The linebacking corp has played well this spring, and part of the improvement may be attributable to changes in who is playing where. We've updated our depth chart to reflect these changes, and, at least based on what we've seen this spring and fall, are optimistic about what this group can accomplish under the new defensive system.
Earlier this spring we saw the new defensive coaching staff experimenting with moving the linebackers around a bit. After watching the scrimmage this past weekend, we've learned that the Vandals have indeed shuffled the starting linebackers. Obviously, things can change going into the game against Boise State, but at this time it looks like senior James Staley has the inside track to start at Weakside Linebacker, junior Patrick Libey is the leading candidate at Middle Linebacker, and senior Jordan Kramer should be starting at Strongside Linebacker. Switching James, a 225 pounder with outstanding range, to WLB (last year James started 5 games at SLB before going down with an injury at MTSU) and Patrick to MLB has looked like a good move so far this fall. Patrick (who started 2 games at MLB last year and 6 games at WLB) has hit the weights hard this fall and looks like a solid plug in the middle. Jordan (a 6 game starter last year at SLB, and 4 game starter at SS) has been a very productive 'backer all spring and fall after making the move to SLB mid-way through last season (he was the starting FS in 2000 as well).
We're told that junior Chad Kodama is pushing James hard this fall and had an outstanding spring and summer, so keep an eye out for #35 early and often during the games. Jordan Lampos started 3 games last year at MLB, and has been hitting the weights hard this off-season and continues to look strong in the middle. Redshirt freshman Mike Anderson is definitely an up-and-coming linebacker to look for this fall who is coming off an impressive spring and summer. All of the backups should see playing time this fall, including RS-Fr Tim Bertalot (6-2, 230) at MLB.