Before spring practices began, I wrote a couple of articles talking about players that I thought were on the bubble heading into spring practices. One of those players was linebacker Chris Kolarevic So far, it appears he is making a positive impact. Not only that, he may be more than just a bubble player for Nebraska football in short order.
Recording 79 tackles and two sacks in 10 games last season from Northern Iowa, he put up some monster numbers statistically. Now, much like new Nebraska football wide receiver Samori Toure, he is opening up the eyes of some of the other players in the program.
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Judging by what I’m reading, he could have a bigger impact on this defense that I initially thought. Not only is he impressing the players, he is also impressing the coaching staff. That includes defensive coordinator Erik Chinander.
To me, Kolarevic is the ideal linebacker for this defense. He fires off the football, and is very good in pursuit. He is aggressive, and he is not afraid to come up and make a play. He has a constant motor, and that will certainly fit him well in this Nebraska defense. He is exactly what Nebraska football needs out of a linebacker.
With the linebacker position being loaded, it would be easy to think that he could have some trouble getting playing time. I even hinted to that in my initial piece in March. Nevertheless, he is making a good impression on the coaching staff. This is exactly what he needed to do in order to get playing time, and so far he is doing it.
Chinander seems to be impressed by what he brings to the table.
“He’s a guy that you don’t have to really teach necessarily the game of football. It’s kind of learning a new language. He knows all the concepts and everything that’s happening, it’s just learning a new set of language as he moves from UNI’s defense to our defense, but he’s been great. It’s been like a veteran, like getting a free agent in the NFL. I think that he’s going to have a huge impact on the football team.”
I’m excited to see if he can bring that energy to the Nebraska football program. I love the fact that he is a veteran, and I love the fact that he knows the ranks of college football. That just adds to the ever-abundance of experience the Nebraska football defense already has. For that reason as well, he will fit in this unit.
As fall camp gets underway in August, I will be watching his name closely. Something tells me he could have a role on this defense in short order.