Positional Breakdown, Part-12: WILL LBs

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

WILL Linebackers

K.J. Wright (6'4 250) Senior

  • Scout Ranking:***
  • 2009 Stats: 82 Tkls./6.5 TFL/2 Sks.
  • Spring Game: 1 Tkl.

    Synopsis:
    Wright may very well be the best player no one has ever heard of other than pro scouts. He has been steady the past two years but hasn't put up the huge numbers to gain national attention. Coach Manny Diaz has taken over as defensive coordinator and switched him to the Will Linebacker position in hopes of using Wright's physical tools.

    Strengths:

  • Athleticism
  • Versatility
  • Tackling
  • Awareness
  • Strength

    Weaknesses:
    Honestly can't think of one

    2010 Projection:
    75 Tkls./16 TFL/10 Sks./2 PB (1st or 2nd Team All-American)

    I expect Wright to emerge as one of the best linebackers in the country and get drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft. This is my boldest projection so far and I stand by it.


    Deontae Skinner (6'1 240) Redshirt Freshman

  • Scout Ranking:***
  • 2009 Stats:Redshirt
  • Spring Game: 4 Tkls.

    Synopsis:
    Skinner redshirted in 2009 but performed well as a member of the scout team. Skinner came into the spring looking to solidify a spot in the Will Linebacker rotation but was hobbled by injuries. He did manage to have a solid spring game, giving himself momentum heading into fall practice.

    Strengths:

  • Instincts
  • Run Support
  • Pass Rush
  • Tackling

    Weaknesses:

  • Coverage Ability
  • Range

    2010 Projection:
    10 Tkls./2 TFL/0 Sks

    I expect Skinner to open fall practices as Wright's backup but get beat out by incoming freshman Christian Holmes.


    Mike Hunt (6'3 245) Redshirt Sophomore

  • Scout Ranking:**
  • 2009 Stats: 1 Tkls.
  • Spring Game: No Stats

    Synopsis:
    Hunt has struggled with injuries throughout most of his career and has failed to make an impact.

    Strengths:

  • Size
  • Athleticism

    Weaknesses:

  • Intangibles
  • Durability

    2010 Projection:
    No Stats

    I don't foresee Hunt playing next year with many talented freshmen coming in the fall.


    Christian Holmes (6'2 235) True Freshman

  • Scout Ranking:**
  • 2009 Stats: 107 Tkls./4 Sks./2 Int. Receiving- 388 yds. 9 TD

    Synopsis:
    Holmes was a late find by the coaching staff but may turn out to be a steal. He is a big hitter that is physically ready to contribute right away.

    Strengths:

  • Hard-Hitter
  • Ball Skills
  • Athleticism
  • Versatility
  • Football I.Q.
  • Physically Ready
  • It Factor- Holmes has something different about him

    Weaknesses:

  • Hips
  • Raw

    2010 Projection:
    24 Tkls./4 TFL/1 Sks./1 PB

    Holmes should come in and eventually earn a spot as Wright's backup. He also should be a good special teams player.


    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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