Heading into spring Cort Dennison looks solid as the starter inside with Tucker and Burnett playing behind him. Observers thought that Burnett looked a little small out there on the first day of practice. One of my friends thought that he could possibly need a redshirt year. I think it is pretty tough to come to many conclusions after day one so we will see how he shakes out this spring.
Mason Foster has been moved outside to the WIL position. Mason played at SLB last season and the coaches feel the move will free him up to make more plays. Jordan Wallace and Vic Aiyewa will be likely backing him but Vic who is sitting out this spring could also slide over to SLB depending on what is going on in the all when more talent arrives.
Alvin Logan moved to LB late last season and now is penciled in as the starter at SLB. This is a huge opportunity for Alvin who will get his first shot at meaningful playing time since he was at WR. Matt Houston enters spring as the backup but that could change by fall. The coaches are bringing in six freshman LB's this fall including Burnett who is already here. They also moved two safeties to LB. Obviously they are looking to upgrade the talent and depth across the board.
Replacing Donald Butler and EJ Savannah won't exactly be easy. Losing Butler will have the most impact since EJ was rusty, injured, and a bit undisciplined last season. I think Foster represents a step up outside. Dennison is a player. The coaches love him. He gets his assignements down and he plays at 110% every snap. That being said he isn't as talented as Butler who did the same thing.
On a side note I posted a photo of Clarence Trent who has joined the team as a defensive end. This kid certainly passes the looks test even though he needs to add around 20 lbs to be really effective at the position by this fall.