The good, the bad, the question - LB previews the Oregon State linebackers heading into April.

- Linebackers -

The good: Despite not returning any full time starters there are a ton of athletes at this position with some game experience. Derrick Doggett started the first five games of the season before being replaced by Andy Darkins. Experience plus the desire to hold onto a starting spot is plenty of motivation for Doggett to perform better this year.

Alan Darlin, who the coaches are extremely excited about, Isaiah Cook and Dennis Christopher all played key roles on special teams a year ago which will help them in competing for a starting spot.

L to R: Darlin, Christopher, Doggett

Eddie Stamm is a special team's standout and one of the emotional leaders of the team. JUCO transfer Joey LaRocque brings impressive credentials and has been on campus for several weeks already.

Eric Moala is a tough as nails who could turn some heads with his mature play. Bryant Cornell is blue-collar player who is a valuable special teams member. There is also a smattering of talented walk-ons at this position.

The bad: Darkins is most likely gone for the year which makes Doggett the most experienced player with five career starts. There are a ton of holes and questions to fill and answer as the coaches must figure out the two-deeps, find a leader, in addition to finding out how they will use their players on special teams. Inexperience could expose other parts of the defense.

The question: A lot of good athletes, but who is going to separate themselves from the pack?

Riley says:  "We have a lot of guys who have been waiting for their opportunity. Derrick has played a lot for us, Alan and Andy are very good players. But, we also have some other players who have competed on special teams and some newcomers who should make an impact.”

The roster:

  • MIKE junior Alan Darlin - physical, mean and tough, 12 tackles, a special team's standout in 2005, coaches are very excited about him

  • MIKE junior Andy Darkins - started six games last year, 35 tackles, 5.5 for loss, one sack, moved to middle linebacker at the start of spring, has an injured bicep and may miss the entire 2006 season

  • LB sophomore Adam Mobley - walk-on who faces an uphill battle for playing time

  • WILL sophomore Isaiah Cook - two tackles, both for loss, could make an impact in '06

  • MIKE sophomore Eric Moala - one of the older players on the team who is still getting into football mode after his mission, could make the two-deeps

  • LB redshirt freshman Garrett Childress - walk-on who redshirted last year

  • LB sophomore Eddie Stamm - special teams standout, fiery player who loves to throw his body around

  • SAM junior Derrick Doggett - long, fast and has starting experience, with Darkins injured he is the most experienced linebacker

  • WILL junior Joey LaRocque - sideline to sideline player who is expected to be a leader

  • SAM sophomore Dennis Christopher - late qualifier with a big upside, one tackle

  • LB sophomore Bryant Cornell - blue collar athlete who contributes on special teams, 8 tackles

  • LB sophomore Casey Noack - walk-on who probably won't see playing time

  • LB freshman Cody Heller - invited walk-on in 2006


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