Playing time outlook: linebacker

IT's position-by-position capsule look at the probable fall playing time rotation as well as a glimpse at possible freshman contributors for the Horns continues. Today's installment: linebacker.

Linebacker rotation pattern: The linebacker rotation will largely depend on the ability and rapid development of the true freshmen at the position. Starters Lee Jackson on the strongside, Reed Boyd in the middle and Derrick Johnson on the weakside are solid and could each play the vast majority of the snaps if needed. Carl Reese, though, hopes and expects to give those guys some help, largely out of the group of five newcomers. Those true freshmen will get immediate looks with the second team because the on campus second teamers simply did not step up in the spring, leaving each one in a precarious playing time position heading into two-a-days. On the outside in particular, where Braden Johnson backs up Jackson and Aurmon Satchell and Lance McFarland back up Derrick Johnson, Reese is counting on finding his 10-20 quality snap players from among the true freshmen, although the back-up role in the middle is about as wide open as those on the outside. In the middle, Eric Hall and Rashad Thomas are No. 2 and No. 3 going into August, with only Hall a possibility for meaningful snaps. True freshman PT? Almost certainly given the struggles of all of the back-up LBs in spring. And that PT could come from any one of (or several of) the five newcomers -- in the middle,Aaron Harris (the No. 1 PT candidate at MLB) and Brian Robison and, on the outside, Michael Williams (the No. 1 PT candidate on the outside coming in with favorable comparisons to last year's true frosh stud Johnson), Garnet Smith or Marcus Myers (who reportedly has been extremely impressive during voluntary summer work). Two-a-days and the early season will determine which of the five play, how much they see the field and at what point in the game they get their action, but action some of them will almost certainly get.

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