Rutgers returns both starting linebackers this season in Deion Jennings and Tyreem Powell. They were productive last season and played almost exclusively at linebacker as part of the 4-2-5 defensive scheme. Now that there is more potential depth at the position, can this group be even more productive than last season?
Mo Toure returns after missing all of last season with a torn ACL injury. He led Rutgers in sacks in both 2020 and 2021. His versatility could end up seeing Toure playing the EDGE for the defensive line, but he also gives Rutgers improved depth at linebacker.
Former 4-star linebacker Moses Walker is back after tearing an ACL during his freshman training camp last year. His high ceiling is exciting for a position group that was thin depth wise last fall.
With veterans in the back of the defense like Avery Young and Christian Izien now gone, more responsibility will be on the linebackers. How they make pre-snap reads, align the their teammates prior to the snap and ability to make plays and reduce huge gains from the opponent are critical this season.
While the scheme isn’t changing this season, defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak could potential rotate at linebacker more so. Perhaps in doing so, this group will be even more productive in 2023.
Listen and watch to the fourth of ten positional previews regarding the linebackers below. Joining me for all of these positional preview episodes is football writer and Rutgers fan David Anderson.
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