PHILADELPHIA — Though he has only been on campus for a little more than a year, sophomore Jason Cabinda has suddenly become one of Penn State’s most experienced linebackers.
The first-year starter’s place in the current Linebacker U hierarchy shot up in Saturday’s 27-10 loss at Temple, when veterans Nyeem Wartman-White, Brandon Bell and Gary Wooten were all lost to injuries. Two true freshmen — Jake Cooper and Manny Bowen — were forced to burn redshirts.
Wartman-White, who had been the play-calling middle or Mike ’backer, was lost for the season due to an unspecified left knee issue. Bell and Wooten are expected to return for this week’s home game with Buffalo.
After the loss Saturday, Cabinda, who tied for second on the team with seven tackles, had to fight back emotions while talking about losing Wartman-White to injury. However, he said he is ready to step up as a leader in the unit.
And what if the coaching staff asks him to move from his “Will” outside linebacker position to the “Mike?” See what he had to say about that in the video above.