Some of you probably won’t like me very much after we get done with this Hivemind, but we’ve got business to do.
Over the past few weeks Chris Level has mentioned multiple times that one of the crown jewels of last year’s recruiting class, Jamile Johnson, is going to be playing linebacker next year. The reason for the move is that Johnson has found 15 additional pounds (i.e. working out, solid nutrition, etc.). Johnson was a 6-2/195 or so safety prospect from South Oak Cliff that flipped his commitment from Texas to Texas Tech late in the year.
One other thing that piqued my interest was that Level also mentioned that Kevin Moore, the linebacker prospect from Louisiana, is staying at linebacker, despite his 6-0/190 frame. The hand-wringing began in the comments of his commitment and player profile post where the thought was to move Moore to safety and move on from there.
Of course, we’re all worried about the size of the linebacker prospects and the defense on the field and of course I beat that drum extensively when it comes to the defensive line.
I wonder though about the intent of what defensive coordinator David Gibbs has going on here and maybe my best explanation is one where I think that Gibbs maybe wants to add more players on the field that can cover more ground, like Johnson and like Moore exhibited on his highlight reel. I’m not talking about replacing one of the two linebackers that are essentially on the field most of the time, Dakota Allen and recently D’Vonta Hinton, but to add a linebacker hybrid, similar to what TCU does with the 4-2-5. For all intents and purposes, Texas Tech runs a 4-2-5 for the majority of the snaps anyway, but it’s running out Tevin Madison as the 5th member of the secondary.
The Hivemind question is to get your temperature about this move (I could also be off my rocker) and whether or not you think that this is a move in the right direction or moving backwards? I’d also maybe add that I don’t think Gibbs would ever really call it a 4-2-5, but if there’s a player that plays like a safety, but Gibbs calls him a linebacker, then we know what we have. Much like calling Pete Robertson a defensive end, you can call him whatever you want, but he’s essentially an outside linebacker. Personally, I like the idea and I always thought that the 4-2-5, in some form or fashion, is the way of the Big 12. There’s just too much ground to cover to have three traditional linebackers on the field. Also, do you see any other candidates on the roster that you could see moved to this hybrid spot?