Big Ten Football Top 150 Players: No. 109: Chase Hoobler, Indiana LB
No. 109: Chase Hoobler, #47, LB, Indiana
2011 Stats: 8 starts, 48 tackles, 5 tackles-for-loss, 2 sacks
Indiana's defense has a long way to go to get back to respectability. If it's going to make that step this year, it'll do so under the leadership of Chase Hoobler, who broke onto the scene as a redshirt freshman last season and looks to be a four-year starter for the Hoosiers. He's physical, aggressive and relentless, and he makes plays on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Hoobler's athleticism isn't elite, and he's not who you want chasing a back in space—though he's a sure enough tackler that if he gets his mitts on someone, the play's over. At strongside linebacker, he's not going to put up gaudy stats without an aberrant string of rare plays (fumble recoveries, interceptions, anything else where if you get five in a year, you're doing great). Conference recognition for him will probably be limited.
Indiana's defense has nowhere to go but up, and as he mentioned in an interview with the athletic department after the 2012 spring game, Hoobler is acutely aware of that. If he's healthy, he's got 12 more starts coming his way; he's at worst the second-best player on that defense, and he's going to be counted on for as much production as he can give them. "Leading tackler" status is totally in play here, though anything more than 80 tackles on the year might be optimistic, just because of his position. Still, though, he's a good one.
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