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National Signing Day by position: Top LB classes

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position


National Signing Day has come and gone and most FBS recruiting classes are completely finished. Today, we continue our position-by-position look at the 2019 cycle with the top linebacker classes.



Nolan Smith
Nolan Smith (Nick Lucero/

The class of 2019’s No. 1 overall class also checks in with the best collection of linebackers. The Bulldogs' class is anchored by the No. 1 overall linebacker prospect in 2019, five-star Nolan Smith of IMG Academy. Smith also ranks as the No. 2 overall prospect behind Derek Stingley Jr. Georgia fires right back, however, with the No. 1 ranked inside linebacker prospect in Mississippi native Nakobe Dean. The third member of Georgia’s 2019 linebacker haul is also ranked highly. Four-star Rian Davis finished as the No. 4 inside linebacker and No. 121 ranked prospect overall in the class.

2. LSU

Marcel Brooks
Marcel Brooks (Nick Lucero/

There were just two five-star linebacker prospects in this 2019 class, and LSU got the one Georgia did not. Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus’ Marcel Brooks earned his fifth star after a standout performance at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. He headlines LSU’s three-man class and is the only outside linebacker in the group. New Orleans’ native Donte Starks is a Rivals250 prospect with a 5.9 Rivals Rating. He finished as the No. 8 ranked player at his position, while three-star Kendall McCallum, the third member of LSU’s 2019 linebacker class, also finished in the top 20 of the inside linebacker rankings.


Shane Lee
Shane Lee (

Nick Saban will have to replace a pair of starter at linebacker in 2019, including middle linebacker Mack Wilson who declared for the NFL Draft last month. At Alabama, though, the cupboard gets re-stocked at every position seemingly every year with top talents, and 2019 is no different. Baltimore native Shane Lee, a top-50 ranked overall prospect in the 2019 class, is the headliner, and one of three four-stars. He is joined by outside linebacker King Mwikuta, the No. 227 ranked prospect in the Rivals250, and inside linebacker Christian Harris, the No. 235 ranked player in the Rivals250.


De'Gabriel Floyd
De'Gabriel Floyd (Nick Lucero/

The next two entrants check in with four linebacker additions each in the 2019 class. Texas returns to the top five in the final team recruiting rankings for the second straight year, and their class was bolstered by a strong collection of linebackers. Californian De’Gabriel Floyd, the No. 5 ranked inside linebacker in 2019, is the headliner. He is joined in the class by fellow Rivals250 prospect David Gbenda, as well as a pair of three-stars in Marcus Tillman, the No. 32 ranked outside linebacker, and JUCO transfer Caleb Johnson.


Owen Pappoe
Owen Pappoe (Nick Lucero/

The race for the top five linebacker classes tightened up at the end, with Washington, Syracuse, Penn State and USC all making strong cases with their 2019 additions at the position. It is Auburn, though, the fourth SEC school in the top five, that rounds out the list on the strength of a four-man class headlined by Rivals100 outside linebacker Owen Pappoe. One of the most heavily-recruited prospects from the beginning of the 2019 class, Pappoe finished with a 6.0 Rivals Rating and No. 59 in the Rivals100. He is joined in this Auburn class by four-star Derick Hall II, a Rivals250 prospect, as well as three-star Ocatvius Brothers Jr., and two-star Kameron Brown.