Rivals Rankings Week: Updated 2021 LB rankings
The latest update of position rankings for the class of 2021 is complete. There are no five-stars at the linebacker position, but that will certainly be a possibility as high school football slowly resumes around the country. That is one of a handful of storylines centered upon these 2021 backers.
CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS WEEK SCHEDULE
THURSDAY: DL rankings | LB rankings | DB rankings | ATH rankings
FRIDAY: State rankings spotlight
TEAMS WITH TOP COMMITS: Clemson, LSU, Tennessee
The middle of the Clemson defense is sure to be outstanding for years to come with a pair of top-10 inside linebackers already in the fold, including Barrett Carter, who recently ascended to the top prospect at the position. Clemson landing Carter is another example of the Tigers' ability to recruit the Peach State. Jeremiah Trotter Jr., an NFL legacy, is the No. 8 inside linebacker in the country.
The defending national champs are retooling a defense that lost a ton of talent to the NFL this past offseason and is adapting to a 4-3 scheme under defensive coordinator Bo Pelini. The recruiting efforts should help accomplish that in a big way, as LSU holds commitments from Raesjon Davis, the nation's top outside linebacker from California, Greg Penn, a Rivals100 talent from Maryland, and Naquan Brown, the No. 12-ranked outside backer from the Sunshine State.
Tennessee has been one of the teams unaffected by the unorthodox offseason as it pertains to recruiting. Jeremy Pruitt is assembling a stout defense headlined by Terrance Lewis and Aaron Willis, two of the nation's top-five inside linebackers in the country. Lewis and Willis hail from Florida and Maryland, respectively, and both are Rivals100 prospects.
TEAMS TO WATCH: USC, Auburn, Purdue
USC is recruiting as well as any program in the nation. The Trojans, who boast a top-10 class on Rivals, hold a commitment from local standout Ma'a Gaoteote. Could another local standout be on the way? Ethan Calvert, a Rivals250 inside backer from California, could make a dynamic 1-2 punch at the position for the Trojans if they can hold off rival UCLA.
Auburn is in need of help at the linebacker position -- and help may be on the way. In-state four-star linebacker Jeremiah Williams remains a top priority for the Tigers, but Florida has grabbed a good deal of momentum with the Birmingham product and Oklahoma and Georgia are sticking around in a big way. Consider Williams a must get for Gus Malzahn and it'll likely be an SEC landing spot.
Purdue was anxiously awaiting Aug. 9 for much of the summer until Rivals250 outside linebacker Yanni Karlaftis elected to hold off on making his college decision earlier this month. Purdue is the favorite for the Indiana native, but Cal, Wisconsin and Oregon are certainly sticking around. The Boilermakers are hopeful to keep Karlaftis home, but there is no doubt that there are a few more peaks and valleys on the way first.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Smael Mondon
Mondon is the nation's top uncommitted linebacker and he has already narrowed his options down to Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. In an all-SEC battle, Mondon has strong relationships at each of his final schools but is doing an excellent job of keeping the rest of the world out of the know. Mondon has publicly stated that he will make a final call by the time he signs in December. Mondon's recruitment is very fluid, to put it blount, and each day could pin a new team as the favorite. With that type of drama, Mondon will keep the world tuned in until it's time to sign on the dotted line.