30 January 2011
I am not ready to put a pecking order on this much underrated linebacker class. It is clearly better than 2011. What happens in the athlete season will tell us alot. Another thing is there seems to be alot of film coming in for linebackers right now. I want to wait until we have film of a few more players before I put a pecking order together.
Joe Bolden, 6-3, 220, Colerain.
Brings a strong argument for top linebacker in the state. Great frame to get bigger and runs very well. He is outstanding at the line of scrimmage but so natural in coverage. Settles into zone and plays it like a college veteran already. Runs very well. A smooth fluid athlete. Great motor. If I named a number one right now it would be Bolden. He is just more athletic than Ringer and plays in space better.
Mason Monheim, 6-1, 215, Orrville
This is a kid Mark found. If he is legitimately 6-1 and 215 lbs I will put him right in the discussion about who is number one in the state. Yes, I said that. He is the most complete linebacker in the state. He is great at the line of scrimmage. As good as Ringer. He is great in space. Even better than Bolden. This is a class full of strikers. You have heard of Bam Bradley, Devon Bogard, Antonio Johnson and Marcus Foster. Monheim belongs in that conversation. What a hitter. Great tackler too. Runs great. Motor is on overdrive on every play. Illinois has already come in with an offer.
Kaleb Riner, 6-3, 225, Clayton Northmont
I was always hesitant about Ringer. He was a 6-2 225 lb freshman. I did not know where is body was going to take him. I thought he would outgrow linebacker. He has not done that. Ringer is a classic Mike linebacker. Hashmark to hashmark it is hard to not pick Ringer. He is physical and a physical specimen. He is going to carry another 20 lbs on that frame. Where he is in the pecking order is going to be determined by how he does in the camps and combines showing how he plays in the open field. I have seen his complete highlight film. Not one play of Ringer in space.
Joe Burger, 6-2 228, LaSalle
He looks like a great fit as a 3-4 stand-up end but on the third play look at that great play as a linebacker. He shows patience then an explosive turn of speed to make a tackle for loss. That leads me to believe he stands a better chance of making the transition to linebacker. Great feet. Changes direction well. Runs well. Burger is a player I will definitely be keeping track of. If he shows he can play the pass he is going to see his stock rise and I think it could rise dramatically.
Jhalil Nashid-Croley, 6-2, 225, Cincinnati Princeton
This is a kid who popped up early then seemed to disappear. That was all about the question of where he would line up in college. It got cleared up when Mark Porter saw him up close. This was one time where being under his listed size actually helped a player. At his listed 6-3 235 he looked more like a kid headed to defensive end but did not look like one of those kids who was a natural fit. He didn't have the length and he did not show the frame you want to see in a defensive end. After mark saw that he was more like 6-2 and 225 he went back up the boards as he is a great looking player. Runs very well. The first two plays on the film below are the attention getters but the third and fourth plays are the ones that are more impressive. On the third play watch him stone the good sized guard with his punch, gets rid of him then makes the tackle. The very next play look where he comes from to make the tackle at the numbers.
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