Florida A&M had one of the stingiest defenses in the SWAC during the 2021 season.
Playing the second most games at 12 last year, the Rattler's 4-3 defense still gave up the second least points at 204. This averaged out to 17 even.
Behind the sack-getting defensive line, the linebackers assisted the Rattler D to only allowing 94.3 rushing yards per game -- the most in the SWAC.
Let's look at those who will be at the second line of defense for FAMU football in 2022.
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Linebacker tackle leader out the door
We've seen the last of Derrick Mayweather in orange and green.
The tackle leader of the linebacker's have done his four years and is out the door.
During 2021, Mayweather served as the anchor of the three linebackers on the field simultaneously as he led them with 49 tackles (8.5 for loss) in 12 games.
As he heads out, the Rattlers may have an able player that walking through the door.
The man in the middle
Isaiah Major is one of the new faces that will take the field at Bragg Memorial Stadium.
The junior middle linebacker has worked his way up the scale, spending time at Division II's University of Central Oklahoma and NJCAA's Independence Community College in Kansas.
At UCO, Major had seven appearances and totaled 17 tackles and a forced fumble. While at ICC, he had 30 tackles in seven games played.
Major almost had the play of the afternoon during the Orange and Green Spring Game after returning a Jeremy Moussa interception for 65 yards before the play was called back.
The Oklahoma City homer helped the Rattler defense on run defense and coverage during the scrimmage and has been said to be on the lookout for once it's time to suit up in August.
Let's go outside
FAMU has an abundance of outside linebackers that will line up for the defense this season.
The first one to think of has to be Nadarius Fagan.
Behind Mayweather, Fagan was second in tackles by the linebacker in 2021, securing 43 (four for loss).
Fagan transferred to FAMU from Syracuse in 2019 after committing to the Orange as a three-star recruit out of Miami Southridge.
Since his arrival to the hill, he's recorded 63 tackles.
Sophomore Johnny Chaney, Jr. and graduate student Demetrius Powell also are returning to the Rattlers. Both had 13 tackles each as Chaney appeared in 11 games and played in nine.
The Rattlers landed two transfer who are from Jacksonville headed into the kickoff.
Aric Horne came from Iowa State in January and is entering his junior year. As a Cyclone, he had 45 total tackles in two seasons. Horne chose ISU in 2019 upon graduating from Raines as a three-star prospect.
Travis Moss is a Mandarin High School alum and committed to Memphis in 2020. A season later, he's returning to the state of Florida to earn snaps as a redshirt freshman.
What could happen
Fagan has the most experience on the field paired with the returning linebacker core so he most likely will occupy one of the outside linebacker spots.
If Isaiah Major builds on his spring scrimmage performance and continue to get good reviews, he may be the man in the middle for the Rattlers come gameday.
The other outside linebacker can go to Horne, Chaney, Powell, or Moss.
With Horne having adequate field experience with FBS' Iowa State, he might be the frontrunner to guard the outside.
Gerald Thomas III covers FAMU athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @3peatgee.
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FAMU Football: Analyzing the linebackers at FAMU for 2022 season