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National Signing Day 2018: Linebackers

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Depth Grows at LB

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The first batch of commitments are in for Boston College and we are going to break down the commits and how it effects the depth chart for the Eagle. Today we look at the linebackers:

Hugh Davis6-0, 220

Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral

Dynamic playmaker at linebacker for head coach Rick Streiff at Cathedral High School … No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in the state of Indiana according to Rivals.com … rated as Indiana’s eight-best overall prospect and the 26th overall inside linebacker nationally by Rivals.com … won the Mr. Football award at linebacker in Indiana as a senior … helped guide the Irish to the Class 5A regional championship his senior season … No. 13 player in Indiana according to 247Sports and the state’s second-best linebacker … second-ranked linebacker and No. 9 overall prospect in Indiana according to ESPN … Indianapolis Star City Defensive Player of the Year as a senior … led the Irish with 18 TFLs and 65 tackles … honorable mention all-state honoree as a junior

Nick DeNucci 6-1, 225

Denville, N.J./Pope John XXIII

No. 1 inside linebacker in New Jersey according to 247Sports … rated as the state’s No 14 overall prospect and the No. 25 inside linebacker nationally by 247Sports … played for head coach Brian Carlson at Pope John XXIII High School … rated the No. 30 player in New Jersey by Rivals.com … ESPN’s No. 2 inside linebacker prospect in New Jersey and the Garden State’s 32nd overall prospect … ranked 44th nationally among all inside linebackers by ESPN … named to the NJ.com and News 12 New Jersey All-State First Team … recorded 115 tackles, seven sacks and 18 TFLs as a senior … also rushed for 479 yards and nine touchdowns on offense … as a junior, totaled 122 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble ... played safety and outside linebacker as a freshman and h-back as a sophomore, before moving to middle linebacker for his final two years in high school … three-year starter … team captain

Vinny DePalma 6-1, 215

Wayne, N.J./DePaul Catholic

Top-ranked inside linebacker in New Jersey according to ESPN … the 25th overall prospect in the Garden State in ESPN’s recruiting rankings … NJ.com First-Team All-State selection on defense … played for head coach John McKenna at DePaul Catholic … No. 21 prospect in New Jersey and the No. 33 inside linebacker nationally by Rivals.com … rated the No. 35 player in New Jersey and the 62nd-best inside linebacker nationally according to 247Sports … 119 tackles as a senior, including 17 behind the line of scrimmage … tallied six sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles … led the state of New Jersey with 194 tackles as a junior … 7.5 sacks and one forced fumble to go along with 245 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs and 178 receiving yards during his junior campaign … 449 career tackles … team captain … led team to Non-Public, Group 3 state title as a senior

Projected 2018 Returning Depth: Connor Strahan (Sr.), Max Richardson (Jr.), John Lamot (So.), Paul Theobald, Jr. (RS-Fr.), Thomas Hovepian (RS-Fr.), Curt Bletzer (So.), Jimmy Martin (Jr.), Kevin Bletzer (Sr.), Doug Rodier (So.), Isaiah McDuffie (So.), Mark Zavrl (Sr.), Ryan Whittelsey (RS-Fr.), Reggie Terry Jr. (RS-Fr.), Davon Jones (Jr.), Isaiah Miranda (So.)

Projected Two Deep:

SAM: Connor Strahan, Kevin Bletzer

MIKE: Max Richardson, Jon Lamot

WILL: Davon Jones, Isaiah McDuffie

Analysis: This is probably the hardest position on the team to predict the two deep right now. Obviously Strahan is a lock at the SAM as he has the most talent of anyone in the group. From there the defensive staff could go in a few different directions. Richardson started the year at MIKE and was ahead of Lamot at that time. However, Lamot played well as a true freshman and will certainly see playing time. At the very least these two players will battle it out for that spot. My wildcard selection is Jones starting at the WILL. Jones made a mid-season switch to linebacker but played amazingly well for a player that spent no time playing the position before. The natural fit for him is at the WILL because it is the linebacker spot where a player is told to run to the ball and make plays. Generally teams are willing to give up a little bit of size for speed in that spot and Jones certainly fits the bill for that.

With the amount of depth that BC has at linebacker the freshmen shouldn’t factor into the mix much unless there a rash of injuries again. DePalma is enrolling early and has the early lead for players who could compete for backup duties.