Linebacker ready to make big impact all season

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    When coach Ron Prince promoted Tim Tibesar to defensive coordinator in 2007 and decided to change the defense to a 3-4 scheme, he did it for one reason — to get more speed on the field through the linebacker position.
    With K-State linebackers like Reggie Walker and Antwon Moore swarming the field against Auburn last year, it looked like a preview of what was to come for the Wildcat defense the rest of the season.
    However, injuries to players like Moore and other circumstances prevented the linebackers from reaching their potential.
    With the addition of a few new players this year, the linebackers appear ready to make a statement in 2008.
    “We can be a very, very good defensive group,” Moore said. “We have some experienced players and some junior-college guys who are fast and aggressive. If we play to our capability, then we can be wonderful.”
    One junior-college transfer expected to play a significant role on defense this year is Ulla Pomele, who made his Wildcat debut against North Texas. The Santa Rosa, Calif. native said he was excited to play his first game at Snyder Family Stadium.
    “I was nervous, man. I was anxious, too,” Pomele said. “That’s all I talked about after the game with my family was how nerve-racking it was. But I really enjoyed it.”
    Pomele acknowledged that the speed of the game was the biggest difference from junior college. He said Walker has been the most helpful teammate during his transition.
    “Ever since I came down here, being at the linebacker position, he’s gone out of his way to help me and the other linebackers out,” Pomele said. “He’s been such an encouragement because he’s helping me understand the game of football. I really admire him.”
    Pomele added that the linebackers on the team are like a family. Olu Hall, a former linebacker for the University of Virginia who sat out all of last season due to NCAA transfer rules, finally took the field against the Mean Green on Saturday.
    “There were a number of emotions, and I really didn’t know how to take it,” Hall said. “I developed a twitch from not knowing how to deal with all the emotions at the same time.
    “I just wanted to go do my job and play assignment football.”
    Pomele, Hall and Moore accounted for 10 tackles against North Texas. Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Montana State, Moore said the linebackers’ mentality for what they want to accomplish is simple.
    “We are definitely still angry; we haven’t done anything yet to not be still angry,” Moore said. “I want to see how good their backup quarterback is.”

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