CAMP SPOTLIGHT: Linebackers

Linebackers

The linebacker unit will once again be led by senior Khalil Hodge. The City College of San Francisco transfer has been a revelation since his arrival prior to the 2016 season. The two-time All-MAC linebacker followed up his 123-tackle performance in 2016, by piling up 154 stops in 2017 to lead the MAC and rank second in the nation. 

The senior linebacker has not gone overlooked by the national pundits as he was named to three different national preseason watch lists. Hodge was named to the watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Butkus Award. 

Jordan Collier is another veteran of the unit who started 10 games a season ago. The senior outside linebacker ranked fifth on the team in tackles with 66, including 41 solo stops. Collier will likely return to his starting role in 2018. 

With the graduation of Jarrett Franklin and Ishmael Hargrove, the Bulls will need to replace the starter at the other outside linebacker spot. Though only a freshman, James Patterson has been having a very good camp and is making his case for the starting job. Patterson had a standout career at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Maryland, including a 180-tackle and eight-sack season as a senior.   

Another candidate for the job is Kadofi Wright. The sophomore linebacker appeared in all 12 games and made a start in 2017. He had 17 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack on the season. At 6-3, Wright is the tallest linebacker on the roster and shows good speed.

Another young linebacker who is having a strong camp and will likely make an impact after redshirting as a freshman last season is Tim Terry, Jr. Justin Mulbah, who missed last season with an injury, is back healthy and looking to contribute like he did as a true freshman in 2016. 

Matt Otwinowski has been a solid backup for Hodge at middle linebacker over the last two seasons. The Bulls' junior linebacker has played in all 24 career games and has 47 tackles. 

Ja'Varius Harrison is also in the rotation at middle linebacker. The sophomore played in 10 games as a true freshman last season. 

Max Michel is a very athletic freshman who joined the team in January and could earn playing time this fall. 

Also adding depth at linebacker are Nicco Ruggiero, Fabian Weitz, Sean Colgan and Jake Zimmer.

The 2018 season kicks off on September 1 against Delaware State at UB Stadium. For tickets contact the UB ticket office at 1-877-UB-THERE or click here.