- OLB: Keisean Lucier-South, Elijah Wade
- ILB: Krys Barnes, Lokeni Toailoa
- ILB: Josh Woods, Tyree Thompson
- EDGE: Jaelan Phillips, Mique Juarez
Here is where things get interesting. UCLA had a lot of injuries in 2018, especially among the linebackers. If everyone is healthy and ready to fight, fight, fight in 2019, the Bruins could have an exciting second level.
KLS has been the leader of this unit and led by example last season, which is what the Bruins needed. When you have someone like Lucier-South being the main rushing threat as well as a solid coverage man, then you are in good hands. Hopefully, several younger LBs take his example and try to emulate his determination.
Krys Barnes has been UCLA’s big surprise. He made a huge leap in development and did an excellent job stepping up in the middle after so many linebackers went down. He will pair up nicely with the very athletic Josh Woods who will return after injuring his knee during fall camp (causing him to miss the season). This will give the Bruins skill and experience.
On the edge, the Bruins will finally be able to utilize the talents of Jaelan Phillips and Mique Juarez (if Juarez decides to return). Both of these players have gotten bigger and had looked like they possessed the physicality to own the edge rushing position, it’s just unfortunate that both were injured this year. Their presence will not only help lower the run defense numbers, but also that of the pass defense.
What is also good about UCLA dipping into their depth this past season is that players like Tyree Thompson, Lokeni Toailoa, Odua Isibor, and Jayce Smalley all have experience, and will add to the Bruins’ arsenal.