No. 23 Nebraska Goes Young at Linebacker Positions

Nebraska-Cornhuskers-Football-Blackshirts-HelmetsLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska freshmen Josh Banderas and Nathan Gerry took ownership of starting linebacker jobs against Southern Mississippi and plan to keep them when 16th ranked UCLA visits the Number 23 Cornhuskers this week.

Banderas (Ban-DARE’-us) is playing middle linebacker, a spot that requires him to be a vocal leader who can relay calls and communicate adjustments. Defensive coordinator John Papuchis says Banderas’ toughness and outgoing personality make him an ideal candidate.

Gerry (Gary) is listed as the weakside linebacker, but he acts as a linebacker-safety hybrid in the dime defense, which the Huskers often use against the spread offenses they regularly see.

Banderas and Gerry will be tested against UCLA, which rolled up 653 yards in a 36-30 win in Los Angeles last year.