West: Top 2014 Linebackers

An early look at the top middle and outside linebackers in the West in the class of 2014...

West: Early Top Ten Outside Linebackers
Location: Gardena, Calif.
High School: Serra
Size: 6-1/212
Recruiting: Arizona State, Boise State, California, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon State, South Florida, Tennessee, Texas Tech, UCLA, Utah, Washington, Washington State
The Skinny: The West's top outside linebacker has been a mainstay for the Cavs, and helped lead them to the CIF State D-II title.  Williams has twice been the linebacker MVP at the Los Angeles NFTC and already has been invited to The Opening.  Williams is great at stopping the run and has taken his game to another level in pass coverage, looking fluid and moving well laterally.
Location: El Cerrito, Calif.
High School: El Cerrito
Size: 6-1, 205
Recruiting: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, California, Nebraska, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
The Skinny: Calhoun is one of the most physical hitters you'll see at the position in the region.  Could drop back and play safety or be a mini-backer, but is great in run support and dropping into coverage.  Pound-for-pound, may be the best linebacker in the region.
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
High School: Salesian
Size: 6-2/210
Recruiting: Arizona, Boise State, Colorado, Memphis, Ohio State, Oregon, Oregon State, South Carolina, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin
The Skinny: Ware could play a myriad of positions in college, inside or outside linebacker, grow into a defensive end or even play tight end.  One of the most versatile players in the region, Ware oozes upside.  He's a good athlete with good speed and his best football is still ahead of him.
Location: Wailuku, Hawaii
High School: Baldwin
Size: 6-4/207
Recruiting: Committed to Oregon
The Skinny: The top prospect in the state of Hawaii in this class, Hoiem missed much of his junior year with an injury but looked terrific on the camp circuit prior.  Has ideal 3-4 OLB size.  Was one of the top performers at the Oregon NFTC a year ago, the school he would ultimately commit to.
Location: Portland, Ore.
High School: Jesuit
Size: 6-3/210
Recruiting: Arizona State, Boston College, California, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, Yale
The Skinny: Oregon's top prospect, Alfieri could play on either side of the ball, in college.  He's played tight end pretty well in the past, and has the athleticism to be an outside linebacker but could blossom into a middle linebacker at the next level.  Takes his game up a notch when the lights have shined brightest.
 

West: Early Top Five Middle Linebackers
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
High School: Salesian
Size: 6-2, 215
Recruiting: Arizona, Boise State, Colorado, Florida State, Memphis, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, SMU, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin
The Skinny: Cobb has the versatility to play inside or outside and can even swing over and play some fullback or tight end on the offensive side of the ball. Cobb has the body to play inside at the next level and will easily be able to carry 240 pounds comfortably. He's a rugged player, very tough and physical and can deliver a blow. He's a natural leader, very smart and has all the qualities you want in a player leading your defense.  
Location: Berkeley, Calif.
High School: Berkeley
Size: 6-2/215
Recruiting: Oregon, Arizona State, California, UCLA, USC, Washington
The Skinny: Lazarus can fly to the football and might actually be better suited to play outside in college. He does a nice job taking on blocks, has good pass rushing skills and plays plenty of fast twitch. Lazarus looks very comfortable dropping back in to coverage and his closing speed and ability to change direction is what really sets him apart.  
Location: Bellflower, Calif.
High School: St. John Bosco
Size: 6-1/225
Recruiting: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, California, Florida State, Fresno State, Iowa State, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, Wisconsin
The Skinny: Leniu plays on a loaded team that will have seven to eight players sign Div I and many feel he's the best player in the group. He's only about 6-0 and that's really the only thing keeping him from having double digit offers right now. Leniu is very active and is equally strong in run support as well as being able to drop back in to coverage. He's a tackling machine, has a great nose for the ball and plays with a non-stop motor.
Location: San Diego, Calif.
High School: Patrick Henry
Size: 6-3/235
Recruiting: Arizona, Army, California, Colorado, Colorado State, Nevada, San Jose State, UCLA, Washington
The Skinny: Brown has an old school feel to his game and is a throwback in a low of ways. He's very aggressive and plays with an edge. At 6-3, 235 pounds, he's a load and packs a wallop but can still move. He had a very good showing at the recent SoCal NIKE Camp showing he can play fast and cover a ton of ground. As Brown continues to improve his overall athleticism, he projects as a prototype middle 'backer in a 4-3 scheme and he should be very productive in college.
Location: West Hills, Calif.
High School: Chaminade
Size: 6-0/215
Recruiting: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, UCLA, USC
The Skinny: Gamboa is a rugged inside 'backer and one of the biggest hitters in the state. He's very smart and has an innate ability to quickly read and react to a player. He controls the defense and has a tireless work ethic. He looks to have put on about 15 pounds in the last year and playing against one of the toughest schedules in the state, Gamboa racked up almost 160 tackles with seven sacks.

National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins), National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman), Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell (@jason247scout) and Northwest Recruiting Analyst Jake Worthen (@JakeWorthen) contributed to these rankings.

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