Projected Spring LB Depth Chart

Even with the graduation of four very good linebackers, this year's crop of backers could still be the strength of the defense. Next week spring football practice kicks off and Renegade will preview the linebacker depth chart.

SLB: Lawrence Timmons- (Junior) – Yes, Ernie Sims is a freak and he will be a high first-round draft pick but give me Timmons over him every day of the week. The 6-foot-3 and 230 pound standout is flat-out a better football player than Sims and he single-handily harassed Marcus Vick in the ACC Championship game by recording eight tackles, six solo, two quarterback sacks and two quarterback hurries. As a true sophomore, he made 35 tackles, blocked two punts, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble, recorded three sacks and had six quarterback hurries on the season.

Anthony Kelly- (Junior) - Kelly will move from defensive end to linebacker. The 6-foot-3 and 250 pound Kelly was redshirted last season due to a groin/hip injury. If the former Daytona Beach standout can stay healthy, he could force a move of Toddrick Verdell back to his natural free-safety position.

Toddrick Verdell- (sophomore) - Verdell, an American at Butler Community College, could split time between linebacker and free-safety. The 6-foot-3 and 215 pound standout recorded 73 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two tackles for loss in 10 games as a redshirt freshman.

MLB: Buster Davis- (Senior) - Davis will be counted on for his leadership. With the dismissal of A.J. Nicholson for the Orange Bowl, forced linebacker coach Kevin Steele to move Davis to weak-side linebacker. The move could be permanent and it could be a huge benefit to the Seminoles because he really stood out against Penn State at weak by recording 10 tackles in that game.

Jae Thaxton- (sophomore) - Thaxton was redshirted last year due to a concussion he suffered in the Citadel game. It's unclear if he'll be able to practice this spring due to an ankle injury. You can bet he will be in the mix for the starting job come fall. As a true freshman, the 6-foot-3 and 245 pound standout recorded 19 tackles and he led the team with two blocked kicks.

Derek Nicholson- (sophomore) - Nicholson has a chance to be better as a Seminole than his older brother. As a true freshman he showed signs of why he was such a heavily recruited player. The 6-foot-1 and 232 pound standout has the size and instincts to be a major force in the middle.

WLB: Eugene Hayes- (sophomore) - If Davis stays at Mike linebacker Hayes is the odds on favorite to win the weak-side linebacker job. As a freshman Hayes showed why he will be a future All-ACC player. The only thing he needs to do is add some size.

Rodney Gallon- (sophomore) - Gallon played mostly on special teams and he could get passed on the depth chart by a true freshman in the fall.

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