Three Starters Return For Cardinals

A wealth of experience returns in the form of 3 seniors for the Ball State Linebacker Group.

If there is one position group on defense that Ball State can call its strong suit, it would be linebacker.

The Cardinals welcome back three starters who account for 14 years of experience, 193 tackles from a season ago and 9.5 tackles for a loss in Seniors Sean Wiggins, Zack Ryan and Aaron Taylor.

Wiggins (6-3 233), the all-around top performer of the defense, returns for his second season of starting and his 4th of significant playing time, posted 95 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 INTs last season. The Sr. North Carolina was good enough to be named First Team All-Mid-American Conference for a Cardinal defense that finished at or near the bottom of every statistical category last season.

Ryan, at 5-11 225, is back for his 5th season on the Cardinal roster. The former walk-on posted 67 tackles and 3 tackles for loss. He is a steady influence who has started since mid-way through his redshirt sophomore campaign and has been in on more snaps than any other Cardinal defender.

Taylor (5-11 206) is the most athletic of the group and is looked at to expand his role. After serving as both a safety and SAM in the past, Taylor will serve more of a ROVER type, lining up over the opponents SLOT receiver. This will mean he will serve as somewhat of a Defensive Back while also adding to run support.

Despite having all three seniors back for their final campaigns, Ball State has a wealth of young but inexperienced talent in the LB corps.

Headlining the group is veteran reserve Stu Stanley. The 6-1 229 Sr. has spent a ton of time over the years as a mainstay on special teams and should see an increased role as the top reserve for new LB Coach Johnny Curtis.

Also providing depth will be R-Fr Jacob White, R-So Damon Singleton and R-So Jeremiah Jackson.

White, a former RB/QB in high school, spent the past season redshirting while getting bigger (6-0 232) while also learning the position. His experience as a RB helps him read and react to running plays and understand lanes.

Singleton (6-2 234) is a big and physical LB with plenty of athleticism and talent. He flashed great potential in a limited role last season and shined at the Spring Game earlier this year.

Jackson (5-11 219) is a ball hawking athlete who has solid speed and brings a punch on contact. Despite his lack of size, Jackson is a sure tackler that can also drop into coverage.


Ball State Insider Top Stories