Tyler and Edwards to Anchor Tech’s Linebacking Corps

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Bruce Taylor is gone, and with his departure there are two big questions at linebacker: how good is the depth, and is Tariq Edwards healthy enough to get back to his 2011 form?  Spring practice starts on Wednesday, and we should have a better idea in a few weeks.

Note that we will include the whips with the defensive backs in Wednesday’s secondary preview.  The whip spot is more of a defensive back position these days, depending on alignment.  If we include that position with the defensive backs, then we can also discuss the nickel package in the same article.

There are four scholarship players in the mix at mike and backer, and one young r-freshman who will likely make his biggest contributions on special teams.  Also, walk-ons Josh Trimble (5-11, 200, r-So.) and Derek DiNardo (6-0, 210, r-Jr.) have been moved from backer to whip to make up for a lack of depth at that position.

Mike

The starting spot at mike is a no-brainer.  Jack Tyler (6-1, 236, r-Sr.) was Tech’s starting mike last season, and barring injury, he’ll start every game at that position in 2013.  Tyler is a throwback mike linebacker.  He’s not going to win 40 yard dash battles, or out-jump other players in a vertical competition.  But who cares?  He’s a middle linebacker.  The only prerequisite for a middle linebacker is that he be a good natural football player, and that’s exactly what Tyler is.

Jack Tyler

Tyler was named First Team All-ACC by the coaches last season.  He had 119 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 13 quarterback hurries.  He is Tech’s best between-the-tackles mike since Vince Hall.  He closes ground quickly, and makes plays in the backfield.  He’s tough, he’s reliable,

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