Spring Preview – Linebackers

Last season the Panthers had one of the best linebacker units in school history. Gerald Hayes was one of the best Panther linebackers ever and is moving on to a pro career. Brian Beinecke was a multi-year starter who also had an excellent career. Those two, plus top backups Scott McCurley and Mike Jemison will also need to be replaced.

This unit has more questions to be answered this spring than any other unit on the entire team. This unit will need to get a lot of work done this spring before a group of five excellent prospects arrive for fall camp.

The lone returning starter is 6-2/245 senior Lewis Moore. Lewis has been a standout performer the last few seasons at his strongside linebacker position, and this year he will move into the middle. The leading candidates to take over at the strongside position are 6-4/245 redshirt sophomore Joe Dipre and 6-1/230 redshirt freshman Azzie Beagnyam. They were both considered blue chip recruits and will be looking to earn a starting position this spring.

Weakside linebacker will feature one of the best battles of the spring. Redshirt junior Malcolm Postell (6-1/220) and redshirt freshmen Charles Sallet (6-0 220) will do battle to earn the starting position. Malcolm played well last season after being moved from the running back position. Sallet and redshirt freshman safety Sam Bryant were considered two of the most impressive freshmen that redshirted last season. Sallet also earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in practice last year. Redshirt freshman Brian Bennett (6-0/220) also looks to earn playing time at the weakside position. Two others who look to push for playing time  are 6-1/230 junior Malcolm Pinder and 6-3/225 redshirt sophomore JJ Horne. Malcolm turned a lot of heads last spring with his speedy, hard-hitting style. He suffered some nagging injuries last fall and looks to rebound this spring.

There will be a lot of interesting battles this spring at the linebacker position. New starters need to be found at the strongside and weakside positions, plus depth will need to be developed at all three positions.

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