January 11, 2007

Season in review: The linebackers

As we begin our final breakdown of the 2006 season for the defending national champion Texas Longhorns, we'll next take a look at the linebacker position. There were actually some high expectations for this unit since there was some experience returning, but the group struggled to make plays over the course of the year.

Grading scale

A - All-America
B - All-Big 12
C - Solid season
D - Disappointing
F - Failure

Rashad Bobino (Sophomore)

Expectations - Bobino moved back to the middle this year, his more natural position, and it was believed that he would really put up solid numbers. His strength is his instincts more than raw athleticism, most felt that being in the middle of the defense would maximize his talents.

Reality - Like every linebacker on the roster, Bobino started slowly but he did pick things up down the stretch. We wound up making honorable mention all-Big 12.

Stats - 72 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 4 pass break-ups, 8 QB hurries, 1 fumble recovery

High point - Bobino had a few games where he was very active (including a stellar 14-tackle day against Texas A&M) but we'll go outside the box a little and give the nod to the Iowa State game. In that contest, Bobino established career highs with three TFL and two sacks, while notching eight tackles, two pressures and a pass broken up.

Low point - Bobino recorded only four tackles in the team's loss to Kansas State, one of his lowest tackle totals of the season.

Overall grade - Bobino was a team leader in the locker room and a spiritual leader on the field. He wasn't what one would call dominating on a consistent basis, but the sophomore did show flashes of the playmaking potential that had everyone so excited about his future. Give him a C+.

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