Starters, backups and future – Linebackers

Published 9:39 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Troy football team reports for camp at the end of July, first practice is set for Aug. 1. In this series, we’ll touch on every position and look at the starters, the backups and the future.


The Starters:

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After losing Kanorris Davis and Brannon Bryan to graduation, the initial thought would be that Troy could be hurting at the linebacker position in 2013. The opposite, however, could very well be true.

The Trojans have a very talented corps of players returning at the position including Mark Wilson and Wayland Coleman-Dancer.

The linebacker and defensive end positions will be those most effected by the conversion to Wayne Bolt’s 4-2-5 defensive philosophy, Tyler Roberts will make the move to end after basically playing the position standing up last season. In place of the third backer, Bolt will utilize a more physical defensive back – a nickel back. Jeremy Spikner and Shaq Beverly will assume that role to begin the season though both are listed as safeties on the depth cart.

Wilson (6-3, 230) is a physical specimen with good speed and agility.  In 10 games last season, he finished sixth on the team with 44 tackles. Coleman-Dancer (6-0, 212) was highly touted coming out of Mississippi Delta Community College but saw limited action last year as a junior.

The Backups:

Troy also has several options as backups. Eli Canton (6-1, 228) is a junior who played in all 12 games while Terris Lewis (6-2, 220) is a freshman with all kinds of talent. Almost lost in the shuffle is Dimitri Miles (6-1, 210), who finishes tied with Wilson with 44 tackles as a sophomore last year.

The Future:

The future of the position looks bright for the Trojans. Sam Lebbie (6-2, 230) comes in after spending a year away from football. He originally signed with West Virginia and was ranked as high as the No. 6 linebacker by scouting services out of high school.

Mitchell Roland (5-11, 222) is another name to keep an eye on in coming years. A freshman form Auburn High School, Roland made 94 tackles in his senior season and was named to the Opelika-Auburn News All-Area First Team.

Zach Moore (6-1, 200) and Montres Kitchens (5-11, 178), a converted defensive back, give the Trojans added depth at an already deep position.