August 1, 2012

Fall Preview: Linebackers

Linebacker | DJ Welch

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Defensive Line preview

Linebacker U--West Coast. Coach Riley has used the term to describe Oregon State, and in the past it has fit. Looking back at some of the Beaver greats, names like Richard Seigler, Nick Barnett, Darnell Robinson, Trent Bray and Derrick Doggett were all players who left an imprint on the Oregon State football program.

The past few seasons however, the Beavers have seemed to lack the intensity or 'swagger' of the linebackers of the past. Could 2012 be different?

Oregon State lost five lettermen at linebacker, however Cam Collins was the only major contributor. The speed and athleticism of the unit as a whole should be vastly improved over past seasons.
Returning Starters: Feti Unga (8), Rueben Robinson (11), Michael Doctor (11)

Others Returning: Shaydon Akuna, Jabral Johnson, Donell Welch, Josh Williams, Jaswha James

Newcomers: Dyllon Mafi, Joel Skotte, Caleb Saulo, Rommel Mageo

Departures: Cameron Collins, Shiloah Te'o, Kyle Egan, Tony Wilson, Josh Parrish, Cade Cowdin

• Junior Michael Doctor was second on the team for total tackles with 78. He also added 2.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

• Senior Feti Unga registered 67 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

• In 5 of the past 7 seasons, a LB has led the team in tackles.

• From 2005-2009, the top two tacklers for Oregon State were linebackers each year except 2008, where safety/nickel back Greg Layborne earned the honor.

Watch the battle in the middle with Rueben Robinson and Feti Unga. Robinson is now back in his 'natural' position in the middle, but Unga had a good season when he wasn't out with injury in 2011.

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