Spring Review -- Linebackers

Spring football is over and the Hurricanes are now going into Phase Three, which is summer conditioning. Lets review the linebacker play from the spring and what lies ahead.

The Players:
Denzel Perryman finished last season as Miami's second most productive linebacker behind new Pittsburgh Steeler Sean Spence. The talented sophomore began the spring on the outside but was quickly moved to the middle and had a very good spring. He is Miami's top linebacker this spring. The most experienced starter going into spring, senior Ramon Buchanan, sat out all of spring while recovering from knee surgery from last season. He's expected to be at full strength before the season though. Jimmy Gaines has played both the middle and the outside and he was solid in the spring, despite missing the spring game with an injury. He is listed as the third starter.

Tyrone Cornileus spent the last two years playing safety but was moved to linebacker to start spring and had a solid performance. He will provide depth on the outside, along with sophomore Gionni Paul. Redshirt freshmen Eddie Johnson and Thurston Armbrister will also provide depth. Armbrister spent last season at safety but made some nice spring game on the outside. New freshmen Raphael Kirby (middle) and Josh Witt added depth, even though Witt was dinged up most of spring.

Best Guess Depth Chart:
Perryman is in the middle, with Kirby behind him. Buchanan and Gaines are the starters on the outside. Paul and Cornileus are competing for the second spot behind Buchanan. Johnson is behind Gaines.

What's Ahead:
Perryman should have a very good sophomore season in the middle. There's a good chance he'll end up being an All-Conference performer this season. Gaines is smart and plays with a good motor so he should make some plays. Buchanan has shown flashes of being very good and the hope is that he returns to a high level and becomes one of the top outside linebackers in the conference. The backups are decent right now and someone really needs to elevate his game. Paul is probably the most likely to do that. Witt could be headed for a redshirt season. The Hurricanes will welcome a pair of freshmen over the summer -- Gabe Terry and Jawand Blue. Both will be at the bottom of the depth chart to start fall camp.

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