One of the deepest positions on the Oregon Ducks defense is at the linebacker position. The Ducks list 14 players on the roster at linebacker with only five of the players being juniors and seniors. There will be two new starters this season with Dewitt Stuckey and Josh Kaddu graduating. Kaddu is currently with the Miami Dolphins after being drafted in the 5th round of the NFL draft.
The only returning starter at linebacker will be Senior Michael Clay. Clay is the starter at weak-side linebacker after playing in 11 games last season. He racked up 102 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss, with two interceptions (one for a touchdown), 2 forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He has played 37 total games for the Ducks amassing 176 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Senior Kiko Alonso is ready to step in as the starter at middle linebacker. Alonso backed up Dewitt Stuckey last season. The senior played in 12 games last season making 46 tackles, six tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. He was the Rose Bowl Defensive Player of the Game with five tackles, one interception, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. He has played in 24 games total in his career making 62 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
#25 Boseko Lokombo makes the jump to starting strong-side linebacker position after backing up Josh Kaddu last season. Lokombo was the top reserve last year playing in 14 games. The junior made 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, two sacks and two interceptions which he brought back for scores. In his career, Lokombo has played in 27 games making 69 tackles, 5.5 for loss, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries, two picks and two sacks.
Michael Clay’s backup last season was Derrick Malone and that should be the case again next season. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound sophomore played in 14 games last year making 15 tackles with one tackle for a loss.
Former four-star recruit by ESPN and Scout.com, Tyson Coleman should be the backup strong-side linebacker to Boseko Lokombo next season. Coleman is a 6-foot-1, 217-pound redshirt freshman from Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Another four-star recruit who should see more action this year is Anthony Wallace. Wallace will be in the mix as a backup to Kiko Alonso. Wallace is a 6-foot, 231-pound sophomore who played in six games last year making eight tackles and one tackle for loss.
Number 48 on the Duck roster is sophomore Rodney Hardrick. Hardrick is 6-foot-1, 237 pounds, and played in four games last season. A former three-star recruit from Colton, CA, he played in four games last season making eight tackles with two tackles for loss. He played as a true freshman last season and will also be in the mix as a backup to Alonso.
The upper classmen with the most experience coming back are Keloni Kamalani and Jennings Stewart. A junior, Kamalani is a key special teams player who played in 14 games last season making 22 tackles with one tackle for a loss and a forced fumble. Stewart is a senior who played in five games last season making five tackles, two tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery.
A trio of sophomores saw action for the Ducks in 2011. #51 Isaac Ava is 5-foot-10, 243 pounds. He played in three games last season making two tackles. Mike Garrity wears number 38 and he played in two games last season making two tackles. Lastly, Grant Thompson played in two games last season but didn’t record any stats. Thompson wears number 59.
Two players looking to make the rotation are Rahim Cassell and Carlyle Garrick. Cassell is a big linebacker at 6-foot, 243 pounds. He is a sophomore who wears number 34. Garrick is a 6-foot-2, 221-pound redshirt freshman from Castro Valley, California.
Tags: Anthony Wallace Boseko Lokombo Carlyle Garrick Derrick Malone Dewitt Stuckey Grant Thompson Isaac Ava Jennings Stewart Josh Kaddu Keloni Kamalani Kiko Alonso Miami Dolphins Michael Clay Mike Garrity NFL Draft Rahim Cassell Rodney Hardrick Tyson Coleman