As the 2010 prep football season approaches, the St. Petersburg Times will break down each position on the North Suncoast. Today we take a look at linebackers.
1. Shadow Williams, Land O’Lakes: The Freedom transfer made his mark against Hillsborough County competition with 89 tackles, eight sacks, two caused fumbles and a fumble recovery. Gators coach Matt Kitchie said the junior (5-10, 210) will start at outside linebacker and provides plenty of motion from sideline to sideline. Williams will rely on speed and skills.
2. Jacob Fisher, Wesley Chapel: The senior (6-1, 220) has a great nose for the ball — part instinct and part experience. Fisher is a three-year starter and once donned the coveted black practice jersey that former coach John Castelamare awarded the top defensive player.
3. Chris Collins, Mitchell: The senior (6-0, 200) had 111 tackles, helping the Mustangs to an 8-2 season. Coach Brian Wachtel praised his playmaking ability and ability to change the tempo of a game. Wachtel said Collins has great range and can cover the width of the field. He was a big reason Mitchell allowed just 121 points last season. He also caused a fumble and had three fumble recoveries.
4. Richard Hart, Nature Coast: The senior (6-0, 185) had 81 tackles, a sack, a caused fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass deflection in 2009. Coach Mark Nash calls him intelligent and athletic. He’s a three-year varsity player who covers his territory as well as any linebacker.
5. Austin Schwarz, River Ridge: The junior (6-2, 205) was the Royal Knights’ second-leading tackler with 90 tackles, two caused fumble recoveries and two caused fumbles in ’09. Schwarz runs a 4.7 40-yard dash. Coach Tim Stevens calls him the Royal Knights’ best overall player, and a great kid who loves football.
Keep an eye on
Jackson Cannon, Land O’Lakes: The junior (6-2, 195) had 77 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks and an interception. The addition of Williams gives the Gators arguably the top linebacking corps on the North Suncoast.
Josh Santana, Springstead: Third-year starter making the move to outside linebacker has good reactions and understands the game.
Ralphy Dawkins, Ridgewood: Outside linebacker (6-0, 200) is very physical and quick off the ball, according to first-year coach Kent Reed.
Terrell Martin, Anclote: The sophomore (6-0, 175) had 93 tackles last season and is already a team captain.
Mike Lindsey, Hudson: The senior (5-7, 180) has a great first step and is a natural blitzer.
Matt Terry, Wiregrass Ranch: The junior (6-0, 210) is big, fast and leads with his instincts.
Phoenix Burr, Gulf: Just 11 tackles as a sophomore in a limited role, but coach Jay Fulmer likes his hard-hitting instincts.
Devin Wilson, Pasco: Coach Tom McHugh likes Wilson’s blitzing ability.
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