of fall camp and figures to work in at the Will position.
Ben Gallagher, a walk-on from Germantown, Tennessee, has toiled on special teams this fall and figures to see some time there, while Holden Byassee, a walk-on from Cherry Valley will probably redshirt, though he physically looks the part.
This group is fast. There isn’t a better word to use. They fly around and shut down running and passing lanes quickly. They come up and fill holes and hit like they weigh much more than they do. This is a group to watch as the season goes along.
Possible Depth Chart
Xavier Woodson-Luster??Quanterio Heath
Khari Lain?????Kyle Wilson
Antwon Turnage???Tajhea Chambers
Holden Byassee???Kirk Louis
?????? Ben Gallagher