InsideMizzou Scouting Report: Will Ebner

Missouri has done well in linebacker recruiting the past few years, and the Tigers coaching staff also has become an emerging player in talent-packed Texas. So it only makes sense that one of the most promising players in this year's recruiting class is linebacker Will Ebner of Friendswood, Texas. has the scouting report on Ebner, a potential future star at middle linebacker.

"He's a great downhill player and a very physical kid. He makes plays from sideline to sideline," said Friendswood coach Steve Van Meter. "He's very explosive. He has great hips and great explosion in space."

If that wasn't apparent, check out this video of Ebner nearly beheading an opposing ball-carrier:

You might notice, the video is headlined, "Will Ebner Returns." That's because Ebner missed nearly his entire junior year with a knee injury, thus costing him some notoriety and the chance to jump onto the radar of top programs. He committed early to Houston.

"The [recruiters] didn't have any junior tape on him and they didn't get to see him play," Van Meter said. "I've been doing this for 25 years, and he really is the best [linebacker] that I have coaches or seen on tape."

Missouri coaches visited Ebner's school in December, watched his tape and immediately told Van Meter they wanted his star player. They invited him for a visit the following weekend and offered him before he even arrived. Ebner accepted shortly thereafter, but declined to comment on his commitment for fear of alienating people at Houston, where his older brother plays football.

"He's a quiet-spoken kid. He's not going to open up to a lot of people an he didn't want to do anything that was demeaning to the University of Houston. He wanted to be as professional as he could," Van Mete said of Ebner, who he describes as a great kid and who has nearly all A's in his courses.

This fall Ebner was dominant, racking up 132 tackles, 12 for loss, and two interceptions. In one game against Dayton, he recorded 21 tackles, almost all of them on the perimeter. Quite a few schools began to show interest, but Ebner made it clear to them that he was set on Missouri. Mizzou's staff feels he can be stalwart in the middle of the defense for several years.

The 6-foot, 225-pound senior runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and is rated the No. 29 middle linebacker in the nation. We expect that barring injury, he'll hit the field early in his career here, perhaps taking on a prominent role in his second year.

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