Linebacker Preview

daddyhoosier

Freshman
Aug 31, 2019
447
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Daddy Hoosier - October 3, 2020

Attacking. Aggressive. Swarming.

These are all adjectives Defensive Coordinator Kane Wommack would like to see used to describe his 2020 Indiana Defense. And it's safe to say that the personnel group that most embodies Wommack's defensive vision is the linebacking corps.

The 2020 Hoosier linebacking unit returns 109 games of experience, 13 starts and 221 career tackles. Generally speaking defenses are designed so that linebackers make lots of plays. The down linemen take up space and clog things up so that instinctive linebackers can swoop in and 'clean up' the mess.

Indiana's base 4-2-5 defensive scheme features two linebackers - a Mike and a Stinger. The Mike or Middle Backer lines up to the offense's strong side and the Stinger / Weakside LB opposite the Mike.

Barring something unforeseen Junior Micah McFadden (#47) should start at Mike and Junior Cam Jones (#4) at Stinger. McFadden has 12 career starts and in 2019 was named All Big Ten Honorable Mention. Last season as a Sophomore McFadden registered 61 tackles including 42 solo, 10 tackles for a loss, a 1.5 sacks and 4 quarterback hurries. He also had 3 passes defended and 2 interceptions.

Meanwhile the versatile Cam Jones has played in 23 career games and has made a high volume of disruptive plays in a relatively short period of time. In his career playing at both Husky and Stinger Jones has tallied 55 tackles including 38 solo, 4.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks and 3 QB hurries. He also has 2 INTs, 5 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and a 44 yard interception return for a touchdown vs. UConn in 2019.

Sophomore James Miller (#8) is likely to see time at Mike while Junior Thomas Allen (#44), if healthy, and Sophomore Aaron Casey (#46) will be vying for snaps at Stinger.

Sophomore D.K. Bonhomme (#42) and Freshmen Cameron Williams and Ty Wise will also be looking to enter the fray.

Playmakers

Tackles (career)

81 - McFadden

55 - Jones

45 - Allen

34 - Miller

5 - Casey

1 - Bonhomme

Solo (career)

56 - McFadden

38 - Jones

29 - Allen

21 - Miller

4 - Casey

1 - Bonhomme

TFLs (career)

11 - McFadden

4.5 - Miller

4.5 - Jones

3.5 - Allen

1.5 - Casey

Sacks (career)

2.5 - Jones

1.5 - McFadden

1.0 - Thomas Allen

1.0 - Casey

0.5 - Miller

Hurries (career)

6 - McFadden

3 - Jones

2 - Allen

Interceptions (career)

2 - Jones

2 - McFadden

1 - Allen

Pass Break-ups (career)

5 - Jones

1 - Allen

1 - McFadden

Forced Fumbles (career)

3 - Jones

2 - Miller

1 - McFadden

Fumble Recovered (career)

1 - Jones

Punt Blocks (career)

1 - Casey

Touchdowns (career)

1 - Jones

Coach

Kane Wommack begins his second season as Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers Coach and third overall at IU. Last year Wommack was the youngest Power 5 Defensive Coordinator and from 2016-17 while at South Alabama he was the youngest DC in FBS.

In 2019 the Indiana defense pitched two shutouts (the third and fourth of the Tom Allen era) and had two games where they only allowed a field goal.

The IU 'D' ranked 12th nationally in 2019 with 3 defensive TDs and 27th with 10 fumble recoveries.

From 2014-15 Wommack was Defensive Coordinator at Eastern Illinois. In 2015 his Defense ranked 2nd in FCS with 19 INTs, 3rd in takeaways (31), 4th in Pass Efficiency Defense and 8th in Red Zone Defense. The Panthers were ranked in the Top 25 and reached the FCS Playoffs.

Wommack was a Graduate Assistant at Ole Miss in 2012 and 2013 where Tom Allen was the Linebackers Coach under Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack (Kane's father). Dave Wommack is widely credited for helping to develop the 4-2-5 Defense along with Gary Patterson and Bud Foster.

Kane also coached at UT Martin and Jacksonville State and played at Arkansas and Southern Mississippi.

If the McFadden and Jones can both take steps forward in 2020 and some productive depth emerges this could be a very good year for Indiana LBs.

 

vesuvius13

All-American
Gold Member
May 11, 2017
6,496
17,306
113
All three levels of IU's defense seem to be ready to improve in 2020. Hopefully the defense will move into the top three B1G defenses. If they can do this then 2020 could be a very special year.
 

Baller23Boogie

Senior
Gold Member
Aug 17, 2008
2,290
3,457
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Thank you for the intel, I have been wondering who will be #2 at Husky.

I'm not sure D.K. is number 2 at Husky or not, but he's someone that Allen said would be in the mix. I don't think he would be in there on passing downs. I think Fitz would be or someone like JJ, who could see time there, could be in the mix. Also, I believe Cam Williams was at Husky last year, so he could see time as well.
 

daddyhoosier

Freshman
Aug 31, 2019
447
1,298
93
I'm not sure D.K. is number 2 at Husky or not, but he's someone that Allen said would be in the mix. I don't think he would be in there on passing downs. I think Fitz would be or someone like JJ, who could see time there, could be in the mix. Also, I believe Cam Williams was at Husky last year, so he could see time as well.
Thank you, I am definitely curious to find out.
 
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