Player: Jaydan Bird
Hometown: Wichita, Kan.
Height & Weight: 6-foot-2, 236 pounds
Likely position on fall depth chart: Backup middle linebacker
The rundown: Bird has been a special teams contributor for three years with some limited time at the linebacker position. Last year, he managed 16 tackles, including 3.5 for loss and a sack. Along with that, he had a pass breakup while playing in all 13 games. He's saw action in 39 career contests and posted a career-high six tackles in the Red River Rivalry game last year.
Expectations for 2012: He's one of a couple legitimate backups in a relatively thin linebacking group this season. Because of that, Bird should see some time behind starter Tom Wort. But the bulk of his role will again be with the special teams units, where he'll be a very important player. He's easily the most pivotal linebacker outside the top three.
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