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Countdown to Virginia Football: #41 Michael Guerci

As a walk-on who is learning a new position, the chances of Michael Guerci ever seeing the field at LB are low. His most likely role is on special teams.

Virginia Media Relations

Position: ILB
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 225
Year: RS Sophomore
Hometown: Franklin Lakes, NJ

The MLB in a 4-3 scheme is similar to the ILBs in a 3-4, though obviously they differ somewhat as there are now 2 players in that role. Still, their role consists largely of stopping the run and picking up receivers coming over the middle on pass routes. Yes, they’ll do some pass rushing and they’ll pick up a RB on a pass route from time to time, but largely an ILB is an ILB regardless of the scheme. The roles of the OLBs can differ quite a bit, because 3-4 OLBs are often more similar to 4-3 DEs.

Of course, the switch has increased the Hoos’ requirements at LB. Quite obviously, the Hoos now need 2 ILBs on the field at any given time, rather than 1. Last year, the Hoos had just 1 ILB see action and that was Micah Kiser, who led the team in tackles and was named 1st team All-ACC. There were a couple of ILBs who redshirted, and there have now been a few OLBs to shifted to ILB because they didn’t fit as 3-4 OLBs. And then there is Michael Guerci.

Guerci is a walk-on LB from FUMA. Unlike many of the Hoos players from FUMA, he was there as an undergrad. He actually spent a post-grad year in NJ after graduating from FUMA. His primary position was WR, though he also played safety. Here is his Hudl highlight video. Most of the plays shown are of him at WR, though there are a few of him on defense.

He moves pretty well, and seems to be a very physical player. Listed at 225, he’s likely a bit slight for a 3-4 ILB. When you combine that with his lack of experience at LB, you can see why he hasn’t seen the field yet. He was named special teams scout player of the week last year for the Notre Dame game. Most likely, special teams is his route to seeing the field. The Hoos have several ILBs now, and they are all likely ahead of him on the depth chart. But special teams is about effort and will, and if Guerci continues to show that, he’ll eventually make his way onto the field on one of the coverage teams.