IU loses Geno Johnson, but otherwise returns a wealth of experience at the LB position, at least among the starters. As with all units of the IU defense, it's fair to wonder what all that experience is worth considering last year's defensive performance, but it does provide some hope that a healthy defense could be improved over the 2008 product.
The starters. Will Patterson, 6-1 senior. Patterson had a solid season before missing the final two games with injury. He had 55 tackles, include 8.5 for a loss, and an interception. He's been a starter since he was a freshman. Matt Mayberry 6-3 senior. Mayberry, the middle linebacker, led the team with 89 tackles and had 5 sacks. Mayberry has received significant playing time in all three of his previous seasons on the team. Tyler Replogle, 6-2 junior. Replogle bounced back from a 2007 knee injury to have a very solid sophomore season as a special teamer and backup linebacker. He had 38 tackles on the season, including 19 in the loss to Purdue, which Replogle started in place of Patterson. As noted a few days ago, Replogle's brother, Adam Replogle, is a defensive tackle who is expected to play as a true freshman.
The reserves. As with most of IU's units, there is little by way of experienced depth. Justin Carrington, 6-0 senior. Carrington began his career as a running back in 2006, but moved to defense/special teams in 2007. He has had a reasonably productive career there, recording 65 tackles over the last two seasons. Chad Sherer, 60 freshman. Sherer redshirted last year and wasd a strong offensive player in high school . Leon Beckum, 5-11 sophomore. Beckum spent most of 2008 on the scout team and recorded two tackles.