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March 5, 2009The Missouri Tigers are set to start spring ball in less than one week. Over the next few days, PowerMizzou.com will take an in-depth look at the roster as we start our spring ball previews. Today, we continue on defense with a look at the linebackers.
The Favorites: There is no player more secure in his starting spot than Sean Weatherspoon. Luke Lambert should join him atop the two-deep. The third spot is likely going to belong to Andrew Gachkar or Jeff Gettys as spring begins.
The Challengers: No new player on campus for spring ball can match the hype of Josh Tatum, who comes to Mizzou from the City College of San Francisco. He should be in the mix early. In addition, Will Ebner and Tyler Crane will be in the discussion for playing time early and often. Freshman Andrew Wilson is on campus and has an opportunity to make a claim for playing time much like Lambert did in the spring two years ago.
Spring Prediction: Look for Tatum to push his way into the starting trio by the end of spring ball. Ebner showed great things on special teams a season ago and could well take the same route Weatherspoon did to see plenty of time as a sophomore. Crane is an interesting case. He played as a true freshman, then redshirted in his second season. He could push for time at linebacker as well.
Things Could Change If... The interesting thing here is how many linebackers actually play. The Tigers see so many spread offenses that only two backers are on the field at many times. Lambert, Spoon and Tatum figure to be the top three. How many reserves see action? It is likely just one or two. There will be a premium on playing time here and anyone that wants a spot must have a good spring.
PowerMizzou.com will preview every position prior to the first spring practice. Coming later today: The cornerbacks.
PowerMizzou.com's spring football coverage is sponsored by Pension & Benefits Live. Jesse Cox (stljesstx) and Tim Killday (Killer) would appreciate the opportunity to be a resource to you for company benefits and/or individual health and life insurance needs.
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