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April 14, 2006
Each year, SCVarsity.com begins narrowing down our list of athletes to a workable number that we can mold into a Top 100 Players list for the state. And each year, one position seems to have more depth than others, but the there is always a lot of talent to go around and there are always players that could be listed on this list if there were more slots available. Here's a look at our Pre-Evaluation Period-Linebackers.
The linebacker group from the Class of 2007 is not nearly as strong nor deep as it has been in the past. Size, or lack there of, is the critique of this position in this class. While there are a lot of players who are solid high school football stars playing linebacker in the state, few transcend to DI prospects.
Cooper is a 6-0, 206lbs player who absolutely flies to the ball. In 2005, he collected 96 tackles on the defensive side of the ball. He had eleven tackles for loss and four sacks. He has offers from West Virginia, Clemson, South Carolina, NC State, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, and Michigan.
White entered the Spring as a sleeper until SCVarsity.com began promoting him with his clips and our evaluation. This young man is a beast. Like Cooper, he's a 6-0, 205lbs player (has been measured at 5-11 3/4). He's extremely explosive with a headhunter mentality on the field. He has a nose for the ball and fights off blocks well. When he sniffs the ball out, he delivers crushing blows to the ball carriers - as evidenced in his film. He has one offer from Maryland... others have commented that they want to evaluate him, but are very interested.
Either one of those guys could be considered the top linebacker in the state. Each have very good speed. Cooper is a track guy with 10.5 speed and White has been clocked at 4.45 40 by a SPARQ certified trainer.
Lindell Stevenson of Marlboro County is a player that has a huge upside potential at this position, although he could also be seen as a strong safety. He has better size than Cooper and White with a 6-2, 217lbs frame, but doesn't play with near the intensity that those two do, nor does he pursue the ball as well. The thing is, he has the athleticism and physical prowess to develope at this position. He may even see time at DB this season, and has played QB and RB for the Bulldogs.
Stanley Hunter of Byrnes High School collected 160 tackles, 38 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and an interception for the Rebels last season. He had a sack for a safety in the state championship game. He's 6-0, 205, like Cooper and White and very athletic, but not as fast. The question will be where does he play at the next level. If speed is going to be a question, OLB could be out...he's a bit undersized for the inside spot, though some schools are trending towards the smaller, more athletic LB's. Either way, he's a solid Top Twenty player for SCVarsity.com.
Antwane Glenn of Broome High School is a big bodied, 6-4, 235lbs player who really is more of a defensive end than a linebacker. He played the middle last season and collected 98 tackles, 14 for loss, and 5 sacks. He's very athletic for a big guy, but is more of a 7-technique end.
A couple of sleepers that I like are Spring Valley's Norman Washington and Ridgeview's John Synovec. Washington had a strong year last year at defensive back, but he's put on about twelve pounds and gotten stronger and faster in the off season. Look for him to move to the OLB spot in 2006 and be a solid player.
Synovec is a true sleeper. He played safety last year for the Blazers, but has impressed me with progess in the off-season. He's gone from 180lbs to 195lbs, dropped his 40 from a 4.62 to a mid 4.4 consistantly, and dropped his shuttle from a 4.38 to a 4.03. He's got an agressive, competitive attitude and I look for a move to linebacker this season.
Remember, this is PRE EVALUATION content here. There will be several more linebackers added as we complete evaluations. If you feel we've missed someone, email me at JB@Rivals.com That player may not have been evaluated yet and/or we may not have film or information on him.
Beginning May 1st, SCVarsity.com will release our Top Player Rankings.