TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2011
JU Football Season Outlook: The Linebackers
Unit coach: Jerry Odom

Overview: What started as a patchwork unit is shaping into a formidable unit as coach Jerry Odom seems to have found a combination. Last season, the linebackers wound up with a four-man rotation and two of the four, JoJo Fennell and Will Perry have graduated. Projected starters Layne McCombs and A.J. Joiner both are gone with torn ACLs but PFL Freshman Player of the Year in 2010, Mike Klein has stepped up and brought sophomore Taylor Marsh with him. The unit will look at a couple of freshmen, Blythe Weaver and Trevor Alfredson, and have hopes for junior college transfer Joe Barnett, Montaque Mack who is moving back to linebacker from defensive end and Lucktes Estieverne, who has transferred from Grambling. Weaver, according to Odom, may be the most athletic linebacker to come through the school.

Key Returners: Mike Klein, Taylor Marsh, Montaque Mack, Blake Willis.

Key Losses: Layne McCombs, A.J. Joiner, JoJo Fennell, Will Perry

Promising Newcomers: Blythe Weaver, Trevor Alfredson, Lucktes Estiverne.

Unit Strengths: Athleticism and they are smart. There are not a lot of mental errors and the work ethic is high.

Unit Weaknesses: Experience. In practice, the linebackers look as though they are game ready, they are soon to find out.

Coach’s Quote: “My dad used to say you don’t know how you look until you get your picture took. Saturday we’re going to get our picture took.’’ – Jerry Odom

-- Jim Nasella