Position battle spotlight: MLB

AND THEN THERE were two. What was a four headed battle at the MIK spot coming out of the spring session is now apparently down to just a pair of Beavers. And there might be a key determining factor in their position battle.

With Rueben Robinson moving to outside linebacker and Michael Bibbee having left the program, the focus turns to two for the middle linebacker job.

Feti Unga and Tony Wilson.

Wilson has a decided edge in experience, he's a redshirt junior who started five games last year at MLB and had 35 tackles.

Unga is a third year junior who excelled on special teams last year. Despite no starts, he still amassed 32 tackles on the season.

Wilson would seem to have an edge in the read and react category, being the veteran. Unga is generally seen to have more athleticism.

Assuming that no rookie newcomer suddenly blows up in fall camp at the MIK spot, conventional wisdom would say if they're about equal in terms of play and production, starting the younger player is more beneficial in the long run.

But will they be, coming out of camp, about equal. That's the question.

What it might come down to, really, is who plays the best in third down situations.

Oregon State was horrendous in allowing third down conversions last season, ranking 109 out of 120 teams. Improvement is needed across the board there, not just at the MLB spot.

But some stellar middle ‘backer play on third down sure seems likely to pay good-sized dividends, particularly on third and short.

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