Alabama put a stranglehold on the linebacker talent, as people can see below–and when insider linebacker Shaun Hamilton is thrown into the mix, it makes it more impressive.
Related: 10 SEC-ready freshmen for 2014
Here’s a look at the best five outside linebackers in this year’s SEC recruiting class (high school recruits only).
EDITOR’S NOTE: All references to ratings come from the 247Sports.com composite ranking
1. Rashaan Evans-Alabama commit
- Auburn (Ala.), 6-3/220
- The skinny: He’s lean, he’s mean, he can hit and he has the whole town of Auburn (Ala.) mad at him because he chose the Crimson Tide over the hometown Tigers. This guy is fearless.
2. 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. 2 outside linebacker in the country.
3. Christian Miller–Alabama commit
- Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.), 6-4/225
- The skinny: When you combine Miller with Evans, Ronnie Clark (below) and ILB prospect Shaun Hamilton, you get the best quartet of linebackers in the SEC. Watching them grow together will be something to behold. Miller is a big kid.
4. 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 mega-quartet of linebackers the Crimson Tide are bringing in. He’s big and athletic, just like they want him to corral those QBs that just keep getting more slippery.
5. 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.
Top 5 signees broken down by position:
- 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