Post Spring Breakdown: Linebackers

The Cyclones will head into the 2008-09 season looking to replace their two leading tacklers on defense.

"(Ace) Bowen was a heck of a player and the leader of the defense," said defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt. "We're going to miss him and Jon Banks but some guys are just going to have to step up."

The Cyclones lone returning starter is middle linebacker Jesse Smith. "He's a guy with a lot of want to in him," said Bolt. "He's not the strongest or fastest kid out there but he just gets it done."

Since the spring has ended Bolt has been able to decide who would likely start at the other two spots. "Michael Bibbs will likely start at the strongside linebacker because he has gotten to know the defense so much better and he can really run. He's a 4.5 kid who really gets after it," he said. "At the the weakside linebacker spot it would probably be Fred Garrin right now because during the spring he really caught on well with what we want."

Bolt also feels that Josh Raven will challenge for time at the weakside position and was also very pleased with two other players during the spring. "I thought Derec (Schmidgall) was the surprise of the spring playing at inside linebacker," he said. "Also during the spring it became obvious that Cameron Bell will be a good player for us. He's going to likely make an impact this year."

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