|Hayden Haupt of Clovis North during a 2012 game as a sophomore. Haupt currently holds two scholarship offers as an outside linebacker (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna).|
We'll showcase different playmakers from the prep scene to the junior college level.
Making their debut in this new feature are the linebackers. From Stockton to Fontana, there's some animals pumping out huge performances under the lights, including one junior college 'backer worth noting. Here's who they are:
KHALIL HODGE, ST. MARY'S-STOCKTON
Though undersized at 6-foot, 218-pounds, Hodge has one of the best reaction skills at linebacker in the 'Delta.' His junior year saw 102 tackles and two interceptions. This season, through five games, Hodge has 91 tackles, averaging 18.5 per game:
FRANK GINDA, PACHECO-LOS BANOS
Ginda is a disruptor and hustle player who never stops trying. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Ginda, who's been offered by Air Force and San Jose State of the Mountain West Conference, does an excellent job with throwing his body around and wrapping a defender up when making a tackle:
HAYDEN HAUPT, CLOVIS NORTH
Haupt is quick off the snap and wreaks havoc in the backfield. He can be an effective outside rusher in a college program's 3-4 scheme. Haupt is one of many NCAA Division I prospects on the Broncos, with scholarship offers from Army and Colorado State.
TATE NELSON, CENTRAL VALLEY CHRISTIAN-VISALIA
The Cavaliers are off to a 4-0 start and are looking like the heavy favorite to win the Central Section Division IV crown thanks to a feisty front seven led by Nelson. His eyes and nose for the football are major strengths after breaking down his latest film. He's one of the best at shooting through the 'A' gap and wreaking havoc. Nelson - who holds a scholarship offer from the University of Idaho - also lines up at defensive end and can run circles around offensive tackles. He and the Cavs have a huge showdown on Friday, Oct. 10, against defending section DIII champion Dinuba.
NIKOLAS NAVARRO, JURUPA HILLS-FONTANA
The four-year varsity player is averaging 11.6 tackles per game and has forced three fumbles. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Navarro holds two offers from Idaho and Sacramento State.
MITCHELL FRANCIS, FRESNO CITY
Francis doubles as a run stuffer and pass rusher for the Rams, who've produced linebacker studs in Nate Palomino (Cal Poly), Caleb Hale (Sacramento State), Steve Allen (Nebraska), Zach Diles (NFL linebacker) and Kyle Staples (South Dakota).