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March 6, 2014

Spring preview: Linebacker

With spring practice beginning on Saturday, HuskerOnline.com continues our in-depth look at each position with our 2014 spring position previews.

Today, we analyze and breakdown the linebacker position heading into the start of spring practice.

What we know right now: This group is deep and talented. The Huskers don't lose a single player at linebacker, as starters Michael Rose, Zaire Anderson and David Santos all return, while Josh Banderas saw heavy reps as a freshman.

The Huskers also will bring redshirt freshmen Courtney Love and Marcus Newby back into the mix, along with Trevor Roach, who got injured before the start of last season.

Linebacker is a position that head coach Bo Pelini has worked hard to get to this point, but it finally looks like the Huskers will have a solid two-deep of six to seven linebackers that could all make an impact on the field.

Biggest question to answer: Probably the thing we don't know is what type of gains will a guy like Banderas make over the off-season and what did Love and Newby gain over their redshirt years.

All three of these players have the potential to make an impact, but how will Ross Els and Pelini be able to effectively work them into the game. With so much depth, one would think you will see more rotating at linebacker this year. It's not an ideal situation to play guys like Rose and Santos 80 snaps in a game when you have so much depth to work with.

Spring dark horse: The dark horse heading into the spring is no doubt Roach. Before Roach hurt his foot last summer, he was expected to play heavy snaps in the defense. How will Roach come back this spring and what are the plans for him in the defense? He's a guy that knows Pelini's system inside-out, and he could have a chance to shake things up this spring.

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