Hot Button: Best Linebacker

Patrick and Hatts debate the best linebacker in SMU's 2015 class!

Patrick Engel arguing for Austin Corbett

Corbett was named District 6-6A MVP last season and was one of 11 DFW players to be selected to the U.S. U-19 football team. That’s just naming a couple of his honors. Despite the plethora of honors, Corbett was a bit underrecruited if you go by his offer list (he had eight offers, none power five). Corbett is a do-everything linebacker who is solid in every area. He’s a great gap-shooter from the linebacker spot thanks to his 4.65 speed and his instincts. He has a nose for the backfield, and is strong enough to avoid being pushed around by blockers. His lateral quickness allows him to zip through gaps before lineman can get ahold of him and squarely block him. I rarely see him overrun a play because of his patience and instincts. Corbett’s hands are active, and he does a good job using them to disengage from blocks and force fumbles. He was an impact player for Plano East, and he will be a reliable starter and impact player for the Mustangs.

Andrew Hattersley arguing for Mitchell Kaufman

He’s very much local and a very good pickup for SMU to get kicking off the Chad Morris era. Kaufman is from Highland Park which is an area in the future SMU could develop a strong relationship with being so close to SMU. Kaufman should also be able to provide a nice pass rushing option for SMU as soon as his freshman year. The 6-3, 220-pound Highland Park product finished his senior season with 70 total tackles, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions and 4 fumble recoveries. That is something this defense missed last season, other than Stephon Sanders and a sprinkling of players every once in a while, there were not enough players who could force turnovers and big plays for this defense.

While he will not be asked to do it all, Kaufman will be able to come in and make plays when asked, and if he isn’t forcing turnovers, expect Kaufman to be a solid contributor with the absolute ability to make plays for this defense. I definitely believe we could look back at the end of next year and circle this as one guy that made the most plays as a freshman.

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