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4 Qualities College Recruiters Want in a Linebacker

Learn what college football recruiters look for in a high school linebacker in this Howcast video from coach Randy Taylor.


Let's talk about the linebacker, right? Well, when I think of linebackers, I think of Dick Butkus and Willie Lanear, Bobby Bell, you know. There's some great, great linebackers who had a lot of things. They could rush the passer. They could cover receivers and they could stuff the run.

Now, think about that. You are a DB, you are a lineman and a linebacker, right? The skills that I look for in a linebacker is, there's a few of them. And again, I start with feet, right? I start with flexibility and I start with explosiveness, right? So those things, you have to have to play every position.

Now, the linebacker has to understand the game. There's a lot of reading that takes place. What does the guard do? What does the center do? What does the back do? You gotta understand what you're looking at and then have great reactions to run to the ball. Run to the ball, right? To me, I can coach a lot of that other stuff. Great coaches can coach linebackers to do the things, line up right and go to the right direction and read keys. Can you coach running to the ball? That's about effort, right. And not only that, angles running to the ball, inside out, knowing which hole to hit, you know? Know you're fit. Understand that this running back can bounce it in or out.

So how do you have to, then, pursue that runningback? Right, feet, quickness, flexibility, strength. Do you have the ability to get out of all the junk? You know, an offensive lineman is getting some push on your defensive tackle. Do you have the ability to make a quick decision, "Do I go underneath or over the top?"

It's an instinctual position. Learn where to go, learn to read keys, understand the toughness and bring all of your athletic ability and your ability to run to the ball sideline to sideline.

Now, you gotta also be a DB. You better have great hips and be able to turn those hips and get into coverage. Flexibility will help you, okay? Be a defensive back, be a defensive lineman. You'll be a great linebacker.

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