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2007 Review and Preview: Texas Tech Linebackers

Prior Reviews/Previews:

Who Is Gone:

No. Player Pos. Ht./Wt.
42 Fletcher Session OLB 6-0/232
11 Brent Slaughter OLB 6-1/210
45 Brock Stratton ILB 5-11/231

A lot like the defensive line, there's just not a ton to get excited about with this group. Session and Stratton were okay, but they weren't great. What would have made this class great would have been if Kellen Tillman was on it, alas, he's not. I don't know that there's too much to say about this group, except, thanks and we'll see you later.

Who Returns:

No. Player Pos. Yr. Exp. Ht./Wt. Comment
57 Brian Duncan MLB Fr. RS 6-2/228 Redshirted - should contribute.
50 Ryan Hale WLB So. 1V 6-0/219 Should start, will split time with M. Williams.
54 Chad Hill SLB Sr. 3V 6-1/229 Played 8 games should contribute.
47 Julius Howard SLB Fr. RS 6-0/223 Redshirted - should contribute.
52 Victor Hunter MLB So. 1V 5-10/260 Will back-up P. Williams.
59 Ty Linder SLB Sr. 2V 6-2/215 Played 1 game - should not contribute much.
46 Sandy Riley MLB So. 1V 6-1/257 Played 10 games should contribute.
56 Kellen Tillman SLB Sr. 2V 6-2/240 Will start, but I wish he wouldn't.
39 Marlon Williams WLB So. 1V 5-11/225 Will split time with Hale.
58 Chris Wallace WLB So. RS 5-11/220 Played 2 games - should not contribute much.
48 Paul Williams MLB Sr. 3V 6-1/221 Will start.

I'll be honest, I'm pretty excited about the possibilities with this linebacking crew. Aside from Tillman, I think there's some real talent and the possibility of some guys making a real difference this year rather than just be guys. I like the relative speed and most of these guys have good to decent size. Setencich needs to let these guys go, let them play.

Possible Linebacker Converts:

No. Player Pos. Yr. Exp. Ht./Wt. Comment
35 Blake Collier S So. 1V 6-2/194 Played 11 games, special teams demon.
- Bront Bird DB Fr. HS 6-4/201 Should be able to put on weight, simply makes plays.

I'm not completely sold on these two guys. Collier was a great special teams guy and obviously has a nose for the ball. I'm not real sure where he goes and much of that depends on his weight (I took his weight from the 2007 Spring Practice guide as I did with all of the players). Bird, I'm a little more skeptical. He also was a ball-hawk in high school, but his reported 40 time is very slow and typically, slow players are not good (see Brock Stratton).

Before lambasting me for the placement of these guys in these particular positions, let me go on the record by saying that these are guesses. I think I'm accurate, but not willing to bet my first born child on how these will guys line up.

Stronside Linebacker:

  • 2007
    1. Kellen Tillman, Sr.
    2. Chad Hill, Sr.
    3. Julius Howard, Fr.
    4. Ty Linder, Sr.
  • 2008
    1. Julius Howard, So.
    2. Brian Duncan, So.
  • 2009
    1. Julius Howard, Jr.
    2. Brian Duncan, Jr.

Middle Linebacker:

  • 2007
    1. Paul Williams, Sr.
    2. Victor Hunter, So.
    3. Sandy Riley, So.
    4. Brian Duncan, Fr.
  • 2008
    1. Victor Hunter, Jr.
    2. Sandy Riley, Jr.
    3. Brian Duncan, So.
  • 2009
    1. Victor Hunter, Sr.
    2. Sandy Riley, Sr.
    3. Brian Duncan, Jr.

Weakside Linebacker:

  • 2007
    1. Ryan Hale, So.
    2. Marlon Williams, So.
    3. Chris Wallace, So.
  • 2008
    1. Ryan Hale, Jr.
    2. Marlon Williams, Jr.
    3. Chris Wallace, Jr.
  • 2009
    1. Ryan Hale, Sr.
    2. Marlon Williams, Sr.
    3. Chris Wallace, Sr.

So getting some of this stuff down on paper makes it more interesting doesn't it? The most intriguing thing to me is the fact that these guys are all the same age, or at least close to it. Tech will be well served to take a couple of linebacker recruits in 2008 because it's looking pretty bare after 2009, unless of course some of the defensive end recruits end up moving to linebacker. Not speculating that, I'll say it again. I like this group, I think there's some real talent and it was a shame that some of these players didn't receive any playing time due to the likes of Kellen Tillman and Brock Stratton. I know that it's fairly apparent that Kellen Tillman isn't my favorite player, but I think we've all seen what he can do and I'm just not impressed. Give me speed and decent size in my linebacking corp and I'll show you a decent defense. Like I said at the beginning, I have high hopes and am expecting big things.