Linebackers ready to make next step
Blunt, Barber, Henry lead experienced groupApril 11, 2013 · @MTAthletics
52 Ykeem Wells, r-So., Sam
40 Leighton Gasque, r-Jr., Sam
35 Craig Allen, r-Sr., Sam
*Riley Osborne , r-Fr., Sam
33 Roderic Blunt, r-Sr., Mike
28 Christian Henry, r-Jr., Mike
50 Iman Smith, r-Fr., Mike
38 T.T. Barber, So., Will
32 Justin Jones, r-Sr., Will
Veion Robinson, Fr., Sam
Coach Stockstill on position: "I thought this position improved last year from the previous season and I expect us to be even better in 2013. We have good speed, played tougher last year and showed more consistency. With added experience, I think this group can be a bright spot for our defense."
Blunt: A senior leader who brings toughness to the position ... Practices and plays physical ... Had a career season last year and should only get better.
Barber: Was a pleasant surprise last year playing as a true freshman ... Athletic and physical player who has added strength in the offseason ... Coaches feel things will come to him more naturally in year two ... Very instinctive and should be on the field a lot in 2013.
Wells: Might be the most athletic player in the group but needs to show consistency ... This is a big spring and big season for him ... Runs well, is strong and plays physical.
Henry: A good athlete who improved a lot in 2012 ... A tough player who needs to get better in the passing game with his drops ... Coaches love his physicality.
Jones: Battled injuries in 2011 and in fall camp prior to 2012 season but finally got healthy and saw action in nine games ... Adds experience with 37 career games played and toughness ... Will be counted on for leadership.
Gasque: Has 11 sacks in two years as a reserve ... Brings speed to the position and has added strength in the offseason ... Will be used in special packages.
Note: Allen's future playing status will be determined at a later date as he continues rehab and working with his doctors.
Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.
More Football NewsFeb 17, 2014: Raiders' game at ODU moved to Friday
Feb 14, 2014: Stockstill inks highly-rated cornerback
Feb 11, 2014: Mat drills to get started Monday
Feb 6, 2014: Stockstill names West as defensive line coach
Feb 5, 2014: Raiders ink 23 on National Signing Day
Feb 4, 2014: Signing Day to feature live show, ticker, and more