Linebacker Jesiah Pierre is returning to middle linebacker
Plenty of Red Raiders are aware of the massive hole left by the departure of defensive end Tyree Wilson, the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. But how many are considering that the task of replacing 2022 starting middle linebacker Krishon Merriweather might be just as important this fall?
After being an outside linebacker/edge rusher during his time in Lubbock, that burden will fall on Jesiah Pierre who is moving back to middle linebacker, a position he played at Florida for his first two seasons of college football. Last year, Pierre was utilized sparingly as he had 27 tackles and a sack in 11 games while making three starts.
That’s a far cry from Merriweather’s 112 tackles and three sacks posted last year. Of course, Pierre was asked to play a different position than middle linebacker last year but still, there’s no denying that he has never come close to putting up the type of productivity in his career that Merriweather provided his team over the past three years.
However, there is a belief that Pierre, a former 4-star recruit, will be up to the task. With all the athleticism needed to man the position, the key will be for him to master the mental aspect of being the quarterback of the defense.
Will Pierre finally live up to the expectations that have accompanied him since he began his college career began in the S.E.C.? Can he find a way to hold down one of the most important spots on the field? If he does, the defense will be as salty as it has been in a decade or more but if he can’t, Tech could be in trouble because there aren’t any no-brainer fall-back options.