NDSU Linebackers Filling Void Left Behind By Cox, Mercadel

Hankey, Kaczor, Jasir Cox will start against Central Arkansas

FARGO, N.D. — Since returning to campus after the announcement of their game with Central Arkansas, North Dakota State football, has been going  at it with 11 practices.

Heading in to the match-up, just 10 days away, defensive coordinator, David Braun is putting focus  on the linebacker position.

That’s because 6th year senior, Aaron Mercadel, is moving on and grad transfer, Jabril Cox, went to LSU. Leaving the only linebacker with starting experience from last season in Jackson Hankey.

Hankey comes off a sophomore season with the third most tackles in program history joining James Kaczor, who moves from back-up safety, and Jabril’s brother, Jasir, whose career high is six tackles.

Braun says this one game is a perfect opportunity to find depth at the position.

“Jackson Hankey brings an incredible stability to that linebacker room with his experience at the mike linebacker position,” Braun said. “But when you lose an Aaron Mercadel and lose a Jabril Cox at both the sam and will position, James Kaczor and Jasir Cox and the depth with in that linebacker room, is going to have to step up in a big way.”

“We’re pretty young in the room and that falls on us to lead and encourage younger guys,” Hankey said. “But its part of the culture here that we develop players the second they get on campus and we feel like we have a lot of guys while they may not have a lot of game reps, they have a lot of practice reps and a lot of development that were confident in.”

The offensive side of the ball speaks on Wednesday.

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