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Best Fits for the Top 10 Uncommitted LB Recruits in Class of 2014

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMay 29, 2013

Best Fits for the Top 10 Uncommitted LB Recruits in Class of 2014

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    A recruit who is misguided can choose a school for the wrong reasons. Aside from which school gives the recruit the best chance at academic success, another important aspect when determining where to play in college is what school is the best fit.

    The linebacker position still has several top-tier prospects who remain uncommitted. Among them is the top interior second level defender in the country, Raekwon McMillan. A talented 'backer, McMillan is not alone as Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman are also still looking for the best fit.

    Many surprises will arise when each top linebacker's best fit is revealed.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.


10. Derik Calhoun

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    Calhoun is a 6'0", 215-pound 'backer who has a stocky build. He plays with good athleticism and is equally effective against the run and pass.

    Calhoun quickly reads his keys, diagnoses the play and fills run alleys with good force. He has good coverage skills, and his play speed is so impressive that he could play safety in college.

    His versatility will allow him to fit best in any scheme.

9. Edwin Freeman

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    Freeman is a 6'1", 212-pound defender who can play OLB or SS. He fits best as a Rover, where his quick read and react ability versus the run and zone coverage skills versus the pass help his defense.

    However, the Texan may weigh 230 pounds in college by the time his junior season arrives, which will force him into a more traditional OLB role. His skill set and play speed project best into defenses at Texas and LSU. 

8. Marquis Ware

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    Ware is from Los Angeles and attends Salesian High School. He's a versatile football player who can play RB, WR, FB and TE on offense.

    Yet the 6'2", 215-pounder will start off as an OLB in college. Speed is a big part of Ware's skill set, as he operates best when he's allowed to chase running plays sideline to sideline.

    He is not going to strike OLs and shed them at the point of attack. He would be a great fit at Oregon, as the Ducks run a speed-based attack-style defense. 

7. Dillon Bates

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    Bates is from Florida and does have some questions surrounding his ability to play in space. However, he's 6'3", 213 pounds and has terrific instincts.

    Bates relishes contact and plays with an intense demeanor. He grades out high in the toughness category and is rarely fooled by misdirection plays.

    His father, Bill, played at Tennessee. Bates would be a solid fit in Knoxville. 

6. Ronnie Clark

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    Clark is a 6'3", 210-pounder from Alabama who plays safety for Calera High School. A preference to staying on the back end in college may cause some resistance to a move to OLB, but it is in Clark's best interests to do so.

    He has great athleticism and range in coverage thanks to his speed. Clark could develop into a great fit as a "Will" in any 4-3 scheme. He stirs up memories of former Georgia LB Alec Ogletree coming out of high school. 

5. Dwight Williams

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    Williams possesses perhaps the best movement skills and natural athleticism of any LB on this list. He is not physically imposing at just 6'0" and 205 pounds, but his play speed is fantastic.

    In fact, Williams' transition quickness and ability to drop in coverage is so impressive that he may be moved to SS in college. He would fit in well at Oklahoma, where the Sooners could use him the same way they did former S/OLB Tony Jefferson. 

    Also, Miami could develop him into a new version of former standout Sean Spence at OLB. 

4. Christian Miller

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    Miller is a 6'4" OLB who weighs a little more than 210 pounds. From South Carolina, he was once committed to Florida but backed off his Gator pledge earlier this month.

    Miller is a classic 3-4 OLB and must end up at a school that will put him in that position. He is a straight-line athlete with good speed and solid strength.

    Asking him to read keys and diagnose plays on the second level would be a mistake. He fits best when asked to attack the pocket from a two-point stance. Ideal places to land for Miller would be Alabama, Florida and Georgia. 

3. Nyles Morgan

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    Morgan is an impressive young man on and off the field. He is a 6'2" LB who weighs more than 220 pounds and is a great tackler.

    Thanks to his good range, Morgan can pursue outside running plays and also is a great at the point of attack against blockers.

    The Illinois native would fit be an exceptional fit with a school like Notre Dame or Vanderbilt. 

2. Clifton Garrett

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    Garrett is one the most physical LBs in the country. He is from Illinois and plays with a 6'2", 228-pound powerful frame.

    Garrett is working on improving his movement skills and ability in space this offseason. He is explosive enough to fill alleys and plays at a full-tilt tempo against the run. Garrett does not back down from lead blockers, showing great striking strength at the point of attack.

    He is an ideal fit as an LB in a physical SEC defense, perhaps at LSU. 

1. Raekwon McMillan

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    McMillan is a 6'2", 249-pound 'backer who fits well in any scheme. He has good instincts, plays up to his listed size and flashes great athletic ability in space.

    From Georgia, McMillan has the speed and range to get to ball-carriers on the edges. He must work on his pass drops and man coverage skills, but those traits will develop in time.

    He is such a talent that he projects well at several of the schools he is considering. Whether he chooses to play ILB at Alabama or Georgia in the SEC or MLB at Ohio State or Clemson, McMillan will be fine wherever he lands.

     

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

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