Texas Trio: Inside Linebackers

The Longhorns came into the Class of 2012 with a need at middle linebacker, then filled it with two of the top three players at the position.

1) Timothy Cole, Brenham (Texas)

Cole is a versatile player who could play inside or out. The Texas staff told him he would start off on the inside, so that's why we're ranking him here. Regardless, he's among the top couple players at either linebacker spot. Cole is physical and excels at finding the ball. He's also the leader of a Brenham defense that is jam-packed with college prospects.

2) Dalton Santos, Van (Oklahoma State)

Santos is somewhat of a throwback player, a linebacker who excels against between-the-tackles runs. At 230 pounds, he has great size, and he boasts surprising closing speed once he locks onto a target. He might be the hardest hitter on our list, somebody who always seems to look for collisions. Santos committed to Oklahoma State, though bigger schools have also come sniffing around of late.

3) Alex De La Torre, Denton Ryan (Texas)

At first glance, it's easy to dismiss De La Torre as a mediocre athlete. But that's why we take more than one look at players. Sure, he's the try-hard type who watches tons of film and always seems to know where the ball is headed. But he's also athletic enough to rip off a 4.62 40-yard dash, as he did this spring at 227 pounds, and he's capable of chasing the ball around the field.

Watch out for …

Bill Snyder seems to excel at finding undersized players who are simply good football players. The Kansas State coach appears to have done it again in tackling machine Will Davis of powerhouse Southlake Carroll. Davis may only be 6-1 210, but he can run well and is tough.

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