Billy: Jordan Ward
I don't think Ward will have the immediate impact that a kid like Spears will have, but Ward has that length and athleticism that SMU values at the Star linebacker positon. In addition to that, I could see him growing into a true linebacker if he puts on enough weight, which would allow him to see more snaps as a more versatile player. Ward checks in at 6-3, 200 pounds and I like that weight on him, but he could grow into a true man at the Will if he does put on more weight. Spears is solid as well and I think he'll see more playing time early, but Ward will end up having the better career on The Hilltop.
Scott: Noah Spears
Spears’ combination of athleticism and good instincts is what makes him a solid linebacker prospect for the Mustangs. Being able to makes reads might be the most important aspect of being a linebacker, and Spears does a great job of it. He’s patient when reading run, but he closes quickly and does a good job of wrapping up. Michael Badejo may have a slight edge when it comes to natural speed, but Spears’ size and aggressive nature makes him the best linebacker in this class in my opinion.
Hatts: Noah Spears
The linebacker is a very solid linebacker overall. Many times, young linebackers struggle with run defense and tackling but this is already one of Spear’s biggest strengths. He is going to get better rushing the passer as time goes along as well but will come in right away and fix a lot of SMU’s needs on defense while learning to become a complete player.