Badger Nation's Weakside Linebackers

With few in-state weakside linebackers standing out in the class of 2009, the Badgers have been forced to go inside enemy territory to try and secure some players. Thus far, the results haven't been successful.

2009 high school weakside linebackers that Wisconsin has shown legitimate interest in

Frankie Telfort (four stars)

5-foot-11, 205 pounds

Gulliver Prep H.S. – Miami, Florida

Frankie Telfort does a little bit of everything for Gulliver Prep H.S. in Miami. Telfort plays some running back but he has really stood out as a weaskside linebacker, a position that Scout has him ranked as the tenth-best WLB in the nation.

After a breakout sophomore season at Coral Reef High, where Telfort had over 130 tackles, three interceptions and a punt return for a touchdown, he transferred to Gulliver Prep. Before his junior year however, Telfort tore a ligament in his thumb during the summer, costing him the first five games of the season. He returned with a cast on his hand to register 66 tackles, force four fumbles and recover two over the team's final six games.

Telfort reports a 3.3 core GPA and wants to go either a pre-med or to pharmacy school. He says he can bench press 285 pounds, squats 520 and has a 32-inch vertical jump.

Telford has over 36 offers, including ones from USC, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Wisconsin to name a few. Recent interviews with Scout have shown that Telford is either looking at a southern school or a school with a long winning tradition.

Status: Offered Scholarship – No Interest

Dan Fox (three stars)

6-foot-4, 215 pounds

St. Ignatius H.S. – Cleveland, Ohio

Sometimes it's hard to compete with the tradition of the golden domes and Notre Dame.

Linebacker Dan Fox, who is ranked No.19 by Scout in terms of weakside linebackers, had 17 scholarship offers at his disposal, including offers from Wisconsin, Virginia, West Virginia, Michigan State, Vanderbilt and Stanford. Fox was a standout for his high school team, compiling 42 solo tackles, 19 assists and three interceptions, one of which was an 80-yard interception turned touchdown against Glenville High School, a school best known in the last couple years for producing talents Badgers like Kyle Jefferson, Daven Jones and Otis Merrill.

But when he got that eighteenth offer from the Irish, Fox was pretty much sold. He liked the fact that it was a catholic school, his cousin went there and that his mother and extended family really loved the school.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Notre Dame Verbal

Jordan Barnes (three stars)

6-foot-0, 225 pounds

Homestead Senior H.S. – Fort Wayne, Indiana

Close but no cigar for the Badgers and Indiana prep linebacker Jordan Barnes.

High on Wisconsin's list, Barnes was named All-State, All-Area and All-Conference after he made 146 tackles, 38 of those for loss, during his junior season.

Barnes collected offers from Alabama, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin. Out of those offers, the Crimson Tide, Wolverines and Badgers wound up in his top three, which caused multiple visits to all three schools.

Depending on who you talk to, Barnes was considering between Michigan and Wisconsin or Michigan and Alabama. Regardless of who he was picking between, Barnes chose Michigan, commenting that once the Wolverines had offered, he pretty much figured that UM was the school he was going to go to.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Michigan Commit

Conor O'Neill (one star)

6-foot-1, 195 pounds

St. Thomas Aquinas H.S. – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Playing tight end as a sophomore and falling just short of a Florida 5A state championship, Conor O'Neill, playing linebacker, stepped up in a big way, leading his team to a 5A state title last season.

During his junior year, O'Neill had 67 tackles (16 for a loss), seven sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown, two pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. A player that can identify plays quickly, O'Neill is a natural as a linebacker can either play on the weakside or as a safety on the next level.

Along with Syracuse, Wisconsin and assistant coach Charles Partridge were one of the first schools to offer O'Neill.

"I know that they haven't lost much in the past few years," O'Neill told Scout Media "They're known for having a good defense and I know that it's very cold up in Wisconsin."

Wisconsin, along with Clemson, appeared to be in the lead for O'Neill, as the Badgers had been recruiting him hard, until Auburn entered the picture. Apparently, O'Neill has bonded real well with the coaching staff and has even set an official visit in September.

Currently, Wisconsin is still in his top three, followed by Rutgers, Purdue, Syracuse and Miami (OH) but the Badgers look to be running behind.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Medium Interest

Also Offered:

Roderic Blunt (Everglades H.S.) 6-foot-0, 200 pounds

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