Losing your best linebacker always hurts. Losing your best linebacker, leading tackler, and middle linebacker under the circumstances Tech lost theirs is like twisting a knife in your stomach.
Allen included, here’s what the original spring depth chart looked like:
OLB: D’Vonta Hinton, Luke Stice
MLB: Dakota Allen, Johnathan Picone
OLB: Malik Jenkins, Kahlee Woods
Dakota Allen is no longer a Red Raider, and we cannot dwell on that fact. It’s time to move on, lads.
The interesting part is who’s going to get the nod at MLB in Allen’s absence. Do you roll with the true freshman in Johnathan Picone? Do you roll with some veteran leadership and slide Jenkins over?
Like I’ve said in previous articles, you have to put guys in roles where they experience their maximum potential/output. I believe this applies more so than any other position group on the team with this linebacker core.
The fall depth chart is going to experience a significant overhaul and the right move would have to be sliding Jenkins over. I like Picone a lot (check out his highlight video here), but it would be playing with fire by putting a true freshman at the Mike linebacker spot. Picone plays fast and is explosive getting through the line; I would really like him at either of the OLB spots. Also, best Italian Tech football player last name since…?
Another idea under speculation is that they will rotate a series of linebackers until they find a suitable rotation. I would like this idea, but you don’t get any preseason games in college, and I do not like messing with players at different positions constantly. September 3rd is going to be here before we know it, and September 10th in Tempe is already sneaking its head around the corner.
I’m hoping David Gibbs and the Tech defense can work out an effective linebacker group this season. I’m looking forward to seeing this group progress this season.