Do you look like a college player? DEFENSIVE EDITION

We all hear it.  We all know the person.  If you don’t, you might be THAT guy.  The guy that is all about college football.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, if you are legitimate, however, statistically speaking- the probability is low.  Anytime this type of talk of said it is automatically scorned for being negative or being a ‘hater’.  Once again, there are always exceptions.  This is merely a reality check to some, goals for another, or an article put together by former coaches and players from all levels that “have no idea what we’re talking out” as said by the delusional.  We’re taking a look at what levels of players should look like in high school throughout West Virginia.  If you don’t agree, that’s okay- it’s just a subjective article backed by experience.


Defensive Line

Division One – Height: 6’1+ / Weight: 260+ / Bench: 315 / Constant disruptor with double teams off the edge or in middle

Division Two – Height: 5’11+ / Weight: 250+ / Bench: 285 / Clogs up the area well and makes plays

Division Three – Height 5’9+ / Weight: 240+ / Bench: 255 / Has big plays here and there while holding his gap

The difference between levels as a lineman is the most obvious.  Much of this goes to the eye test.  Does the player look like a beast?  Does the player control the line of scrimmage like a beast?  The domination factor is in place here.  A D1 lineman dominates his foes every single snap.  That natural strength must be there and it can be measured somewhat through bench.  Also, height matters incredibly.  If you’re under those heighth, you won’t stack up against offensive lineman.  The end heighth would actually be 6’2-6’3 but the weight minimums could be 30 pounds lighter.  Do you dominate?

Examples of a D1 Defensive Lineman: Reese Donahue (Cabell Midland)

Counterexamples of requirements: Lamonte McDougal (Starting NT for WVU)



Division One – Height: 6’0+ / Weight: 220+ / Clean: 285 / Tons of TFLs and sacks and is punishing

Division Two – Height: 5’10+ / Weight: 205+ / Clean: 255 / Makes majority of team’s tackles and runs defense

Division Three – Height: 5’8+ / Weight: 195+ / Clean: 225 / Solid defender but lacks big play ability

Linebacker is a position where size and speed are more like bonuses than necessities.  However, the height and weight will dictate your recruitment, there are plenty of successful smaller linebackers on the top level.  The obvious difference is how many times the announcer calls your name for a tackle and the type of tackling your doing.  A top level LB is CONSTANTLY berating the offense in rush defense or pass defense.  From a testing POV, we think cleans are a great predictor as they are pure explosion and technique aside from raw strength.  Where do you stack up?

Example of a D1 Linebacker: Owen Porter (Spring Valley)

Counterexample of Requirements: Justin Arndt (Former Starter at WVU)



Defensive Back

Division One – Height: 5’10+ / Weight: 190+ / 40YD: 4.60e / Can’t catch on him and makes tons of tackles

Division Two – Height: 5’8+ / Weight: 180+ / 40YD: 4.70e / Allows few catches and is good in run support

Division Three – Height: 5’7 / Weight: 170+ / 40YD: 4.75e / Good in coverage and 50/50 on run support

While the gap of talent between D1 receivers and D2 receivers is large, the same isn’t true for DB.  Defensive back is a very mental position in college and requires strict discipline.  The biggest difference between levels is speed.  Actual speed, not your dad’s stopwatch- electronically speaking.  If you aren’t trackstar fast, you aren’t covering top receivers.  Also, a big difference seen is how ferocious of tackler one is.  You might be fast and lockdown receivers, but do you lay the stick when they come your way?  It matters.  A lot.

Example of a Division One Defensive Back: Derreck Pitts (South Charleston)

Counterexample of Requirements: None- you have to be fast

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