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November 25, 2010

Category rankings: Linebackers


The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

We've selected the best of the best in each category for every position and ranked them. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell breaks down the linebackers.

LB RANKINGS: Best athlete | Closing speed | Best instincts | Run stopper

5. Steven Daniels, Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier
Daniels Highlights
Considering: Boston College, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville and others.
Particulars: 6-0/225
Buzz: Daniels doesn't look like an athlete on the hoof, but he makes numerous athletic plays each game.

4. Lawrence Thomas, Detroit (Mich.) Renaissance
Thomas Highlights
Committed to: Michigan State
Particulars: 6-4/232
Buzz: Thomas is athletic enough to play five different defensive positions.

3. Tony Steward, St. Augustine (Fla.) Pedro Menendez
Steward Highlights
Considering: FSU, Clemson, Alabama, UCLA and Florida.
Particulars: 6-2/225
Buzz: Steward is raw and still learning, but he's a rare athlete with great explosion.

2. Lamar Dawson, Danville (Ky.) Boyle County
Dawson Highlights
Considering: Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, USC, Oregon and others.
Particulars: 6-2/230
Buzz: Dawson is a tackling machine on defense and could be a tight end if he wanted in college on offense.

1. Brent Calloway, Russellville, Ala.
Calloway Highlights
Committed to: Alabama
Particulars: 6-1/210
Buzz: Calloway is a superior running back in high school and could fit into many offenses if needed.

BEST CLOSING SPEED
5. Tre Madden, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Madden Highlights
Committed to: USC
Particulars: 6-1/215
Buzz: Madden's lateral movement and all-around quickness allows him to close fast.

4. Steve Edmond, Daingerfield, Texas
Edmond Highlights
Committed to: Texas
Particulars: 6-3/225
Buzz: Edmond seems to have a fifth gear when he gets within a few yards of the ballcarrier.

3. Anthony Sarao, Absecon (N.J.) Holy Spirit
Sarao Highlights
Committed to: Stanford
Particulars: 6-1/215
Buzz: Sarao doesn't waste any motion and explodes to the football with his superior speed.

2. Curtis Grant, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Grant Highlights
Considering: Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and others.
Particulars: 6-3/222
Buzz: Grant surprises with his ability to kick it up a notch to the sidelines despite his size.

1. Tony Steward, St. Augustine (Fla.) Pedro Menendez
Steward Highlights
Considering: FSU, Clemson, Alabama, UCLA and Florida.
Particulars: 6-2/225
Buzz: Steward is a great athlete with as much quick-twitch ability as anyone in the country.

BEST INSTINCTS
5. Steven Daniels, Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier
Daniels Highlights
Considering: Boston College, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville and others.
Particulars: 6-0/225
Buzz: Daniels is a tackling machine that sees plays develop quickly.

4. Stephone Anthony, Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson
Anthony Highlights
Considering: Florida, Clemson, Virginia Tech, NC State and others.
Particulars: 6-3/220
Buzz: It's hard to fool Anthony with any misdirection as he rarely takes a false step.

3. Denzel Perryman, Coral Gables, Fla.
Perryman at Miami NIKE Camp
Considering: Alabama, Florida, FSU, LSU, Notre Dame.
Particulars: 5-11/217
Buzz: Size is an issue for Perryman, but instincts are not as he reads and reacts so well.

2. Chet Moss, Cedar Park, Texas
Moss Highlights
Committed to: Texas
Particulars: 6-1/219
Buzz: Moss is a very heady player who reads the field well and is always in the right place at the right time to make the stop.

1. Curtis Grant, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Grant Highlights
Considering: Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and others.
Particulars: 6-3/222
Buzz: Grant is the ideal middle linebacker with his size, speed and ball awareness.

BEST RUN STOPPER
5. Stephone Anthony, Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson
Anthony Highlights
Considering: Florida, Clemson, Virginia Tech, NC State and others.
Particulars: 6-3/220
Buzz: Anthony takes on blockers well and fills the gap with power.

4. Lawrence Thomas, Detroit (Mich.) Renaissance
Thomas Highlights
Committed to: Michigan State
Particulars: 6-4/232
Buzz: Thomas' big frame and long arms allows him to make tackles others can't.

3. Anthony Wallace, Dallas (Texas) Skyline
Wallace Highlights
Committed to: Oregon
Particulars: 6-2/220
Buzz: Wallace comes downhill well and meets the runner in the hole.

2. Amarlo Herrera, College Park (Ga.) North Clayton
Herrera Highlights
Committed to: Georgia
Particulars: 6-1/224
Buzz: Herrera is one of the most physical 'backers in the nation and uses his natural leverage to stuff runners.

1. Curtis Grant, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Grant Highlights
Considering: Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and others.
Particulars: 6-3/222
Buzz: Grant can stuff the run at the point of attack or run anything down to the sidelines.



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