1.) Davon Durant (Butler CC) - The top junior college linebacker in the region goes to the most athletic one. He's not the best at rushing the passer or the best in coverage or stuffing the run, but he's balanced and well versed in all of those areas. He's more of the complete package, and not limited in what he can offer a program. Durant is being pursued by some of the nation's best and it's easy to see why.
Formerly of Greenwood, South Carolina, Durant was just an athletic freak in high school but has since added bulk to his frame and can impact the game in many ways, defensively.
2.) Paris Bostick (Iowa Western CC) - He is a bounce-back from Georgia. Bostic possesses ideal size and moves well in space. He won't be the dynamic linebacker that heads a defense up, but an outside linebacker that can rush the passer in certain situations and pursue the ball-carriers.
Bostic was a prized recruit coming out of high school and will look to get back on that same track with a strong campaign at Iowa Western this season.
3.) Claude George (Hutchinson CC) - He's gotten a ton of recruiting attention and despite his commitment to Miami, he's still gaining traction and receiving additional offers. I wouldn't call his verbal pledge to the Hurricanes 100 percent solid, anyways.
I wouldn't call George a one-trick pony as he can make an impact in multiple ways, but being an enforcer in the middle isn't one of them. He's another outside linebacker on this list, but one with the specialty of coming off the edge and getting to the quarterback. It's his calling card, and a pretty special one. There isn't many FBS-bound athletes that can do what he does in that area.
4.) Phil Williamson (Butler CC) - The sidekick of Davon Durant at Butler, Williamson is a heck of a prospect in his own regard. The recruiting attention hasn't come to the forefront yet, but it will once everything checks out as he makes the transition from North Carolina and the Tar Heel program.
Durant is the lightning and the speed to the operation, while Williamson brings more of the thunder. He's physical and wins most of his battles at the point of contact. College programs are even considering the idea of keeping Durant and Williamson together and recruiting them as a package deal.
5.) Brandon Peters (Highland CC) - Highland CC head coach Aaron Arnold labeled Peters as the "pound for pound" best athlete on his roster back in the Spring, and there's no disagreements here. A bit under the radar now, but that could chance with a strong final season.
6.) Kelvin Rainey (Iowa Western CC) - Like Claude George of Hutchinson, Rainey is a pass-rushing specialist. He's a bounce-back from South Carolina and enters the junior college level having to prove himself again. I have no doubt that he will but he's lower on the list for now as we wait to see if he can show off the ability once again that had him as a coveted prospect out of high school.
7.) Byron Wilson (Highland CC) - Wilson has undergone a huge physical transformation since his high school playing days. He left those ranks as a 6-foot-3, 195 pound safety looking to find a home, and found one at Highland CC.
Wilson is now a 6-foot-4, 225 pound linebacker at the junior college level. He's got the talent and the tools, but is still learning how to use his body and how to play the position. He may have one of the higher ceilings, and is still figuring it all out after a rapid change.
8.) Darius Wright (Hutchinson CC) - Wright might make it higher on this list but he trails some others due to his limitations. The Hutchinson standout can definitely play at a high level, but he's an undersized inside linebacker leaving him susceptible to be out-muscled by bigger interior lineman.
His skill set is still hard to ignore. He's quick and arrives at the ball in a very angry mood, which is useful and also entertaining to watch. I can see a program in need of a linebacker definitely considering adding him to their squad, and maybe a move to outside linebacker is in order?
Top 8 Upper Midlands JUCO LB's
Gamecock Anthem Top Stories
Gator Blitz: Recruiting Update 4/29FightinGators.com breaks down the top headlines surrounding Florida recruiting this week.
Fightin Gators2:04 PM
The Opening New Jersey: Offense PreviewA look at the top offensive prospects expected to compete at New Jersey's The Opening Regional on Sunday in Florham Park.
Scout FootballYesterday at 6:16 PM
Budda Baker's fit with the CardinalsThe Arizona Cardinals gave up a lot to secure Washington's Budda Baker in this year's draft, but it's the type of move that has the potential to pay immediate dividends.
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 4:51 PM
Cardinals trade up to draft Budda BakerAfter going with a defensive player in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals traded up in the second round to add more defensive help and selected Washington…
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 4:01 PM