2006 VU position overview: Linebackers

Linebackers are a traditional strong point on Vanderbilt football team. 2006 should no different. Today VandyMania takes a look at Vanderbilt linebackers.

LOSSES

Moses Osemwegie

THE SKINNY

Replacing Moses Osemwegie is almost to the defense what replacing Jay Cutler is the offense. Osemwegie was a leader on the defense and earned All-SEC honors after the 2005 season. Vandy fans need not worry though, the Commodores have a great group of experienced, athletic backers. Three veterans return to lead the linebacking corps and three up and coming redshirt freshmen will back them up.

THE MEN

Marcus Buggs (5-11, 230 JR): Started two games during 2005 season, including the Tennessee game. Finished spring drills as the starting strong side linebacker. During 2005 season had 29 tackles and one tackle for loss.

Brandon Bryant (6-0, 215 FR*): Finished spring drills as the #2 strong side linebacker behind Marcus Buggs. Showed great promise during spring. Team MVP as a senior in high school when he had 56 tackles, including a school-record 14 sacks.

Jonathan Goff (6-4, 240 JR): Finished spring drills as the starting middle linebacker. Voted team co-captain by teammates. Voted to preseason All-SEC team by media. During 2005 season had 63 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack.
Chris Johnson (6-1, 235 FR*): Finished spring drills as the #2 middle linebacker behind Jonathan Goff. Recorded 295 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks during prep career in Elba, Ala. He's looked good in practice and may be another one in the long Vandy linebacker pipeline to the NFL.

Kevin Joyce (6-3, 224 SR): Finished spring drills as the starting weak side linebacker, replacing graduated Moses Osemwegie. Saw significant action in every 2005 game, starting in 9. Joyce had 47 tackles, 3.5 tackles for losses, 1 sack and 1 fumble recovery. During his career Joyce has accumulated 148 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.

Quavian Lewis (6-4, 218 FR*): Finished spring drills as the #2 weak side linebacker behind Kevin Joyce. Redshirted during 2005, Lewis displayed great speed and tackling ability during the spring. Lewis had 63 tackles and 8 sacks as a senior in high school. Also had 31 catches on offense.

THE FUTURE

Patrick Benoist (6-0, 210 FR): Voted defensive MVP as senior. Benoist had 172 total tackles, 29 tackles for loss and three sacks. Named First Team Texas 5A All-State. High school team ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today.

Nathan Campbell (6-3, 220 FR): As senior Campbell had 148 total tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Credited with more than 350 tackles in three-year career.

Kikko Logan (6-2, 205 FR): Two-time All-Region selection. Had 77 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions during his senior season.

REMARKS

Vanderbilt linebackers coach Warren Belin continues to bring quality linebackers to Nashville. Vanderbilt's linebacking corps is among the strongest units on this year's Commodore squad. Look for these players to make a positive impact during the 2006 season.

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