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Recruiting: Linebackers in West have depth, versatility

10/12/2010

Editor's note: In his ongoing series on West Coast prep football prospects, recruiting expert Greg Biggins takes a look at linebackers:

It’s an overall down year at the linebacker position with not a lot of elite talent at the top of the board. There is some nice depth and versatility in the group with several players being able to play multiple positions.

Tre Madden is the top guy on the board and is a very intriguing athlete. He’s smart, athletic, runs very well and is a big bitter. He doubles as the Diablos' backup quarterback and is a major threat running the wildcat but will definitely play linebacker at the next level.

Madden showed great cover skills at the NIKE Camp at USC over the spring. He has the speed to run down plays from behind and projects as a prototype weakside 'backer at the next level.

Blake Renaud fits the profile of the stereotypical De La Salle football player. He’s very well coached, smart, tough and has great instincts. He’s a coach on the field and has the frame to grow in to a great looking inside ‘backer at the next level.

Jalen Jefferson has been a three-year starter and is a natural football player. He’s so smooth on the field but is a fierce competitor. Jefferson is equally strong blitzing the quarterback or dropping back in to coverage and has the athleticism to move to safety in college if need be.

Rahim Cassell plays with a mean streak and will take your head off on the field. He’s a big hitter, covers a lot of ground and is very physical. He’s a bit undersized but has a nice, solid frame and should have no problem bulking up in to the 230-pound range in a couple of years with ease.

Aaron Wallace was one of the big revelations of the spring. He shocked everyone earning LB MVP honors at the NIKE Camp at Texas Christian and then continued to impress at various college camps. Wallace is a big, athletic kid with a high football IQ. He needs to continue to work on his overall aggressiveness but his upside is very high.

The Top 10:

1. Tre Madden, 6-1, 215, Mission Viejo (Calif.) -- USC

Was MVP at the loaded SoCal NIKE Camp last April.

2. Blake Renaud, 6-1, 230, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle -- Boise State

One of the smartest players you’ll ever see and plays with a non-stop motor.

3. Jalen Jefferson, 6-2, 205, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure

Very athletic 'backer who could move to safety in college.

4. Rahim Cassell, 6-1, 205, Lakewood (Calif.) -- Oregon

Athletic player with tremendous hitting ability and plays with an edge.

5. Aaron Wallace, 6-3, 215, San Diego (Calif.) Rancho Bernardo -- UCLA

Father Aaron Sr. was an All-American DE at Texas A&M.

6. Corey Waller, 6-1, 210, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly

Converted defensive end and one of the best pass rushers in the region.

7. Tyson Coleman, 6-2, 205, Lake Oswego (Ore.) -- Oregon

Converted safety but has the frame and toughness to be a solid LB for the Ducks.

8. Jared Norris, 6-2, 225, Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial -- Utah

Prototype inside 'backer with size, smarts and hitting ability.

9. Israel Marshall, 6-2, 200, Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe -- Arizona State

Very athletic player who flies around the field.

10. Kyrie Wilson, 6-2, 215, Bakersfield (Calif.) Ridgeview -- Oregon

Breakout performer at the SoCal NIKE Camp and has all the tools.

The Next 15:

11. Woodson Greer, 6-2, 220, Gardena (Calif.) Serra

12. Logan Mayes, 6-2, 215, Eugene (Ore.) Marist -- Washington State

13. Lavonte Barnett, 6-3, 225, Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete

14. Shaquille Moseley, 6-2, 215, Fresno (Calif.) Edison

15. Rodney Hardrick, 6-2, 215, Colton (Calif.)

16. Daryl Paulo, 6-2, 240, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant

17. Brock Haman, 6-3, 225, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro -- Arkansas

18. Austin Heder, 6-3, 235, Pleasant Grove (Utah) -- Brigham Young

19. Malique Micenheimer, 6-1, 220, Stockton (Calif.) McNair

20. Reggie Coates, 6-0, 235, Encino (Calif.) Crespi

21. Jordan Stanton, 6-1, 220, Palmdale (Calif.)

22. Adam Pulsipher, 6-1, 215, Temecula (Calif.) Temecula Valley -- Brigham Young

23. Cody McCarthy, 6-0, 215, Boise (Idaho) Bishop Kelly

24. Burton DeKoning, 6-2, 200, Folsom (Calif.)

25. Quinn Bauducco, 6-3, 225, Moorpark (Calif.) -- Minnesota

Previous posts:

Defensive ends

Defensive tackles

Tight ends

Wide receivers

Running backs

Quarterbacks

Offensive linemen

Greg Biggins is an occasional contributor to the ESPNLosAngeles.com Preps Blog. For more recruiting news, check out his Insider blog on West Coast recruiting.