Preview 2008: Navy Linebackers

As part of GoMids.com's continuing preview of the 2008 Navy football season, today we will take a look at the linebackers. The Mids open their 2008 season on August 30th against Towson in Annapolis.

Overview:

Irv Spencer and Matt Wimsatt will be missed for sure but guys like Ram Vela, Clint Sovie and others can fill the void.

Starters lost:

Irv Spencer
Matt Wimsatt

Returning starters:

Tony Haberer (6-1, 225, Jr.) - Seven starts in 2007. Had 44 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in 2007.

Ram Vela (5-9, 193, Jr.) - Diving hit against Notre Dame will long be remembered by Navy faithful. Finished the 2007 season with 57 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and one interception.

Others to watch:

Jordan Eddington (6-0, 230, Jr.) - Had 5 tackles in 2007.
Trey Grissom (6-3, 219, So.) - Finished 3rd on the depth chart at one outside linebacker position after spring drills.
Jerry Hauburger (6-0, 218, So.)
Alex Horne (6-0, 221, Sr.)
Corey Johnson (6-2, 205, Sr.) - In a dead heat with Vela for one one outside linebacker position after spring drills. Had 20 tackles last season.
Elliott Joses (6-1, 220, Jr.)
Kalin Krause (6-0, 227, So.)
Ian Meredith (6-3, 219, Jr.)
Casey Nichols (6-0, 202, Sr.)
John Ponce (5-9, 198, So.)
Ross Pospisil (6-0, 223, Jr.) - Four starts in 2007. Had 67 tackles, 1 interception and 1 fumble recovery.
Craig Schaefer (6-2, 222, Jr.) - Picked up 13 tackles last season.
James Simien (6-1, 214, So.)
Tyler Simmons (6-3, 230, So.)
Brian Smith (6-1, 215, Jr.)
Clint Sovie (5-11, 210, Jr.) - Started first two games of 2007 but was injured against Rutgers.
Travis Sudderth (6-2, 224, So.)
Michael Sweeney (6-3, 225, So.)

Projected starters:

Corey Johnson (OLB) OR Ram Vela
Clint Sovie (ILB) OR Tony Haberer
Ross Pospisil (ILB) OR Tony Haberer
Craig Schaefer (OLB)

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo comments

"I feel really good about our linebackers. It hurt us last year when Clint Sovie got injured, but now he is back and Ross Pospisil and Tony Haberer were both able to gain valuable experience last fall when Clint was out. Craig Schaefer had a really good spring and we are excited about his ability to rush the passer, while I think Ram Vela and Corey Johnson will be solid contributors for us on the opposite side."

Navy linebackers power rating (1-10): 7.9


Ram Vela rammed the Irish in 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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