Army Spring Depth Chart Review: Mike LB continues its review of the Black Knights post spring depth chart. Today we'll look at the Mike linebacker position. As a plebe, Geoffrey Bacon saw significant action in 2011. Bacon looks to be the frontrunner for paying time in 2012. C.J. Shelley and Zach Williams will also vie for playing time.

Mike Linebacker
Starter: Geoffrey Bacon #6 So.
Back up: C.J. Shelley #51 Sr.
Player to Watch: Zach Williams #52 Jr.
Sophomore Geoffrey Bacon (60 tackles, 1 interception returned for a 70-yard TD) played well as a plebe. He appeared in all 12 games and started five. Bacon was the defensive MVP at the United States Military Academy Prep School in 2010 even though he injured his knee late during his prep year. He made a terrific recovery from knee surgery. Bacon (6-0, 207) has sideline-to-sideline range needed for a Mike linebacker to play in the Double Eagle Flex. He still has plenty of room for improvement. He's not exactly Stephen Anderson filling the gap and he missed too many tackles last year. In the flex defense the Mike linebacker has to play inside out. Bacon needs to improve his positioning and take better angles. He misses too many tackles in the alley not because he is slow but because he cut too shallow an angle during his pursuit. This is an area I expect to see him make vast improvement this year. Bacon led all tacklers during the spring game with seven.

Senior C.J. Shelley played mostly on special teams last year. He recorded two tackles for the Infantry in the spring game. Shelley is a former Stan Brock recruit and a product of the prep school. He has developed over the last three years. He's a short, muscular but undersized linebacker (5-7, 197) with good quickness. In high school he played both middle and outside linebacker. He was named first-team All-State class 6A division in Florida as a high school senior. He's a run-around type of linebacker who is unable to take on blockers because of his size.

Junior Zach Williams, who missed last year with an injury, impressed with his hard hitting style of play this spring. He competed on special teams as a freshman. The 5-11, 202 pound Williams has average speed. He was a two-time All-State performer playing safety and quarterback in high school. Zach was converted to linebacker at the prep school. Williams is a Texas tough, hard-nosed big-effort player. Zach's a sure tackler, understands his assignments and is rarely out of position. Williams was rated as "even" with Bacon on the post spring roster. I believe that was more a motivational plan to have Bacon play with more discipline and not overrun his assignments like Williams. From my understanding, right now the Mike depth chart would read Bacon, Shelley then Williams. Top Stories