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March 6, 2007

Tigers reload at linebacker

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Each day from now until March 13th, PowerMizzou.com will preview a different aspect of spring football 2007 for the Tigers. We begin with our in-depth preview of each position. Today, we look at linebacker, the position with the most turnover and the most youth on the roster.

The Starters: To start spring, it will be Brock Christopher in the middle, flanked by Sean Weatherspoon and Van Alexander. The most important question this spring is, can Alexander stay healthy. If he can, this has the makings of a significantly better corps than Missouri has had the last few seasons. Weatherspoon looked like a star in the making at times as a true freshman.

The Backups: Steve Redmond and Marquis Booker will start here in the spring, along probably with walk-on John Ruth or possibly last year's redshirt Quran Barge. But the influx of youth is going to cause some changes here. There are two true freshmen on campus for spring ball and one of them is going to play…maybe both.

The Spring Prediction: Michael Keck and Luke Lambert will determine what happens here. Neither seems likely to emerge from spring ball with a starting job, but both may be good enough to crack the two-deep. In fact, it would not be a surprise at all if the two were Mizzou's fourth and fifth linebackers by the time fall camp opens.

Things Could Change If: Health is an issue. Booker and Keck are both coming off injuries last fall and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back. Don't rule out a move to safety by Barge (pure speculation here). He played the position in high school and at last check, the size was questionable for a Big 12 backer.

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