Several linebackers will get playing time for The Nebraska Cornhuskers this season. Most of them have no college football experience and will be thrown into the fire when Nebraska plays Wyoming on August 31st.
In a press conference following the second practice of fall camp, Bo Pelini said that no one is locked into any spots. Everyone is getting reps at the different linebacker positions and taking turns with the various formations that Nebraska runs.
By the time the season kicks off, starters will be in place and the rotations will be set at linebacker. The valuable experience players will get by taking reps at all spots will pay off for the Husker defense. It will allow the players to be more versatile and give them a better understanding of the defensive schemes Nebraska will run.
When Bo Pelini mentioned how the defense would be more multiple this year, maybe he was speaking about this position and the abilities it will showcase. If players are interchangeable in various formations and positions, the Blackshirts could actually be lethal. If they are learning all of the assignments, they will know what everyone’s job is at all times. The likelihood of confusion decreases and defensive production should increase.
Although Pelini says that no positions are locked up, many expect David Santos to start for the Huskers. Having a young core behind him, getting plenty of reps now will only make this unit stronger. Jared Afalava, Zaire Anderson, Michael Rose, and Marcus Newby will all likely contribute at linebacker. True freshmen Josh Banderas and Courtney Love could also see the field. While Banderas has a good shot at getting a few snaps at linebacker, Love would primarily be used on special teams.