Commentary

UA Game loaded at linebacker

Originally Published: May 21, 2009
By Jc Shurburtt | Scouts Inc.

Breaking down the linebackers already selected for the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game.

Aaron Benson, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill

Billy Tucker on Benson: Benson plays fast and physical. He possesses great future scheme versatility as we feel he could play both the inside and outside linebacker positions. He flashes great range and football speed making plays sideline-to-sideline and can be a very disruptive blitzer off the edge with his long frame, good first-step quickness and acceleration. Benson still has a lot of room for upside from both a fundamental and physical standpoint.

Recruiting Buzz: Benson is committed to Texas.

V.J. Fehoko, 5-11, 215, Fahuku, Hawaii/Fahuku

Billy Tucker on Fehoko: Fehoko is hands down the top prospect off the island this year and maybe one of the better total football players in this talented linebacker group. He is a very physical, tough defender with a great nose for the finding the football and creating havoc along the way. He has very good burst, explosiveness and short-range tools for a future linebacker and may be a guy who puts his hand down and gets after the quarterback on third down at the next level.

Recruiting Buzz: His brother goes to Texas Tech, so that could factor into his decision. He has offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee, BYU, Oregon and others.

Jordan Hicks, 6-2, 210, West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West

Billy Tucker on Hicks: Hicks is one of the better linebackers to come out of the Midwest in recent years. He has a difference-maker component to his game and will be a guy offenses need to scheme around at the next level. He is one of the more explosive linebackers and vertical attackers we have seen in the past few classes and has great speed/range for his size pursuing sideline-to-sideline. A complete 'backer, Hicks can beat blockers to hole between the tackles with quickness or blow up the run at the point of attack with great strength and short-area power.

Recruiting Buzz: Texas is the team to beat for Hicks, who plans to make several unofficial visits this summer.

Jake Holland, 6-1, 220, Pelham, Ala./Pelham

Billy Tucker on Holland: It's difficult to find many fundamental flaws in Holland's game at linebacker. He is smart, tough, instinctive with the versatility to play inside or outside at the next level in our eyes. He has good size with his bulk and compact, durable frame. Although Holland lacks great length for a true outside position, he has a good frame for a stacked strongside 'backer. Between the tackles, he is very reactive and finds the football quickly. Holland mirrors the ball carrier well with good short-area redirection skill and lateral agility. He stays square to line of scrimmage helping him limit cutback creases and avoid being turned out of the hole.

Recruiting buzz: Committed to Auburn.

Christian Jones, 6-4, 220, Winter Park, Fla./Lake Howell

Billy Tucker on Jones: Jones is very explosive, versatile and athletic for his size and brings a lot of physical tools to the table for a program to mold into their scheme. He could put his hand down at the next level and be disruptive as an edge pass-rusher or play out of a two-point stance and make plays sideline-to-sideline with his intense motor and great acceleration.

Recruiting Buzz: Florida State is Jones' leader and is the clear favorite.

Shaun Lewis, 6-1, 210, Missouri City, Texas/Hightower

Billy Tucker on Lewis: Lewis is another undersized linebacker who should develop into one of the productive college 'backers in this class once his body fully develops. He has a lot of natural ability and makes very quick, reactive reads between the tackles that you simply can't coach. Consistently beats blockers to the point of attack with his great downhill burst and quickness. He demonstrates equally impressive acceleration and closing speed tracking down ball carriers on outside run support. Lewis covers the whole field and is a very strong, reliable tackler.

Recruiting Buzz: Multiple offers, including Oklahoma, LSU and Texas A&M.

Jeff Luc, 6-1, 230, Port Saint Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast

Billy Tucker on Luc: Luc is one of the more imposing middle linebackers we have seen in the past few recruiting classes. It's very difficult to find many physical flaws in his game and he is more than ready to make the jump to the next level right now. He displays awesome short-area power and strength at the point of attack and is just an explosive downhill filler. Luc is textbook tackler who drives through ball carriers and really dishes out the punishment.

Recruiting Buzz: Plays things close to the vest but is ultimately expected to head to one of Florida's Big Three -- Miami (Fla.), Florida State or Florida -- when all is said and done.

Corey Nelson, 6-2, 210, Dallas, Texas/Skyline

Billy Tucker on Nelson: Nelson may be a bit undersized at outside linebackers but like a few of the elite Under Armour All-American linebackers that played before him, he is extremely explosive and plays much bigger. He finds the ball quickly, takes direct angles and displays great acceleration pursuing sideline-to-sideline. His striking closing speed/ burst to the football on outside run support may be his most impressive attribute. Nelson is a collision tackler who generates very impressive velocity in the short-area.

Recruiting Buzz: Nelson has committed to Texas A&M.

Michael Taylor, 6-0, 191, Atlanta, Ga./Westlake

Billy Tucker on Taylor: Taylor may check in at under 200 pounds, but he hits like a 240-pound linebacker and generates striking force in the short-area. He fills fast and hard between the tackles with good leverage and great short-area power. Consistently beats blockers to hole with his great burst and direct angles to the football. Taylor plays hard on every snap and sets the tempo of the defense with his relentless pursuit and excellent explosiveness. He is a defender who needs to be blocked on every play.

Recruiting Buzz: Miami has made a big push of late, but Taylor is still wide open right now.

Konrad Zagzebski, 6-3, 220, Schofield, Wisc./D. C. Everest

Billy Tucker on Zagzebski: Zagzebski is a very solid linebacker prospect with good upside and the coveted scheme versatility to potentially play both inside and outside; maybe an ideal OLB in a 3-4 defense with continued physical development. Has great height with a long, well-built frame that should fill out to the 240-pound range at the next level while retaining his current short-range speed and quickness.

Recruiting Buzz: He has committed to Wisconsin.

JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at jcsespn@aol.com.