Positional Breakdown, Part-11: SAM Linebacker

Included is a detailed breakdown of the Mississippi State SAM linebackers based on their 2009 play and how they looked and performed during the just-completed spring practices and scrimmages.

Sam Linebackers

Cameron Lawrence (6'2 225) Sophomore

  • Scout Ranking:***
  • 2009 Stats: 14 Tkls.
  • Spring Game: 5 Tkls.

    Synopsis:
    Lawrence enrolled last spring and earned a spot on the special team squad, making 14 tackles. He was asked to move to Sam Linebacker this spring and did well at the position. He began and ended the spring as the starter.

    Strengths:

  • Intangibles
  • Instincts
  • Recognition
  • Tackling
  • Coverage Ability
  • Toughness

    Weaknesses:

  • Size
  • Average Athleticism
  • Pass Rush
  • Footwork

    2010 Projection:
    50 Tkls./4 TFL/1 Sks./ 6 PB

    Lawrence will have to fight off prized recruit Chris Hughes most of the season but should hold onto the spot and have a good year.


    Emmanuel Gatling (6'3 215) Redshirt Senior

  • Scout Ranking:**
  • 2009 Stats:8 Tkls.
  • Spring Game: No Stats

    Synopsis:
    Gatling has been a valuable special team's player throughout most of his career and even earned some playing time last season at safety. He moved to Sam Linebacker a couple days into the spring and was second team most of the spring.

    Strengths:

  • Toughness
  • Coverage skills
  • Special Teams

    Weaknesses:

  • Average Athleticism
  • Size
  • Run Support

    2010 Projection:
    6 Tkls.

    Chris Hughes will likely force Gatling to be relegated to special team duties.


    Karlin Brown (5'6 205) Senior

  • Scout Ranking:**
  • 2009 Stats:7 Tkls./ 1 TFL
  • Spring Game: 3 Tkls.

    Synopsis:
    Brown, an undersized linebacker, has been a valuable special teams player most of his career.

    Strengths:

  • Speed
  • Pass Coverage
  • Special Teams

    Weaknesses:

  • Size
  • Run Support

    2010 Projection:
    4 Tkls.

    Brown should play a little in mop up duty next season.


    Chris Hughes (6'1 215) True Freshman

  • Scout Ranking:***
  • 2009 Stats: 31 Tkls./3 TFL/1 Int./2 FR

    Synopsis:
    Hughes is a player I am very excited about, pegging him as my top recruit in the 2010 recruiting class. Some teams backed off of him his senior year because of an Achilles injury but the Bulldogs stayed with him and he committed shortly after Manny Diaz became defensive coordinator. Hughes is a perfect fit for the Sam Linebacker spot at Mississippi State and should flourish in the system.

    Strengths:

  • Great Athlete
  • Tackling
  • Coverage Ability
  • Instincts
  • Pass Rushing
  • Star Quality

    Weaknesses:

  • Size
  • Durability

    2010 Projection:
    30 Tkls./6 TFL/1 Sks./4 PB

    Hughes might start out the first few days at safety but he should eventually be moved to Sam Linebacker and battle Cameron Lawrence for the starting job.


    Jeremiah Short is a columnist who covers various Mississippi State sports for GenesPage.com. He can be reached by email at moot2005@yahoo.com


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