With three SEC teams in the top five for Houston (TX) Sharpstown linebacker Reggie Chevis, the odds are high that the 6-3, 240-pounder will end up playing his college football in that conference, especially since Texas A&M and Alabama lead, perhaps by a significant margin.
But what about Chevis makes him so special?
In short, it's a combination of size and athletic ability. There are certainly linebackers out there who are taller and a handful who are bigger (though not many at 240 pounds with a year of high school still left), there are few who can move at 240 pounds like Chevis, who is also blessed with a great deal of natural strength.
To be considered an SEC-type linebacker (add some quotations marks there, if you'd like), a middle linebacker has to be able to take on and beat blockers in the run-heavy league. An evaluator need watch no more than the first play on the highlight reel below to see Chevis do that. Twice, actually, on the same play.
Since he often plays close to the line of scrimmage as a 9 tech (and even with his hand on the ground as a defensive tackle), he has more experience in the trenches than many linebackers, which also gives him a chance to refine his angles to chase down ballcarriers downfield with his typical bad intentions.
Besides his overall level of physicality and toughness, what sets Chevis apart is his flexibility, which contributes heavily to his general bounciness and ability to sink his hips prior to impact with a ballcarrier. However, he does sometimes have issues re-directing in short spaces, which could partly be a function of mass, as his flexibility does appear more than adequate in other situations.
Chevis has admitted in the past that he needs to improve his ability to drop into coverage and has been working in those areas this spring to put some drops on his highlight reel during his upcoming senior season. His speed won't be a liability as he works there, but it also won't be his biggest asset and he'll have to learn to identify and read pass concepts in the same way he does running plays.
As Chevis does continue to grow in that area and become a more complete linebacker, he could close in on that coveted Alabama offer.
Reggie Chevis #3 MLB/DE Sharpstown high School c/o 2013 (via HoustonFootballPreps)