Breakdown: Ohio Linebackers

Bearcat Insider looks at the top linebackers coming out of the state of Ohio as we get closer to releasing our Super 50 Prospects from Ohio.

LB

Thaddeus Gibson - Euclid

Jeremy: Along with Mixon the top linebackers in Ohio, another example of an athlete playing linebacker, moves well from sideline to sideline.

Dave: The best football is still ahead for Thaddeus Gibson. With great size and speed he will be a force at the college level if he keeps his head on straight and keeps working hard. While many talk about Homan, Gibson is the best linebacker in the Buckeye land.

Ross Homan - Coldwater

Jeremy: One of the more overrated linebackers in Ohio, and early offer and commit to Ohio State has helped to propel him to many high rankings. Playing against a lower level competition has also helped him as well. Had he played versus the level of competition that Mixon and Moeller faced then I could put him in their category, but the competition is not even close to being equal.

Dave: Many have talked about Homan being overrated. I'm one of them, but I do see a very good athlete who's worked hard off the field and built himself into a Division One top prospect. Ohio State liked what they saw, but I remember what I saw during his junior year. While Jeremy states the level of competition Coldwater plays, the MAC from top to bottom is one of the better high school conferences in Ohio. But the talent level of players in the MAC is not the same as the GCL or GWOC in the Southwestern part of the state. Is he a Super 50 player? Yes! Is he the best linebacker in Ohio? No! But Homan has quick feet and after seeing the change in his body at the OSU camp he's going to play during his Buckeye career.

Cobrani Mixon - Cincinnati Colerain

Jeremy: Right there with Gibson as the top linebackers in Ohio this year. Plays with toughness unparalleled by anyone in this group. Also has a great nose for the ball, and always seems to be where the ball is on almost every play.

Dave: Mixon got lost behind all the talent on the field during the Cardinals run towards a state championship. But talk with any of the other members of that team and they will tell you he's legit and a big time player. Great instincts to go with his athletic ability. Michigan again takes another Cardinal away from Ohio.

Tyler Moeller - Cincinnati Colerain

Jeremy: Will probably end up making the switch to safety in college, but could also beef up to play OLB as well. Has too much athleticism to not play safety in my opinion. Great awareness in the passing game as well, which will be a plus in pass defense.

Dave: Another player who you didn't hear much about on a great team. Has made the camp rounds and moved himself into the upper tier of players in Ohio. This is a lesson to be learned about going to camps and becoming a top prospect. Has the speed to play safety or linebacker at the next level. Great instincts for the ball and able to come off the edge or drop back into coverage.

Dan Dowd - Cleveland St. Ignatius

Jeremy: Plays with lots of heart and always seems to be around the ball. Reminds me of a blue collar type of player that really brings his lunch pail to work everyday.

Dave: Has the body style you look for but is a step slow at 4.7 to be considered a major conference player. But you know he understands the game and will be prepared to play.

Note: While Jeremy had the following players listed I wanted to add a few into the mix.

John Humphrey - Youngstown Liberty H.S.

Dave: Has the size and speed needed to play at a big level. If you haven't heard of John, you're not alone. But Purdue came hard and early and earned his verbal back in the spring. Physical player who can come off the edge and cause havoc. Has played at the varsity level all four years of high school.

Jeff Cleveland - Huber Heights Wayne

Dave: Has speed and great athletic ability. Has played out of position during his high school years (junior) didn't play as a sophomore. Showed great ability as a defensive end and tight end, but doesn't have the body to play either at the next level. Ran a 4.45 at Miami of Ohio camp and the RedHawks took notice. Ran a 4.5 at Scout.com Akron combine and Akron coaches took notice. Must keep up work in the classroom but will be no worse then in the MAC when all is said and done.


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