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2012 College Football Recruiting Rankings: LBs

HarveyClemonsJosh332.jpg

- by Braden Gall (@BradenGall on twitter)

The next batch of in-coming college football All-Americans have inked their respective letters of intent. Recruiting is the life blood of the greatest sport on the planet, and, while coaching stills plays the biggest role in winning a championship, having better players can go a long way to earning a trip to the BCS.

Recruiting is an inexact science by definition. It is virtually impossible to accurately peg the mental make-up of any 17-year old child -- much less high-profile, over-coddled 17-year-old athletes. But team recruiting rankings offer the best indication of which team has the best ingredients each coach has to work with each season.

Related:Athlon's Top 25 Recruiting Classes of 2012

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Offensive Positional Rankings:QB | RB | WR/TE | OL
Defensive Positional Rankings:DL | LB | DB | ATH

When it comes to projecting talent, the linebacker position is by far the most versatile and ambiguous. Differences in schemes can create hybrid backer-ends and backer-safeties. The size and skillsets needed to be successful varies across a wide array of talents, everything from pass-rush specialists to man-to-man pass coverage. Traditionally, linebackers are broken up by inside or outside, but with the proliferation of hyrbrid roles, the game has evolved to include much more than simple Mike, Sam and Will players.

Here are the best incoming freshman linebackers in the nation:

 

Name

HT

WT

Hometown

AC100

College

1.

Josh Harvey-Clemons

6'5"

208

Valdosta, GA

No. 20

Georgia

2.

Dante Fowler Jr.

6'3"

261

St. Petersburg, FL

No. 28

Florida

3.

Jordan Jenkins

6'3"

245

Hamilton, GA

No. 31

Georgia

4.

Reggie Ragland

6'2"

247

Madison, AL

No. 44

Alabama

5.

Jabari Ruffin

6'4"

230

Downey, CA

No. 46

USC

6.

Noor Davis

6'4"

235

Leesburg, FL

No. 49

Stanford

7.

Ifeadi Odenigbo

6'3"

217

Centerville, OH

No. 66

Northwestern

8.

Markuss Eligwe

6'3"

225

Stone Mountain, GA

No. 71

Florida State

9.

Kwon Alexander

6'2"

200

Oxford, AL

No. 82

LSU

10.

Ryan Anderson

6'2"

250

Daphne, AL

No. 84

Alabama

11.

Dillon Lee

6'4"

240

Buford, GA

No. 94

Alabama

12.

Peter Jinkins

6'1"

200

Dallas, TX

No. 105

Texas

13.

Kwontie Moore

6'2"

243

Norfolk, VA

No. 106

Virginia

14.

Joe Bolden

6'3"

230

Cincinnati, OH

No. 108

Michigan

15.

Vince Biegel

6'3'

225

Wisconsin Rapids, WI

No. 132

Wisconsin

16.

Raphael Kirby

6'

207

Stone Mountain, GA

No. 133

Miami, Fla.

17.

Tyler Hayes

6'3"

215

Thomasville, AL

No. 143

Alabama

18.

Otha Peters

6'2"

225

Covington, LA

No. 149

Arkansas

19.

Brian Nance

6'2"

210

Euless, TX

No. 150

Baylor

20.

Royce Jenkins-Stone

6'2"

215

Detroit, MI

No. 152

Michigan

21.

Nick Dawson

6'3"

228

Charlotte, NC

No. 156

Louisville

22.

Denzel Devall

6'2"

236

Bastrop, LA

No. 158

Michigan

23.

James Ross

6'1"

215

Orchard Lake, MI

No. 161

Michigan

24.

Joshua Perry

6'3"

230

Lewis Center, OH

No. 174

Ohio State

25.

Scott Starr

6'3"

230

Norco, CA

No. 182

USC

26.

Dalton Santos

6'3"

250

Van, TX

No. 194

Texas

27.

Jordan Richmond

6'3"

225

Denton, TX

No. 206

Texas A&M

28.

Leonard Floyd

6'4"

215

Eastman, GA

No. 214

Georgia

29.

Michael Rose

6'

230

Kansas City, MO

No. 216

Nebraska

30.

Ronnie Feist

6'2"

225

Edgard, LA

No. 227

LSU

31.

Keith Brown

6'1

225

Miami, FL

No. 241

Louisville

32.

Lorenzo Phillips

6'2"

200

Patterson, LA

No. 242

LSU

33.

Quanzell Lambert

6'1"

230

Sicklerville, NJ

No. 243

Rutgers

34.

Camren Williams

6'2"

215

West Roxbury, MA

No. 256

Ohio State

2012 Athlon Sports Positional Recruiting Rankings:

College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Running Backs

College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Linebackers

College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Defensive Linemen
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Defensive Backs
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Offensive Linemen
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Quarterbacks
College Football 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: Athletes