Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lead Up To The Kickoff: Day 5 (Part 1)

I would like to address DPJ's column today and just want to add that if we got AC/DC to play at Heinz Field we would have 300% capacity. AC/DC could sell about 180,000 tickets in this city, every Yinzer wearing sweatpants loves them. For my first column today I'm going to take a look at the linebackers corps, who are getting special attention from the Defensive Coordinator and overall genius Paul Rhoads. Aren't you excited guys? No, well lets take a more in-depth look and maybe I can change your mind.

The story at linebacker is the transformation of four star wide receiver recruit Dorin Dickerson to linebacker. Before you start to worry he had offers on the table from every school that recruited him to play linebacker, so this isn't his first time at the position. Dorin is looking absolutely jacked at 220 pounds, thanks Buddy Morris. In camp he still shows the same speed and footwork that he showed scoring touchdowns basically everytime he touched the ball last year. I haven't seen many instances in camp reports of linemen being able to overpower him. Tackling-wise Dorin is a big hitter due to his speed but is also fundamentally sound. Just imagine him blitzing from the outside or covering a running back in the flat. Everytime he touches the ball he is damn near a lock to put it in the endzone. Dorin has the potential to be an All American this year. That's right not just All Big East but an All American. In one more year when he gets an extra 10 or 15 pounds of muscle you are looking at the Bednarik Trophy winner. He is an amazing talent that will be our secret weapon in stopping the best running backs in the Big East. Steve Slaton watch your ass because you won't be able to outrun Dorin like you did Tommie Campbell. He's coming for you brother.

At middle linebacker Scott McKillop brings a high level of talent and leadership. McKillop was a preseason All Big East selection by several publications. He has some awfully big shoes to fill in the departure of H.B. Blades but he appears to be ready. In our defense we need the middle linebacker to make tackles at the line and to shade off blockers. McKillop will get plenty of opportunity to make tackles with the inmprovement on the defensive line this year. Look for McKillop to have a big year and be on the All Big East Team.

At the other outside spot look to see a couple of differnt guys. Shane Murray appears to be the front runner at the position. He is a sophmore but played as a reserve defensive back and on special teams last year. His competition is Nate Nix who is a redshirt freshman, so nobody has seen what he can do. My prediction is despite what the released depth chart says that Adam Gunn will take over on the side opposite of Dorin. Logically you would put the smaller Dickerson on the weak side and put the larger Gunn on the other side. I don't think the coaching staff will leave a playmaker like Dorin on the bench and Gunn has more experience than Murray and Nix.

So my predicted linebacking core for the opener is going to be Dorin on the weakside, McKillop up the middle, and Gunn on the strong side. I'm probably going to be wrong and Murray will be out there instead of Gunn but who knows what the coaching staff is going to do in this situation. Despite the inexperience there is a two top-level talents in this group, McKillop and Dorin. What more can you ask for out of a group that lost all three starters from last year.

Here comes the boom guys, here comes the boom.

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