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Oklahoma State spring football inside look: Linebackers

Gina Mizell Modified: April 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm •  Published: March 19, 2013

We continue to examine each position as Oklahoma State spring football gets underway. The Cowboys are off for spring break this week.


Who’s gone

Alex Elkins, departed senior
2012 stats: 75 tackles (3.5 for loss), 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble

Who’s back

Shaun Lewis, senior
2012 stats: 58 tackles (7.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery

Caleb Lavey, senior
2012 stats: 53 tackles (seven for loss), 1.5 sacks, one quarterback hurry, one forced fumble

Lyndell Johnson, junior
2012 stats: 28 tackles (6.5 for loss), two sacks, two interceptions, one pass breakup, one quarterback hurry, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery

Joe Mitchell, senior
2012 stats: 26 tackles (4.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks, one pass breakup, three quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries

Ryan Simmons, sophomore
2012 stats: 23 tackles (4.5 for loss), 0.5 sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble

Nico Ornelas, junior
2012 stats: 18 tackles, one pass breakup, one fumble recovery

Kris Catlin, sophomore
2012 stats: Nine tackles (one for loss), one forced fumble

Demarcus Sherod, sophomore
2012 stats: Seven tackles (1.5 for loss)

Seth Jacobs, redshirt freshman

Jeremiah Tshimanga, redshirt freshman

Who arrives in the fall:

Dawson Bassett, freshman (could play tight end or linebacker at OSU)

The skinny

OSU loses a guy in Elkins who tied for the team lead in tackles last season, but the Cowboys are still stacked at this position. Lewis and Lavey both have more than 25 career starts. Lewis is a fierce hitter with a nose for the football, while Lavey was praised by defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer last week for controlling the middle of the field. Sherod was Elkins’ primary backup a season ago, but Mitchell or Johnson could make the switch from the strong side to the weak side. When healthy, Johnson proved to be a rangy, athletic and versatile playmaker. Jacobs and Tshimanga are both highly regarded youngsters, but it will be a challenge to break into a rotation that also includes Simmons, Catlin and Ornelas. Tshimanga is coming off a season-ending knee injury sustained in fall camp.

Other linebackers on spring football roster:
Nickellas Crawford
Kyle Culver
Ryan Lester
Jesse Patton
Dillon Rake

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