LSU boasts the SEC’s top outside linebacker in Clifton Garrett, but Alabama has two of the top five in Christian Miller and Ronnie Clark–giving the Crimson Tide one of the best overall linebacking groups in the SEC, coupled with ILB Shaun Hamilton.
Here’s a look at the best five outside linebackers in this year’s SEC recruiting class (high school recruits only), and keep in mind, Rashaan Evans of Auburn (Ala.) hasn’t even picked his school yet–so he’ll make the list as long as he goes SEC (as expected).
EDITOR’S NOTE: All references to ratings come from the 247Sports.com composite ranking
1. Clifton Garrett–LSU commit
- Plainfield South (Plainfield, Ill.), 6-2/230
- The skinny: You’re not going to break a tackle very easily when you collide with Garrett. He can wrap up with the best of them, and he can get to the ball as quickly as anybody in the nation–that’s why he’s rated the No. 1 outside linebacker in the country.
2. Christian Miller–Alabama commit
- Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.), 6-4/225
- The skinny: When you combine Miller with Ronnie Clark (below) and ILB prospect Shaun Hamilton, you get the best trio of linebackers in the SEC. Watching them grow together will be something to behold. Miller is a big kid.
3. Ronnie Clark–Alabama commit
- Calera (Ala.), 6-3/215
- The skinny: Clark is a bit of a jack of all trades, position wise. He is part of the big trio of linebackers the Crimson Tide are bringing in. He’s big and athletic, just like they want him.
4. Dillon Bates–Tennessee commit
- Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), 6-3/220
- The skinny: This Florida native joins with Tennessee’s outstanding inside linebackers to give the Vols easily the second best group of LBs in the SEC behind Alabama. Bates is very quick and is a big kid. He’s the son of former Dallas Cowboys DB Bill Bates.
5. Hoza Scott–Texas A&M commit
- LaPorte (Texas), 6-2/225
- The skinny: One of the Aggies’ earliest commitments, having joined the class a year ago, Scott is a big kid who can scoot. He’s just the kind of defender coaches would want in open space.
Here are the SEC’s top ranked commits by position prior to National Signing Day:
- Dual-Threat Quarterbacks
- Pro-Style Quarterbacks
- Running Backs
- All-Purpose Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles
- Offensive Guards
- Offensive Centers
- Weak-Side Defensive Ends
- Strong-Side Defensive Ends
- Defensive Tackles
- Inside Linebackers
- Outside Linebackers