Spring preview: Linebacker

What are some of the things to watch at the linebacker position this spring? Big Red Report has some possible answers in this media roundtable.

LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska Red-White spring game is set for April 12, meaning Husker spring practices are almost here.

In Big Red Report's next magazine, our recruiting yearbook, we also take a look at spring practices, breaking down each position in a media roundtable. What are some of the things to watch? Who might be ready to step up? For a sneak peak, here is a look at the linebacker group.

We would like to thank the Lincoln Journal Star's Steve Sipple and Brian Christopherson for participating with our own Josh Harvey and Bryan Munson.

Michael Rose (Stewart Photography)

Sipple: "They have numbers and I think they can be pretty good, but I don't know if I see an All-Big Ten guy back there. I think (David) Santos can make a jump. Michael Rose showed a lot as just a redshirt freshman. I don't think you can count out Josh Banderas – I'm wondering if they will move him to the outside. They got guys. You wonder about Courtney Love and Marcus Newby. I'm very interested in seeing Newby this spring, because of what I have heard. Some guys says he will be ready. I think he will bring speed, which is huge. There is going to be a ton of competition, it's a great position to be watching this spring. It's going to be heated. Let's face it, everyone can't play."

Christopherson: "To me, this is the most interesting spot on defense. You have Michael Rose, who stepped up, Santos who played well, and Anderson who did a good job in the bowl game, but now you throw in guys like Courtney Love and Marcus Newby and it gets interesting. When you listen to guys talk about Newby and Love, those guys are some freak athletes. They can move side-to-side well and they make some impressive plays. Can one of them step up and take a spot away? I don't know, but it's something to watch. The other guy is Josh Banderas. He jumped onto the scene and then sort of fell to the background, but he strikes me as a kid who isn't going to settle for being in the background. I bet he makes a strong push this spring. I wouldn't rest easy if I was any of those first-team guys that ended the year."

C. Love (Stewart Photography)

Munson: "A leader has to emerge from this group. Will it be the senior Zaire Anderson, Michael Rose who really stepped up last year, David Santos or Josh Banderas who are the other two, most experienced linebackers? Personally, I want to see how some of the younger guys are coming along like Courtney Love who could play all three of the linebacker spots and maybe one of the most intriguing players in Marcus Newby. Newby could really be what the doctor ordered for a big-play man at the WILL spot on this defense. It's a great blend of experience, talent and potential. There is definitely a need for someone vocal here to emerge and be that extension of the coaching staff. I thought it was something Nebraska desperately lacked last season."

Harvey: "You have to be excited to see the Newby and Love, just because of some of the things we have heard from their peers, but I'm most interested in what they will do with Michael Rose and Josh Banderas. I think both are too talented to keep off the field, which means one of them will likely have to move to another linebacker spot. Maybe it's Banderas, since Rose seemed to settle into the MIKE late in the year. All I know is Banderas has had a couple months to really watch film and allow the game to sink in. He's going to be better in year two. We sometimes often forget how big of a jump there is for freshman. After that, I want to see how Santos plays going into the spring as the BUCK. Last year he was moved there midseason, but now has had time to prepare for that spot exclusively."

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