Set To Leave The Program At Season's End
Kerry Neal – Senior
Brian Smith – Senior
Smith and Neal will be missed as they combined for 92 tackles on the season. However, there are some young players many feel will be ready to battle come spring to fill their spots.
Set To Return
With Te'o set to return and players like Carolo Calabrese and Prince Shembo continuing to improve, things look good for the Irish in 2011. Players who have a double asterisks attached to their names are seniors who have the ability to become fifth-year seniors.
Steve Paskorz – Senior**
Carlo Calabrese – Sophomore
Anthony McDonald – Junior
Kendall Moore – Freshman
Prince Shembo – Freshman
Steve Filer – Junior
Darius Fleming – Junior
Dan Fox – Sophomore
Danny Spond – Freshman
Justin Utupo – Freshman
David Posluszny – Junior
Manti Te'o – Sophomore
Two of the Irish top five tacklers will be returning linebackers in 2011; however, the depth on the team will be young and inexperienced.
Shuffle The Deck
The potential of Shembo has many excited and spring will show how players like Spond, Utupo, and Moore have developed after their first season on campus.
Recruiting In 2011
Jarrett Grace – Grace can play inside or outside at the next level and will give the Irish a long body at linebacker at 6-foot-4. Grace still has not played his best football and much will be expected out of him during his college career.
Ben Councell – Another long frame, the North Carolina native is built a lot like Grace with some of the same skills.
Anthony Rabasa – We also listed Rabasa as a defensive lineman. While we feel he will be looked at as more of a defensive end, he does have a long frame and the ability to play a stand-up backer spot.
At this time, the Irish look to be extremely happy with the linebackers in the program and those headed to it. The future is bright with Te'o and company, and next season should not see a drop in production.