Predicting the Blackshirts – WILL Linebacker

By at July 18, 2011 | 10:49 AM | Print

A Bo Pelini-led defense is salty and vicious. Only a select few can call themselves starters and are rewarded by being part of a Nebraska tradition that spans over four decades. A simple black practice jersey denotes some of the nastiest young men in the country. We look into the crystal ball and see what’s to come for the 2011 Blackshirt unit.

WILL Linebacker

Much like the strongside defensive tackle position, this spot’s spoken for. In 2010, Lavonte David came in following injury to both Will Compton and Sean Fisher. What resulted was one of the finest seasons that a Blackshirt’s ever had. The scary news for Nebraska’s new conference is that from all indications, David is leaner, meaner and even better.

He terrorized Big 12 backfields while setting a school record single-season record for tackles with 152 (84 solo). He also compiled 15 tackles for loss, six sacks, ten pass breakups and seven quarterback hurries last year. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him on a blitz even more this season with several signal-callers on the Big Red’s schedule being less fleet of foot than several in the Big 12.

While David will roam the field as much as possible, there is other talent that will get an opportunity to prepare for the future. True freshman David Santos is a very possible replacement at WILL for 2012. When Lavonte takes a breather, look for Santos’ number on the field. While no one’s going to see Lavonte II immediately, Santos does have an incredible amount of talent and under Bo Pelini’s tutelage could become something special.

While Santos’ development should be fun to watch and others will work to improve depth, apologies to all who attempt to take David’s black jersey away from him. Much like Crick’s, it’s reserved until graduation day.

Projected Blackshirt: Lavonte David

Other Predicted Starters:

Strongside Defensive End, Strongside Defensive Tackle, Weakside Defensive Tackle, Weakside Defensive End

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