Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Position Profile: Linebackers

Today we're going to take a look at the linebacker corps. We've lost big names in Mike McCrimmon and Alvin Scioneaux, but returning starters Travis Thomas and Kevin Thomas look to anchor the post along with some newer faces.

Here's the preliminary depth chart for linebackers:

Travis Thomas
Daryl Vining
Terrance Morris
Dylan Young
Kevin Thomas
Phifer Nicholson
Jim Dolinak
Drake Michaelson

Travis Thomas
, the senior outside linebacker out of Bowie, Md., recorded 54 tackles, and is one of the anchors of this skilled squad of linebackers. Thomas additionally recorded two quarterback hits and a pass break-up.

Senior ILB Kevin Thomas
led returning players in tackles
with eighty.
Courtesy Wofford College Athletics
Travis Thomas saw starts in ten of the eleven games last year, the most of the returning linebackers (McCrimmon started in all eleven, while Scioneaux started in ten); inside linebacker Kevin Thomas started in nine games, racking up an impressive eighty tackles, leading the returning players (McCrimmon recorded ninety). He recorded three sacks, while also forcing a pair of fumbles.

Redshirt freshman Terrance Morris will come onto the scene with big expectations this season, as will Daryl Vining and Dylan Young, who will most likely be viable backups for Thomas and Morris this season.

Sophomore inside linebacker Jim Dolinak saw action in all eleven games last year, recording three tackles. He and Drake Michaelson, a junior out of Eden Prairie, Minn., help round out starting hopefuls along with sophomore Phifer Nicholson, also a Minnesotan. Nicholson is expected to miss the season, however, due to injury.

Michaelson made four tackles in ten games last year, while Nicholson has not seen any action in his collegiate career, mainly due to injury.

Sophomore Lincoln Stewart had some playing time last season, and additionally performed well at spring practice.

Michael Roach was an explosive, extremely versatile player in high school, and he hopes to bring that power to Wofford's defense in the near future.

Seven true freshmen round out the group. Tyreik Lyles also knew how to make big plays; he did so at Byrnes (S.C.) High School, where at strong safety, he recorded over 75 tackles, helping to propel his team to a region title.

John Patterson made some show-stopping plays at Parkview (Ga.), while Carew Alvarez was a stalwart at outside linebacker for Lexington (S.C.).

Nathan Sanders played at defensive tackle in high school, and Colton Clemons did a spectacular job at outside linebacker at Whitewater (Ga.), recording 130 tackles and thirteen sacks during his senior year.

Additional strength is added by Neil Monaghan and Austin Mattison, the former of which racked up 93 tackles at inside linebacker at Daniel (S.C.) High School.

Just like the majority of this squad, there is some returning strength at inside and outside linebacker, personified mainly by Travis and Kevin Thomas, while the remainder of roster spots are occupied by young, inexperienced talent.

The question will be, "Will there be enough returning power, and strong enough newcomers to fill the gaps left by Scioneaux and McCrimmon?"

Right now, it looks like we have a large amount of additional strength that will be a boon to the Terrier defense in coming seasons - for the time being, Travis, Kevin Thomas and company look to have us (and the line) backed.

[Some statistical data courtesy]

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