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February 20, 2012

Linebacker class is loaded

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We continue the evaluation of the Class of 2013, with a look at the linebackers from Florida and how they stack up. Last year produced a bumper crop of linebackers and 2013 promises to be no different. Two of our players are ranked in the Rivals100 - four are in the Rivals250.

Top 2013 Linebackers

Matthew Thomas
Outside Linebacker
6-foot-4 |200 | Booker T. Washington (Miami)
Buzz: Thomas was the strength of the Booker T. Washington defense last year. He accounted for 15 tackles in the Class 4A state championship game (a 33-25 loss to Jacksonville Bolles) - including eight solo tackles and one forced fumble. Thomas is the 12th ranked player overall in the Rivals100. He had 117 tackles and 13 sacks last year.m Nee's Notes: (Rivals.com Florida recruiting analyst Chris Nee) "At 6-4, 200 pounds, he provides great size, speed, and versatility at linebacker but can honestly contribute at a variety of positions from defensive end to even safety. He has great speed off the edge and does a good job of beating defenders inside and outside"
Schools in the mix: Florida, Miami, Florida State, West Virginia, Louisville (10 total) Click here to watch video of Matthew Thomas
Daniel McMillian
Inside Linebacker
6-foot-3 |220 | First Coast (Jacksonville)
Buzz: Ranked No. 53 overall in the Rivals100 McMillian is set to be the leader of the First Coast defense for 2012. His team made it to the state finals before falling to Manatee 40-0 and that left a bitter taste in McMillian's mouth. Look for an aggressive role from the inside linebacker position.Nee's Notes: "McMillian is an extremely physically impressive player. He does a good job of driving through the ball carrier with good pad level and launching from the base while wrapping with his arms. While he is considered an inside linebacker, he has the athleticism necessary to play on the outside and can make plays in space."

Schools in the mix: Verbally committed to Florida
Click here to watch video of Daniel McMillian
James Hearns
Outside Linebacker
6-foot-3| 230 | Lincoln (Tallahasssee)
Buzz: Hearns is one of those linebackers that possesses all the tools that are needed. Ranked No. 157 in the Rivals250, Hearns will key a Lincoln defense that figures to be tough to move the football on. Hearns visited Florida last year for 'Friday Night Lights' and is verbally committed to the Gators.
Schools in the mix:Verbally committed to Florida
Click here to watch video of James Hearns
Jermaine Grace
Outside Linebacker
6-foot-2 |215 | Miramar
Buzz: Grace was one of the 'quiet couple' of players on the Miramar defense that was paced by All-American Tracy Howard. Ranked No. 226 in the Rivals250, he has the speed and size to make an impact from either inside or outside linebacker slots. Grace had 10 tackles in the 8A state title game against Plant, including eight solo stops. He'll have to step up his game with the losses on defense from graduation.
Schools in the mix: North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami (6 total)
Quinton Powell
Outside Linebacker
6-foot-1 | 189 | Mainland (Daytona Beach)
Buzz: Powell is the third linebacker of our top five to have already committed to the University of Florida. A four-star that just barely missed making the Rivals250, Powell possesses quickness and agility that will make him a force. Powell played defensive end for the Buccaneers last year and will move to the outside linebacker slot.
Schools in the mix:verbally committed to the University of Florida
Others in the mix:

George Williams, Hialeah
Michael Deeb, Plantation American Heritage
Nigel Harris, Tampa Hillsborough
Corey Vereen, Winter Garden West Orange
Treyvon Williams, Miami Norland
James Clark, Sebastian River
Darren Hambrick, Brooksville Hernando
Wendell Dunn, Miami Palmetto
Jalen Stevenson, Lakeland
Ryne Rankin, Orlando East River
Skai Moore, Fort Lauderdale University School
Jeremy Benjamin, Hollywood McArthur
Auggie Sanchez, St. Petersburg Northeast
Nick Internicola, Fort Lauderdale University School
Anthony Walker Jr. , Opa Locka Monsignor Pace
Lance Virgile, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
Haiden Nagel, Tampa Sickles
Neil Morrison, Pembroke Pines Charter
Griffin Goins, Hollywood Hills
Zachary Cresse, Fort Walton Beach
Marcus Davis, Ocala Vanguard

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