Linebackers Are Competing

Injuries have taken their toll on the linebacker corps so far this preseason. Find out who's been practicing and what the coaches plan on doing by reading on...

Due to the fact that the spread offense has become so common in college football -- especially in the ACC -- defenses are often left with only two linebackers on the field at once.

And because of injuries to some of the linebackers so far this preseason, head coach Randy Shannon was asked to address the situation of depth. He touched on the part about not needing as many as in the past when you had three linebackers on the field at nearly all times.

"It's not tough," Shannon said. "Really, you play with only four or five linebackers a year. You don't ever play with seven or eight. We have plenty of time to figure it out. It's up to us coaches to coach whomever is there."

With a few guys out because of various injuries, the Hurricanes relied on Eric Houston, Colin McCarthy, Spencer Adkins, and Tavares Gooden for the bulk of the work the last two days. Shannon said depth is not an issue with the linebackers at this time.

"Whoever you have, you have to coach," he said. "The guys here, we recruited. You have to coach them, so we'll be fine. (You need) two guys who can play outside and two guys in the middle. That's about all you can use to get ready for a game each week."

Darryl Sharpton entered fall camp with a strong chance of winning one of the starting jobs. He's been missing because of injuries up until this point but Shannon believes he'll be back soon.

"Sharpton should be back any day now," he said. "We didn't do much with him yesterday. He ran around some early with our athletic training staff. We expect him back soon."

Senior Glenn Cook has an injured foot and the time frame for his return is not known at this point. Romeo Davis is also out because of injury.

While it's unknown at this point who the primary starters will be when the Hurricanes open the season against Marshall in a few weeks, there is some tough competition amongst the guys who are healthy. True freshman Allen Bailey is also in the hunt for some playing time.

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