Linebacker is one of the positions that sees the most turnover from 2013 to 2014. Several LBs from 2013 are no longer with the team due to graduation, suspensions.
At Outside Linebacker the Niners lose team leader and 2nd leading tackler from 2013, Mark Hogan to graduation. Returning on the other side at OLB is RS-SO Nico Alcalde. Alcalde started all 11 games last season and was the 4th leading tackler for the 49ers with 60. He also had a sack, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick in 2013. Taking Hogan’s spot from last season will likely be RS-SO Jalen Holt who played in 6 games and had 9 tackles last season. Also competeing for time at OLB is RS-SR Tyler DeStefani. Tyler missed all but 4 games last season with an injury, but recorded 10 tackles over that time period. SO Justin Bridges-Thompson played in all 11 games as a true Freshman in 2013 making 22 tackles, 1 sack, and forced fumble. The coaching staff has talked of using a redshirt year this season for Bridges-Thompson.
Also returning at OLB are RS-SO DaQuavius Reid and RS-SO Eric Herkley. Reid played in 2 games in 2013 and Hekley sat out last season.
RS-FR Jordan Starnes will also compete for time at OLB after sitting out last season as a redshirt. RS-FR Karrington King also joins the OLB corps after redshirting 2013. True Freshman Christian Asher will likely sit out this season as a redshirt.
At Inside Linebacker the 49ers lost Micah Bryan, Terry Caldwell, and Kendal Parker from the 2013 roster. Caldwell who was the 2nd leading tackler in 2013, was dismissed for violating team rules. Kendal Parker was also dismissed for violating team rules. Micah Bryan, who started for the early part of the season, left the team for personal reasons mid-season. He has not returned to school. That leaves the 2014 Middle Linebacking corps with little depth. I imagine some of the OLBs will likely come over to play in the inside this season.
Returning at ILB is 2013 starter SR Caleb Clayton-Molby. Clayton-Molby was the 3rd leading tackler on the team and had 3 fumble recoveries and 1 interception last season. Daquan Lucas moved to ILB from Safety last season due to injuries and made 2 starts there in 2013. He has added weight in the offseason and will be back at LB in 2014.
All other ILBs listed on the roster are newcomers for the 49ers. Junior College transfer Nick Cook looks to step in right away and compete for the starting spot along side Clayton-Molby. He enrolled in the spring and participated in Spring practice. RS-FR Dustin Crouser sat out last year as a redshirt, but looks to be part of ILB rotation in 2014. Nick Vagnone joins the 49ers this season as a true freshman.
7 Holt, Jalen LB 6-4 230 RSo. Norwood, N.C. (South Stanly)
34 Alcalde, Nico LB 6-2 205 RSo. Fairfax, Va. (Chantilly)
43 DeStefani, Tyler LB 6-4 220 RSr. Charlotte, N.C. (Carolina Pride)
57 Bridges-Thompson, Justin LB 6-3 210 So. Gaffney, S.C. (Spartanburg)
24 Lucas, Daquan FS 5-10 210 RSo. St. Stephen, S.C. (Timberland)
53 Herkley, Eric LB 6-3 215 RSo. Jonesboro, Ga. (Jonesboro)
46 Reid, DaQuavius LB 6-2 205 RSo. Charlotte, N.C. (Berry Academy)
54 Starnes, Jordan LB 6-3 230 RFr. Norwood, N.C. (South Stanly)
50 King, Karrington LB 5-11 215 RFr. Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Catholic)
45 Asher, Christian OLB 6-1 211 Fr. Charlottesville, Va. (Woodberry Forest)
42 Clayton-Molby, Caleb LB 6-2 230 Sr. Panama City Beach, Fla. (Georgia Military)
6 Cook, Nick LB 6-1 220 Jr. Wichita, Kan. (Butler) (Kapaun Mt. Carmel)
58 Crouser, Dustin LB 6-2 230 RFr. Cross Lanes, W. Va. (George Washington)
35 Vagnone, Nick LB 6-0 200 Fr. Indian Trail (Porter Ridge)