For a look at all linebacker, defensive back, and specialist positions, download our 2019 Defensive Skill & Specialists Scout Sheet for $7.99 ~ spreadsheet of nearly 100 players with metrics and our rating system!
Hunter Williams (Independence) 2020
Drew Curtis (Weir) 2020
Adam Murray (Wheeling Central) 2020
TIE – #5 Jackson Biser
Biser really embraced the defensive leadership role in the middle of the field last season. He’s a taller and leaner athlete than most middle linebackers- he uses his leverages well. His blitzing and coverage ability are well-tuned. He appears to be growing into his large frame. Biser showed a lot of good technical skills on film, and he will have a talented line in front of him for the 2019 season. Biser also had a knack for causing turnovers- a great trait in a linebacker.The Golden Tornado are definitely poised for a stellar defense.
TIE – #5 Jeremiah King
School: Robert C. Byrd
King popped up on everyone’s radar throughout last season as freshman. Most of his explosion came from his spot at runningback on offense. He would be ranked high there as well, but we see a high defensive potential too. King played more of a safety position last season but he’s already a large prospect, and he was always coming down hard on runs for great tackles. Though he might remain at more of a hybrid position, he could start gathering future looks as a true linebacker with his rare mix of size and speed. 2019 will be a breakout year for him and his size development will decide whether he stays in the back or comes into the front seven.
#4 Malachi West
School: Fairmont Senior
West did not get a huge amount of recognition on an outstanding defense with tons of playmakers. He really shines on film, though. Perhaps West’s best attribute is his patience and dedication to the scheme. By not leaving his position and waiting to strike when the chance arose, he became a pivotal bounce-to backer. He has great tackle technique with solid leg drive and arm wrap. In a time with big egos, West excels by just doing his job and doing it very well. Expect him to have another great year as a senior.
#3 Ben Kee
School: Herbert Hoover
Kee was on our list last year and our biggest concern was his size. He has tacked on some weight but kept that explosive play. Kee is a dynamite talent. Though smaller in size, he is fast and about as downhill as you can get. He delivers punishing blows with his tackles and is the definition of a chase down hitter. Hopefully, he has put on even more weight for his senior season to really stand out as he deserves. A level of control does need to be brought to his game for more efficient plays but for now, he is still outstanding.
#2 John Covert
Covert was already a top 100 player for his sophomore season. His lore grew with an impressive year of ferocious linebacker play and even some school record rushing performances. Covert is a strong player with a maturing frame. His defensive IQ is advanced as well as a refined first step and hip level. The way he tackles keeps him from hardly missing. He also has a talent in the pass game. We are excited to see how good he can get since he played like a mature senior last season- the sky is the limit for him.
#1 Eric Brown
Brown became Williamstown’s secret weapon during their state title game appearance last season. In his first season at linebacker, he became not only a tackling machine but takeaway machine as well. Many might doubt Single A ball players, but Brown dominates the game like a top LB in the class would. Constant athletic interceptions, forced fumbles, tackles in the backfield, as well scoring from the defensive side of the ball. He has excellent size, and there is plenty of room to polish his athleticism. Brown will have another great season.