Which linebackers are capable of staying on the field on third down against spread offenses? Which are only run-stoppers? That's the question we'll be looking to answer this week as recruits pour in from across the nation for Nike's The Opening. Here are the linebackers expected to compete.
LB Matthew Adams (@all_in_adams), 5-11.5, 205
Missouri City (Texas) Hightower
Adams was a 23-5A All-District selection in 2012 and impressed at the Dallas NFTC where he recorded a 90.18 SPARQ Rating and was one of the top linebackers throughout the event. He has committed to Houston over offers from Boise State, Southern Methodist and Tulsa.
LB Joey Alfieri (@jalfieri4), 6-2, 215
Portland (Ore.) Jesuit
He earned MVP Honors at the Oakland NFTC after what linebacker coach Chris Gizzi called "the most impressive performance for a linebacker this year." Alfieri has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, Cal, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington and Washington State.
LB Bryson Allen-Williams (@WatchOut4_11), 6-0.5, 220
Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove
Williams was a Class AAA All-State pick after recording 99 tackles (22 for loss) with 16 sacks as a junior. He had over two dozen offers before committing to South Carolina.
LB Dillon Bates (@dillonbates), 6-3, 215
Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Bates comes from a football family as his father, Bill Bates, played for the Dallas Cowboys and two older brothers are currently at Wake Forest and Northwestern. He will be a three year starter and was a Class 5A All-State pick last year after recording 104 tackles. Bates was invited after a 109.05 SPARQ Rating at the Atlanta NFSC. His college offers include Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio St, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.
LB Kyle Berger (@k_bergs), 6-1.5, 220
Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius
Berger had 39 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as a junior to earn Div. I All-State honors. The Ohio State commit had scholarship offers from other Big 10 programs such as Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State as well as Alabama, Arkansas,Tennessee, UCLA and West Virginia in part because of his 4.0 GPA. He was the linebacker MVP in a strong group at the Columbus NFTC.
LB Dante Booker (@D_Book47), 6-3, 210
Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary
Booker earned several honors as a junior including MaxPreps All-American, Army All-American, All-State and Div. III Defensive He will stay within his home state borders to play for Ohio State. Other offers included Indiana, Illinois, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State and Tennessee.
LB D.J. Calhoun (@DJ_Calhoun), 5-11.5, 200
El Cerrito, Calif.
Calhoun recorded 170 tackles with four fumble recoveries and also had nine touchdowns on offense to earn Defensive MVP honors in the TCAL-Rock Division. He has close to 20 offers including Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, Colorado, Miami (Fla.), Nebraska, Oregon State, Utah, Washington, UCLA and USC.
LB Jamardre Cobb (@jamardreB), 6-0, 220
Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian
He recorded 115 tackles and five forced fumbles as a junior and also ran for five touchdowns to earn All-CIF honors. He has 20 offers including Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Washington State and Wisconsin.
LB Kain Daub (@DaubKain), 6-3.5, 238
Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood
Daub was a Class 8A All-State pick after recording 74 tackles, seven sacks and five forced fumbles as a junior. He committed to Florida State over offers from Alabama, Miami, Florida, LSU, Ohio State, South Carolina, USC and UCLA.
LB Rashaan Evans (@616evans4), 6-2, 215
Evans was a Class 6A All-State pick last season as he collected 32 tackles (16 for loss) and five sacks. He has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Nebraska, North Carolina, TCU and Washington.
LB Shaun Hamilton, 5-11, 240
Montgomery (Ala.) Carver Hamilton was a Class 6A All-State pick last season. Hamilton committed to Alabama after a big junior season that included 101 tackles (26 TFL), 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
LB Clifton Garrett (@CG340), 6-2, 215
He compiled 107 tackles including 11 for loss in 2012. He has nearly three dozen offers including Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Virginia and Wisconsin.
LB Raekwon McMillan (@Kwon_daTrurth), 6-1.5, 250
Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty Co.
McMillan gathered about every award possible last season, including MaxPreps Junior All-American, AP All-State and Defensive Player of the Year honors. His college offers include Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Stanford and Texas.
LB Christian Miller, 6-3.5, 215
Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley
Miller, whose father, Corey, had a 10 year career in the NFL with the Giants and Vikings, was a force on the field as a junior collecting 121 tackles and 14 sacks. His college offers include Boise State, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Houston, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech.
LB Nyles Morgan (@Obey_Pride ), 6-1.5, 235
Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee
He made 106 tackles with four sacks and two INTs last season to earn All-State honors. Miles has over 30 offers including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue in the Big Ten and notables such as Florida, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC across the nation.
LB Chris Register (@HEAD_Hunta6), 6-2.5, 230
Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley
Register was one of the top defenders at the Charlotte NFTC and made the All-Camp team. He totaled 110 tackles with seven sacks and five forced fumbles in 2012. He has committed to Clemson over a dozen other offers including Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Virginia.
LB Dwight Williams (_@DW7_ ), 6-1, 200
Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Williams had 160 tackles for the Div. II bowl champs in 2012 and has the athleticism to roam sideline to sideline. Invited after winning LB MVP award at the L.A. NFTC. College offers include ASU, Boise St, Cal, Colorado, Florida, Michigan St, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon St, Southern Florida, Tennessee, Texas Tech, UCLA, Washington and Washington St.
LB Petera Wilson, 6-2, 215
Memphis (Tenn.) White Station
Wilson was a Class 6A All-State pick last season. His early top three, Alabama, LSU and Ohio State, have offered as have Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Teas Tech, UCLA and USC.
LB Richard Yeargin III (@ryearginIII), 6-3, 220
Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) University School
The tall defender was All-Broward Co. last year when he made 45 tackles (20 for loss) and 13 sacks. He has an offer list that includes Boston College, Florida, Purdue, Rutgers, South Florida, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Wisconsin.