Preview 2008: Linebackers

As part of VandyMania.com's continuing preview of the 2008 Vanderbilt football team today we check out the linebackers. The Commodores open their 2008 season on August 28th when they visit Miami (Ohio).

Overiew:

There's concern for sure with the loss of Jonathan Goff and Marcus Buggs but things should be fine as the Commodores return several talented linebackers.

Starters lost:

Marcus Buggs
Jonathan Goff

Returning starters:

Patrick Benoist (6-0, 218, Jr.) (photo at right) Benoist had won a starting linebacker position during preseason 2007 drills but an injury kept him out of the first few games. He later returned to play well, picking up 32 tackles and 4 sacks.

Others to watch:

Bo Baggerley (6-1, 210, Sr.)- Veteran walk-on.
Brandon Bryant (6-1, 230, R-Jr.)- Vicious hitter who was hampered by injuries in 2007. Started 3 games and had 30 tackles.
Nate Campbell (6-3, 228, R-So.)- Had 8 tackles in 2008. Made a big stop at South Carolina to help preserve Vandy's lead.
Dexter Daniels (6-1, 210, Fr.)- Daniel had 15 sacks last year as a high school senior.
Davis Flowers (6-0, 215, R-Fr.)- Walk-on.
Michael Garcia (6-0, 238, R-So.)- Walk-on.
Chris Johnson (6-1, 235, R-Jr.)- Saw action in 11 of 12 games in 2007. Had 8 tackles.
DeAndre Jones (6-0, 220, Fr.)- Had over 21 tackles for loss last year as a high school senior.
Chris Marve (6-0, 238, R-Fr.)- Former Mr. Football Tennessee was redshirted in 2007 and is ready to get back on the field.
Brent Trice (6-3, 215, Jr.)- Has played in all but one game since coming to Vandy. Trice has 26 career tackles including two for losses. Moved to strongside linebacker from safety on August 1st.
Austin Newton (6-4, 215, R-So.)- Saw limited action in 2007 and finished with one tackle.
John Stokes (6-5, 238, So.)- Also long snaps on special teams. Had 7 tackles.
Tristan Strong 6-1, 220, Fr.)- Had 51 tackles as a senior in high school last year.
Elvio Tropeano (5-8, 200, R-Fr.)- Walk-on.

Projected starters:

Patrick Benoist
Brandon Bryant OR
Nate Campbell
John Stokes

Biggest question for 2008: Who will be Vanderbilt's next linebacker to make it to the NFL?

Vanderbilt linebackers power rating (1-10): 8.1


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