2006 B2G Elite Preview: Linebackers

The linebackers invited to the 2006 Beyond 2000 Elite Football Program, which begins this Friday in Thousand Oaks, will rival the running backs in overall talent, and led by Jordan Campbell, D.J. Holt and Akeem Ayers, they are relishing the chance to show their skill.

The running backs are the headliners going into the B2G Elite Football Program which begins on Friday at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks. But if the running backs want to claim the title of best position when it's over, they'll have to get through a talented group of linebackers, full of players who want nothing more than to claim supremacy.

Led by four-star studs D.J. Holt from Crespi High in Encino, Calif., Jordan Campbell from Norco, Calif., and Akeem Ayers from Verbum Dei in Los Angeles, the linebackers are chomping at the bit to match up with the backers.

"I'm looking forward to going against any running backs that are there," said Holt. "I want to see all of the competition, but I'm looking forward to seeing Marc Tyler (Scout.com's No. 2 ranked running back)."

Campbell is just as anxious to strut his stuff.

"At the other camps, you're stressing the whole time about your forty time and the shuttle. I was always stressing about what I was going to run. B2G is just all about football. The only thing I was bummed about was that we can hit," said Campbell. "I was ready with my pads. But it will be fun."

Both Campbell and Holt have gone to several camps this spring and at just about everyone, the two have been matched up together working with the linebackers.

"The fact that's elite is cool, but you also get to know other people and see how others do. Jordan and I have gotten to know each other better," said Holt. "What's cool is that you know you're competing with the best."

Holt and Campbell were the top linebackers at last month's Scout.com Combine in Los Angeles, and both went into that with something to prove, and both play with a chip on their shoulder. For Campbell, its proving that he's one of the best linebackers in the West despite being from the Inland Empire; for Holt, its showing that he is capable of making the move from defensive end, where he dominated last year.

Both said the presence of Tyler was something that they were looking forward to.

"After Marc committed to USC, I wrote him an email congratulating him. Then I said I would see him at B2G," said Campbell.

Holt is also a gifted offensive player, and hopes to see some reps with the receivers and tight ends this weekend, though he'll still keep his primary focus on the linebackers.

Campbell was the fullback for state player of the year Toby Gerhart during his sophomore year and worked out with the running backs at the USC camp. But the only place he will be found this weekend is with the linebackers.

Ayers is in the same position as Holt in that both are defensive ends for their high school teams, but size will force them to linebacker in college.

Long Beach (Calif.) Poly always has plenty of big name prospects, and this year is no different. But while defensive end Kenny Rowe, cornerback Donovan Warren and receiver Bryshon Nellum are getting most of the attention, a pair of linebackers for the Jackrabbits are flying under the radar.

Demetrice Parks had a productive junior year and Doncel Bolt, in his first year with Poly after transferring from Lawndale made major contributions himself. They will be the two Poly reps at the camp, and both are ready to get some attention.

"I'm ready, so ready, to show I'm one of the best linebackers," said Parks. "It's time to show what I can do. I'm looking forward to competing against Marc Tyler and working with Jordan Campbell."

Bolt has worked with several of the linebackers himself, having attended the Scout.com Combine last month.

Former Kansas State linebacker Marvin Simmons made a name for himself during his two varsity seasons at Poly, much like Bolt and Parks are trying to do. Five years after he finished his senior season at Poly, its two more Simmons who are coming to B2G to show their talents. And neither lack in it.

Maurice Simmons was one of the top sophomores in the state last year, anchoring the Compton (Calif.) Dominguez defense that surprised Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame in the CIF Division III championship game. He's still got two more years of high school football. And the last of the Simmons brothers, Marquis Simmons, just finished his freshman year at Dominguez, and the consensus in the family is that he has the potential to be the best of all of them.

Other linebackers scheduled to attend include Lawrence Winston from Comtpon, Bilal Muhammad from Centennial in Corona, Calif., Essex Johnson from Verbum Dei and Louis Preston from Cerritos.

Founded in 2000 by Ron Allen and Henry Bell, B2G is in its seventh year as the premier summer football program on the West Coast. William Champion, a former player at West Virginia Tech has the task of coaching the linebackers and this might be the most talented group of linebackers that have attended. And that's precisely what the linebackers think.

"We're there to prove we're the best," said Campbell.

Scout.com will provide exclusive coverage the first three days of B2G and the camp, which runs from June 22-25, culminates on Sunday, the 25th with the A-Game.

BF.com note: Beavers that have attended the B2G camp include safety Bryan Payton, linebacker Isiah Cook, and receiver Anthony Wheat-Brown.

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