CUTigers Spring Blitz: OLBs

The outside linebacker group will be a blend of youth and experience this season. While the season opener against Auburn is six months away, spring practice is just a week out.

1-Quandon Christian
2-Justin Parker
3-Lateek Townsend

1-Jonathan Willard
2-Tony Steward
3-B.J. Goodson
4-Colton Walls

2011 Stats (Returning)
Willard - 74 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss; 635 snaps
Christian - 34 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss; 411 snaps
Parker - 3 tackles; 33 snaps
Steward - 5 tackles; 36 snaps
Townsend - 3 snaps

Unit Ranking: C+
Willard was the most consistent performer of all the outside linebackers in 2011. His 74 tackles were fifth-best on the team.

As a highly-touted freshman, many believed Steward would eventually overtake Willard for the starting WILL spot. But that never came to fruition. As Willard continued to play at a good enough level, Steward tore his ACL, his second one in just over a year.

After a productive campaign in 2010, Christian followed up middle of the road season in 2011.

Lateek Townsend proved to be a solid special teams performer last season. (Roy Philpott)
In his first two seasons, Parker has bounced around between each linebacker position and has had only limited playing time.

Townsend avoided a redshirt last season, but played only three snaps on defense. The majority of his impact was felt on special teams. His classmates, Goodson and Walls, spent last season with redshirts.

The veterans

With the arrival of defensive coordinator Brent Venables, one can assume that all slates have been wiped clean. Can Willard and Christian continue as the starting two outside linebackers in the base defense?

And then there's Parker. This spring is the start of his put up or shut up year. He has to make strides this spring if it's going to be put up.

The young guns

It's probably a safe assumption that Steward will be a limited participant during spring drills. Because it's his second ACL injury [different knees], he'll have a ways to go when it comes to getting his strength and fitness level caught up to the rest of the group.

With good springs, Townsend and Goodson could line themselves up for serious contention in the two-deep depth chart.

Walls is still around, too. Can he make any strides?

Spring predictions

-Willard still at the WILL
-Goodson makes a name for himself Top Stories