April 28, 2006

Spring Review: New starters step in at LB

The Players: Middle linebacker: 56 Matt Collins; 21 Prince Hall; 57 Darren Mustin. Weakside linebacker: 42 Juwan Simpson; 44 Demarcus Waldrop[db]; 6 [db]Marcel Stamps; 48 Travis Sikes; 32 Chris Keys*. Strongside Linebacker: 55 Terrence Jones; 46 Zach Schreiber; 51 Eryk Anders.
*Denotes injured player.

2006 signees: Charlie Higgenbotham (Birmingham, Ala.); LaBronski Hutchins (Alexander City, Ala.); Charlie Kirschman (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.).

2005 Season: Simpson: 64 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. Jones: 21 tackles, three TFLs and 1.5 sacks. Collins: 13 tackles. Waldrop: 16 tackles. Stamps:Five tackles.

Good to see: As expected, Simpson, the Tide's lone returning starter at linebacker, assumed the leadership role left behind by DeMeco Ryans and Freddie Roach and ran with it. Always a vocal presence on the field, Simpson has evolved into a more physical player against the run. He's also the Tide's top linebacker against the pass.

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