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2011 Texas Big Board: The Linebackers

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Linebackers on the 2011 roster -- Keenan Robinson (2011), Emmanuel Acho (2011), Ryan Roberson (2012), Tariq Allen (2013), Patrick Nkwopara (2013), Aaron Benson (2013/14), Tevin Jackson (2013/14), Jordan Hicks (2013/14)

Notice that the above list is for 2011 -- the linebackers who will graduate in 2010 have no impact on the 2011 numbers.

Needs --Two or three

Targets --

Name (School) JD invite? Offer? Commitment odds Favorites Quick take
Anthony Wallace (Dallas Skyline) Feb. 13 No-brainer 60%
  • Texas
  • USC
  • Miami
  • Oklahoma
  • LSU
Highly regarded, but looks a little stiff and doesn't have elite feet for the position. Looks like a strong candidate for the Buck position or a spin-down to defensive end, where he played as a sophomore -- may not have an ideal frame for linebacker. Less than elite short-area burst. Big-time hitter -- understands power angles and leverage when tackling. Comfortable fighting through the wash. National prospect.
Steve Edmond (Daingerfield) Feb. 13 No-brainer 33%
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas A&M
  • Texas Tech
  • TCU
  • Arkansas
Could be the best and most physical linebacker at the point of attack in the class. Extremely fast and physical -- like a larger, but slightly less athletic version of Tevin Jackson. Incredible production in high school. Has the frame to spin down to defensive, but has the feet and change of direction of a linebacker. Looks faster than Wallace. Had 182 tackles as a junior, including 34 for loss, as well as five sacks and five interceptions. PLAYMAKER. Unbelievably, Texas hasn't been in contact much, but Will Muschamp and Oscar Giles visited the school this spring.
Kendall Thompson (Carthage) Feb. 27 Possible 80%
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Alabama
  • LSU
Spin-down/Buck position candidate. Plays for two-time reigning 3A state champs -- beat Graham for that honor in 2009.
Trevon Randle (League City Clear Springs) Date unconfirmed Possible 70%
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • LSU
Smaller, faster linebacker in the mold of Aaron Benson capable of excelling in coverage. Played some running back as a junior and wants to play both ways in college.
Devon Hocutt (Killeen Ellison) Feb. 13 Possible/unlikely 90%+
  • Texas
Probably doesn't have the feet to play linebacker in college. Could end up at defensive tackle, but is undersized for that position as well -- if he can use his leverage, his size won't matter. Loves Texas.
Chet Moss (Cedar Park) Feb. 13 Likely 90%+
  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • Texas Tech
  • Rice
  • SMU
Good frame and athleticism, but a little stiff in coverage. More impressed with teammate Joey Nichol when I saw Cedar Park play. Some questions about whether he is Texas good.
PL Lindley (Round Rock Stony Point) Uninvited/unconfirmed Unlikely 85%
  • Texas
  • SMU
  • Baylor
  • Oklahoma State
Perhaps the most athletic linebacker in space in the class. Excels in 7-on-7 and covering slot receivers and running backs out of the backfield. Improved at point of attack as a junior, but still isn't comfortable taking on blockers inside the tackle box -- miscast as a inside linebacker, where he played for several games due to an injury. Could contribute on special teams immediately.
James Vaughters (Tucker (GA)) Invited, unable to attend, may take unofficial visit No-brainer if he visits 15%
  • Offers from everyone
  • Seriously, everyone
Rare combination of speed and physicality and ability to play all over the field. Candidate for the Buck position, but has speed to play any linebacker position. Film here. Big-time national prospect who would have to visit during spring or summer for Texas to begin seriously recruiting him. New limitations on Muschamp could really hurt with this kid. Does he have a link to Texas?

 

 

Other names to know -- Donnie Baggs (League City Clear Springs), Trey Brown (Lancaster), Collin Garrett (Beaumont West Brook), Ryan Simmons (Cibolo Steele)

Overview -- The move to using two linebackers in the base nickel defense and the emergence of Ryan Roberson mitigated the need for linebackers in 2010 and the same could be said for the 2011 class, with the caveat that there were three linebackers in the previous class. As a result, linebacker is not a serious need and the depth chart could dissuade players from coming to Texas.

All indications are that Chet Moss will receive an offer and commit and Devon Hocutt may fall into that category as well, though he almost certainly is not a linebacker in college, raising the question of whether it's worth using a spot on the Killeen Ellison star. Steve Edmond, Anthony Wallace, and Kendall Thompson are all candiates for the defensive end or Buck positions, though moving Edmond there would seem to be a waste of his prodigious abilities.

Edmond is perhaps the most naturally talented of all three, but the concern with him is the amount of interest Texas has shown him and the fact that he questioned why he would want to head to Austin and face such competition for playing time just this week. Somewhat strange comments, so Muschamp and company will have to make a strong impression on him this weekend and convince him that he will have an opportunity to play at Texas, but it may not come his freshman year.

Wish list --

  1. Steve Edmond Steve Edmond Steve Edmond
  2. James Vaughters
  3. Anthony Wallace
  4. Trevon Randle (if no Vaughters)

Give me Steve Edmond. Please. Kid is a monster. Securing a mix of talent is a priority at the position, so securing at least one of Wallace and Edmond is important, then finding one of the smaller, faster guys like Randle or Lindley (who isn't exactly small, but excels in space).