The class of 2023 is under the microscope this week with the first, full rankings for the class being released. Today we’re looking at the defensive position rankings and the linebacker group is very deep. There hasn’t been a single 2023 linebacker to issue his verbal commitment but that could be changing soon.
PROGRAM TO WATCH: Georgia
Georgia is in position again to sign an outstanding class of linebackers but there are a lot of contenders to fill those spots. Top 10 prospect Malik Bryant, Rivals100 linebackers Raul Aguirre and Jaiden Ausberry, along with Rivals250 linebacker Raylen Wilson are just a handful of prospects that have the Dawgs high on their list.
Bryant has been a priority target for the Dawgs for some time and they’ve done well recruiting prospects out of IMG Academy in recent years. Aguirre has been to the campus multiple times and is close with a number of the current recruits. Ausberry has admitted Georgia was one of his dream schools growing up and the coaching staff is making sure they give him a lot of attention. Wilson is being heavily recruited by teams around the country and his NFL bloodlines are a big attraction. Georgia is in the thick of his recruitment and will be a team to watch as Wilson gets more serious about his recruitment.
PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Tausili Akana
There are so many talented linebackers in this class. Seven outside linebackers are spread throughout the top 65 of the Rivals250 and there are a number of them within shouting distance of earning their fifth star. There was a heavy debate about the order of outside linebackers Tackett Curtis, Tausili Akana, Ta’mere Robinson and Suntarine Perkins.
Akana is especially intriguing because very few people have got an up-close look at him in action. LSU, Ohio State, Texas, TCU, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Michigan State, Clemson, Wisconsin and a few others got him on campus this year but properly evaluating him will take time. Sitting at No. 57 in the first 2023 Rivals250, Akana will have more chances to impress this fall.
COMMITMENT WATCH: Drayk Bowen
Bowen has a top five that features Notre Dame, Indiana, Auburn, Clemson and LSU, but it seems like his recruitment is winding down. Notre Dame very likely has the inside track at this point and it may not be all that close of a race. Bowen, an outstanding dual-sport athlete, projects as an outside linebacker and would be a great fit in the Notre Dame scheme.
The other contenders in Bowen’s recruitment aren’t giving up on him yet. It wouldn’t be surprising to learn of Bowen’s announcement plans within the next four weeks so there isn’t much time for any team to catch the Fighting Irish.