Weber steps into leadership role with young LBs
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[rl]It's a common occurrence for the Huskers to comment on other players during fall camp - they are commonly asked by reporters about their teammates and what they bring to the table.
But one name continues to surface unsolicited in the answers of both players and coaches - linebacker Chris Weber. The walk-on has barely played defensively (his only defensive statistics are a pair of tackles at Fresno State last year), but he has clearly earned the respect of the other Huskers.
"Chris is a really good athlete, and he has a good football mind," fellow linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey said. "He's up there with Trevor Roach and Will Compton as far as guys I've been around personally that know the game pretty well. He's one of the first guys to answer a question (linebackers coach Trent) Bray asks."
Weber has quickly become a leader in the very young linebacker room along with Rose-Ivey and Josh Banderas. He's been either out or limited for most of fall camp with an undisclosed injury, but he has still made an impact. True freshman Tyrin Ferguson is learning the MIKE position on the fly, and whenever he came off the field he hightailed it to Weber to ask a question.
But Weber, who figures to be Banderas' backup at the MIKE when healthy, is more than just a sage on the sidelines - he's impressed with his ability on the field as well. Weber posted 121 tackles as a senior at Elkhorn HS in 2012 and has carried that ability to Nebraska's practices.
"It's funny - you look at Weber during practice making plays and you're like, 'Why are you walking on here? You have to have somewhere you could have played,'" Rose-Ivey said. "I really think Weber is a phenomenal player and a player who's going to give us more depth."
It's tough to say what kind of role Weber will have this season. If healthy, he'll definitely make a mark on special teams, and he figures to get the first crack at the MIKE should anything happen to Banderas. Ferguson has impressed the coaches with his ability to quickly pick up the defensive scheme, so he could have eaten into some of Weber's playing time as the elder player sat out.
Yet Weber was still willing to help Ferguson out, knowing that the younger player could threaten his job security. At the very least, Weber will provide the neophyte linebacking corps with a strong leader on the sidelines. Should he be called upon, he seems primed to show what he's capable of.
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