Robinson's Linebacker Evaluations

Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson sat down with Hawgs Illustrated for a post-spring look at the linebackers. This appeared in our June issue, the college football preview.

Post-spring evaluations from defensive coordinator Willy Robinson:

31 Jerico Nelson
5-10, 211, SR

This spring, Jerico had what you might consider a quiet spring. He was solid. There wasn't anything that stood out or flashed. But Jerico was Jerico. He did a nice job in doing the things we've asked him to do. He was very, very knowledgeable. If anything, he's the coach on the field. He gets people lined up and makes our calls. He really adjusted extremely well.

47 Matt Marshall
6-1, 230, JR

He had a good spring. He plays a lot of roles for us. Matt got a lot of reps this spring and improved as he went along. He got better toward the end. He's not quite at the reliable stage this year, but he gives us effort and he's been productive.

34 Jerry Franklin
6-1, 245, SR

This was one of the few times Jerry has been through spring ball healthy. It might be a first when he was out there and still healthy at the end. We are still looking for Jerry to step up and be more productive. I think Jerry gets a lot of conscientious in making sure everyone else lines up correctly and it takes away from his game. I think the trust level for him as far as the guys we moved around him will get better when we get consistent with finding who those guys are. He's a quiet leader. He's a guy who the players respect, but he needs to step his game up.

10 Braylon Mitchell
6-3, 225, FR

For the first couple of weeks this spring, he was lost. But the last couple of scrimmages he stepped up his game. He did step forward in the spring. He still doesn't have full command of the defense for that position. But he made a concerted effort. He's a young man who can run. When he does get there he will strike you. He has to become more physical in regards to the direct run. He was productive at the end and not quite as overwhelmed.

46 Tyler Gilbert
6-3, 244, FR

He came in at mid-term and he was still feeling his way along in the spring. It was good that he was here in the spring as a freshman. I think he'll make great strides in the summer and it won't be as foreign to him when we come back in August. It was a new position for him. He'd been on the outside with his hand on the ground. To move him in there, I think he was a little overwhelmed. I don't think he realized how fast the game was in there. He never quit. I would like to see him get a little more physical. But that will come as he gets used to the position. That's just confidence.

32 Bret Harris
6-0, 224, SR

He was a player that we moved beside Jerry Franklin on the outside and once we did, Bret seemed to get more comfortable. He's a solid player. He's not unlike Jerico, he knows the defense and knows what he's supposed to do. He can run. There's a little bit of a physical presence but still not as much as we'd like there. But Bret brought a solidness to the first group when he was out there. He gives you a higher comfort level when he's out there as far as someone who knows his assignments.

25 Terrell Williams
6-3, 232, JR

He had a decent spring. He was probably a little more physical than he'd had. The fact that he finished strong last season carried over into the spring. He needs to improve on his speed and quickness. He had a better overall understanding of the package so he was fairly productive this spring.

39 Jarrett Lake
6-3, 223, SO

There's a young man who probably as a freshman last year was just learning the drills. He probably didn't pay as much attention to the position because he was concentrating mainly on his role as a special teams player. That caused a setback when we did come back in the spring. He was kind of feeling his way at the position. One of the things we have to constantly remind ourselves is he never played that in high school. He was a tailback or a safety. Then all of a sudden he's thrown in there and also expected to know that position in detail. He struggled with that. He's a talented young man. He's got the size, speed. He just needs to bring the physical part of the game and understanding of the defense. The last two scrimmages was just like Braylon Mitchell, the light kind of came on. He knew where to be and what to do. Now it's a matter of adding the physical part and retain what he did this spring.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories