Fall Camp Preview: Linebackers

Fall camp is about to begin for the Hurricanes so lets take a closer look at the team. This piece focuses on the linebackers.

Coach: Micheal Barrow (6th season)

The Players:
Ramon Buchanan (6-1/225/Sr) ... 107 tackles, 13.5 for loss, 1 FF, and 1 INT
Denzel Perryman (6-0/225/So) ... 69 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and 1 FF
Jimmy Gaines (6-3/230/Jr) ... 59 tackles, 3 for loss
Tyrone Cornileus (6-2/210/Jr) ... 13 tackles
Gionni Paul (6-0/230/So) ... 4 tackles
Eddie Johnson (6-1/235/R-Fr)
Thurston Armbrister (6-3/215/R-Fr)
Raphael Kirby (6-0/220/Fr)
Gabriel Terry (6-3/210/Fr)
Jawand Blue (6-0/195/Fr) Josh Witt (6-2/215/Fr)

Top Returner: Buchanan didn't play much last season because of a knee injury but he was a starter the previous couple seasons. He was a productive player at the time and should be poised for a big senior season. He is one of the fastest and most athletic linebackers in the conference.

Top Newcomer: Kirby was the only freshman that went through all of spring drills with the team. He was the most heavily recruited and most talented of the four when he signed and then gained a leg up on the other three with participation in spring football. He's versatile enough to play any of the three spots and should be able to log a lot of quality minutes, much like Perryman did as a true freshman last season.

Bottom Line: Buchanan provides the most experience and should be a very solid player for the Canes. Perryman, however, will likely end up being the better player. It's only a matter of when that will happen. He's a very good middle linebacker and should do a nice job in a leadership role as well. Gaines has the advantage over the others for the third starting spot and he's a steady player there. Proven depth is a possible concern. Cornileus and Armbrister are converted safeties who haven't proven anything yet. Johnson was a lightly recruited player who redshirted last season. Witt may never play football again due to concussion issues. Blue is undersized and may have to redshirt. Terry is still new to the game. Kirby has a chance to make a big impact but finding more depth will be the focus during training camp.

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