Jon Reschke – Birmingham Brother Rice
Over the years, Brother Rice has become a linebacker factory as they continue to produce D-1 players from the position and Reschke is continuing that trend. The Michigan State bound senior might be the best player in the county in 2012 and is a flat out tackling machine in every way for the Warriors.
David Houle/Brandon Malinowsk/J.T. Ayotte – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
This might be the best group of linebackers in the state this fall, as all three are some of the best at stopping the run and are just as good in coverage. When teams look to avoid Houle and Malinowski, Ayotte could make those teams pay in the end.
Willie Duncan/Jeff Madison – Southfield
Look for the Southfield defense to be one of the stingiest in Oakland County in 2012 and with Duncan and Madison holding down the middle of the defense. Teams are going to need some luck if they plan on picking up big plays against the Blue Jay defense.
Chris Calvano – Clarkston
Even with Zach Collins and Matt Dellinger moving on, Clarkston won’t have much to worry about in its linebackers group with Calvano stepping in. Look for him to be one of the area’s best all-around linebackers in 2012.
Reilly Manz – Bloomfield Hills Lahser
A big run stuffing linebacker for Lahser and should once again be one of the best a stopping the opposing run games this year. Look for Manz to also be effective against the pass as well.
Keith Bucholtz – Hazel Park
For the past few years, Hazel Park has gotten a lot of attention because of its high powered offense, but look for Bucholtz and the defense to sneak up on teams this year. Bucholtz can do a little bit of everything from his linebacker spot.
Evin Papuga – Holly
Papuga has shown in the past that he can be one of the hardest hitters around, but that’s not all he brings to the Holly defense. Papuga has proven to be one of the most reliable tacklers in the Flint Metro League.
Derric Williams – Lake Orion
Williams is one of the names to watch for the Dragons in 2012. He flew under the radar last fall, but look for Williams to have a breakout season this year in the OAA.
Anthony Waite – Lakeland
Look for Waite to contribute in a number of ways for the Eagles in 2012, but he will likely make his biggest impact on defense where he has proven to be one of the best tacklers.
Kyle Niswonger – Rochester Adams
You might not know his name right now, but you might want to know it very soon. Niswonger is a bit of a sleeper this year, but he should be one of the best at his position this fall.
Lonnie Jaynes – Troy Athens
Athens is a team to keep an eye on this year and Jaynes is one of the players that could lead the Athens defense to another strong year against the run.
Harold Gibbs – Clawson
Another sleeper to keep an eye on for 2012, Gibbs has been one of the better linebackers when it comes to slowing down the run as well as the pass.
Chris Hall – Pontiac
Hall is big-time hitter in the middle of the Pontiac defense, but is also one of the most improved linebackers against the pass, while continuing to dominate against the run.
Joe Nagle – Royal Oak Shrine
Nagle was one of the most consistent linebackers in 2011 and we should see much of the same from him in 2012 as he holds down the Shrine defense.
Jason Fusco – Southfield Christian
Fusco is a player who flew under the radar last year, but continued to improve all year long and showed his ability to be one of the area’s best at stopping opposing running attacks.
Matt Boulis - Walled Lake Central
Boulis will be one of just a handful of returning starters for the Vikings, but should be a difference maker in the middle of the Central defense against the run and passing attacks.