West: Top Five Middle Linebackers

An early look at the top middle linebackers in the West in the class of 2014...

West: Early Top Five Middle Linebackers
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
High School: Salesian
Size: 6-2, 215
Recruiting: Arizona, Boise State, Colorado, Florida State, Memphis, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, SMU, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin
The Skinny: Cobb has the versatility to play inside or outside and can even swing over and play some fullback or tight end on the offensive side of the ball. Cobb has the body to play inside at the next level and will easily be able to carry 240 pounds comfortably. He's a rugged player, very tough and physical and can deliver a blow. He's a natural leader, very smart and has all the qualities you want in a player leading your defense.  
Location: Berkeley, Calif.
High School: Berkeley
Size: 6-2/215
Recruiting: Oregon, Arizona State, California, UCLA, USC, Washington
The Skinny: Lazarus can fly to the football and might actually be better suited to play outside in college. He does a nice job taking on blocks, has good pass rushing skills and plays plenty of fast twitch. Lazarus looks very comfortable dropping back in to coverage and his closing speed and ability to change direction is what really sets him apart.  
Location: Bellflower, Calif.
High School: St. John Bosco
Size: 6-1/225
Recruiting: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, California, Florida State, Fresno State, Iowa State, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, Wisconsin
The Skinny: Leniu plays on a loaded team that will have seven to eight players sign Div I and many feel he's the best player in the group. He's only about 6-0 and that's really the only thing keeping him from having double digit offers right now. Leniu is very active and is equally strong in run support as well as being able to drop back in to coverage. He's a tackling machine, has a great nose for the ball and plays with a non-stop motor.
Location: San Diego, Calif.
High School: Patrick Henry
Size: 6-3/235
Recruiting: Arizona, Army, California, Colorado, Colorado State, Nevada, San Jose State, UCLA, Washington
The Skinny: Brown has an old school feel to his game and is a throwback in a low of ways. He's very aggressive and plays with an edge. At 6-3, 235 pounds, he's a load and packs a wallop but can still move. He had a very good showing at the recent SoCal NIKE Camp showing he can play fast and cover a ton of ground. As Brown continues to improve his overall athleticism, he projects as a prototype middle 'backer in a 4-3 scheme and he should be very productive in college.
Location: West Hills, Calif.
High School: Chaminade
Size: 6-0/215
Recruiting: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, UCLA, USC
The Skinny: Gamboa is a rugged inside 'backer and one of the biggest hitters in the state. He's very smart and has an innate ability to quickly read and react to a player. He controls the defense and has a tireless work ethic. He looks to have put on about 15 pounds in the last year and playing against one of the toughest schedules in the state, Gamboa racked up almost 160 tackles with seven sacks.

National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins), National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman), Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell (@jason247scout) and Northwest Recruiting Analyst Jake Worthen (@JakeWorthen) contributed to these rankings.

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