football Edit

Top 10 linebackers in college football entering 2022 season

Noah Sewell
Noah Sewell (AP Images)

Spring football has begun and will be in full swing across the country soon. This leads to a look at the top 10 players returning at each position, continuing today with the linebackers.

*****

MORE: Top 10 QBs in college football entering the 2022 season | RB | WR | TE | OL | DT | DE

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board

RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series

*****

1. Noah Sewell, Oregon 

Sewell, the former five-star recruit, will get a huge bump this year from having new coach Dan Lanning in place. Sewell has a very similar skill set to Nakobe Dean, although he’s much bigger. I predict a monster season from him.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OREGON FANS AT DUCKSPORTSAUTHORITY.COM

*****

2. Trenton Simpson, Clemson  

The rising junior from Clemson is a disruptive force who is at his best playing downhill in attack mode. He’s also the beneficiary of playing behind Bryan Bresee, who routinely occupies multiple blockers in front of him. That doesn’t take away from the fact that Simpson is an outstanding player in his own right.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH CLEMSON FANS AT TIGERILLUSTRATED.COM

*****

3. Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

Ulofoshio had his 2021 season cut short due to injury, but he’s still among the best at his position. In 20 career games he has 147 tackles and possesses the sideline-to-sideline skills that coaches covet.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH WASHINGTON FANS AT DAWGREPORT.COM

*****

4. Ivan Pace, Cincinnati  

Last year at Miami of Ohio, Pace was simply a wrecking ball. He tallied 125 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and four sacks. Now he heads to Cincinnati, where he’ll have a chance to shine on a bigger stage.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH CINCINNATI FANS AT BEARCATREPORT.COM

*****

5. Drake Thomas, NC State 

Thomas was the defensive star for an NC State team that made a big jump in 2021. He finished the season with 99 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and three picks. He can do it all.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH NC STATE FANS AT THEWOLFPACKCENTRAL.COM

*****

6. DeMarvion Overshown, Texas

It was a bit of a surprise that Overshown, the leader of the Longhorns' defense, decided to forego the draft and come back for a fifth year. But the NFL’s loss is Texas’ gain, as he’s got all the athleticism you could want out of a middle linebacker.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS FANS AT ORANGEBLOODS.COM

*****

7. Jack Campbell, Iowa 

Campbell is the epitome of an Iowa linebacker - he’s rugged, instinctive and as sure a tackler as they come. He led the nation with 140 tackles in 2021, and he’s the unquestioned best linebacker in the Big Ten.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH IOWA FANS AT HAWKEYEREPORT.COM

*****

8. Bumper Pool, Arkansas  

A true thumper in the middle, the man with the best name in college football hits as hard as anyone in the country. The third-leading tackler in the SEC in 2021, he is a guy you simply don’t want to meet in the hole if you’re a running back.


SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ARKANSAS FANS AT HAWGBEAT.COM

*****

9. Carlton Martial, Troy  

Carlton Marshall
Carlton Marshall (AP Images)

Quietly, Martial has been arguably the most productive linebacker in the country over the past three seasons. Despite being only 5-foot-9 and 210 pounds, he’s had three consecutive seasons with more than 110 tackles to go along with 47.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and five picks for his career.


*****

10. Troy Brown, Central Michigan

Brown received PFF's sixth-highest grade among all linebackers in the country last season, and it's easy to see why. He's a fantastic athlete and excels in coverage, rating out as the second-best cover linebacker in the country in 2021.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH CENTRAL MICHIGAN FANS AT CHIPPEWACOUNTRY.COM

*****

Just missed out: KD Davis (North Texas), Jack Kiser (Notre Dame), Deshawn Pace (Cincinnati), Tyrice Knight (UTEP)