2006 Preseason All-Americans - Linebackers

Posted Aug 26, 2006

2006 CFN All-America Linebackers  

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs | DEs | DTs | CBs | Ss | PKs | Ps | KRs

2006 CFN Preseason First Team All-Americans
Paul Posluszny, Sr. Penn State - 116 tackles, 3 sacks, 11 TFL, 3 broken up passes
The Butkus Award winner as the nation's best linebacker last season, Posluszny has 256 career tackles and should finish his great career with well over 350 if he can return 100% from a knee injury suffered in the Orange Bowl. Considered a likely first round draft pick if he had come out early, even with the knee injury, he's a smart, tough tackler who's always in the right position and is always around the ball. He had 22 stops against Northwestern and 14 against Ohio State.

Patrick Willis, Sr. Ole Miss - 128 tackles, 3 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 4 broken up passes, 1 interception
Willis will no longer be the hidden gem that only SEC fans know about. He's a fast 6-2 and 230 pounds who was good enough to have been no worse than a second round NFL draft pick had he decided to leave early after dominating last season with five games of double-digit solo tackles (leading the nation in solo stops) and with double-digit stops in every game he was healthy except one; he made nine stops against Arkansas. Not just a run stopper, he has the range to be adequate in pass coverage to go along with the timing to be a solid pass rusher. He was out this spring recovering from surgery on his foot, but he's expected to be more than fine by the time fall practices start.

Preseason 30 Best Linebackers
1. Patrick Willis, Sr. Ole Miss
Paul Posluszny, Sr. Penn State
Rufus Alexander, Sr., Oklahoma
Sam Oljabutu, Sr. Arkansas
Buster Davis, Sr. Florida State
Brandon Siler, Jr. Florida
Justin Warren, Sr. Texas A&M
Stephen Nicholas, Sr. South Florida
H.B. Blades, Sr. Pitt
Mark Zalewski, Sr. Wisconsin
Keith Rivers, Jr. USC
Vince Hall, Jr., Virginia Tech
Kelvin Smith, Sr. Syracuse
KaMichael Hall, Sr., Georgia Tech
Anthony Waters, Sr. Clemson
Kevin McLee, Sr. West Virginia
Rey Maualuga, Soph USC
Xavier Adibi, Jr, Virginia Tech
Dan Connor, Jr. Penn State
20. Keyonvis Bouie, Sr. FIU

Philip Wheeler, Soph. Georgia Tech
Earl Everett, Sr. Florida
Josh Williams, Jr. Arkansas State
24. Korey Hall, Sr. Boise State
Ali Highsmith, Jr. LSU
Dwayne Andrews, Sr. Fresno State
Quinton Culberson, Sr. Mississippi State
Matt Couch, Sr. Marshall
Beau Bell, Jr. UNLV
Matt Muncy, Sr., Ohio

2006 CFN Preseason Second Team All-Americans
Rufus Alexander, Sr. Oklahoma - 102 tackles, 5 sacks, 17 TFL, 1 interception, 9 broken up passes
One of the nation's best linebackers, Alexander returns after making 176 tackles over the last two seasons and leading the Sooners last year. He's big on the weakside with fantastic speed and instincts able to get into the backfield. He got bigger over the last two years and became even better against the run.

Sam Oljabutu, Sr. Arkansas - 118 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 14.5 TFL, 3 broken up passes, 10 quarterback hurries
While he's not big at an undersized 5-9 and 229 pounds, he has unlimited range and is a sure-thing open field tackler and pass rusher. He's a teeth-rattling hitter who plays with an attitude because of his size. Driven to prove that last year wasn't a fluke, he should be a certain all-star again if he can stay healthy.

2006 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans

(in alphabetical order)

H.B. Blades, Sr. Pitt - 121 tackles, 1 interception, 1 sack, 3.5 TFL, 6 broken up passes
One of the nation's best linebackers, the two-time All-Big East performer led the Big East with 121 tackles and was excellent in pass coverage moving over from the strongside to the middle. The son of former Miami Hurricane star Bennie Blades has 286 career tackles with the range to always be around the ball and the size to provide a big pop when he gets there. 

Buster Davis, Sr. Florida State
 - 81 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 broken up passes
Strong enough to play in the middle and fast enough to start on the weakside, Davis is one of the team's most experienced players and will move around where needed in the linebacking corps. He hasn't received anywhere near the acclaim of other Seminole linebackers, but he has been just as productive as the other stars over the last few seasons with 141 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. He's a fierce tackler who'll be the intimidator of the FSU D.

Brandon Siler, Jr. Florida
 - 64 tackles, 4 sacks, 9 TFL, 4 broken up passes, 7 quarterback hurries
While he didn't dominate like he did as a freshman, Siler still had a strong sophomore season finishing second on the team in tackles for 141 in his first two seasons. He's a great pass rusher and more than strong in pass coverage. If he can be a bit more physical against power running teams, he'll be an All-SEC star.

Stephen Nicholas, Sr. South Florida - 79 tackles, 7 sacks, 15.5 TFL, 3 broken up passes
Nicholas has seen time at both outside positions and has been dominant at each spot with 224 career tackles, with 12.5 sacks and 38.5 tackles for loss. While he's not huge at 6-3 and 226 pounds, he hits like a Mack truck and has phenomenal range. Despite his lack of size, he would've been around an early round draft pick had he left early. On the Butkus Award watch list for each of the past two seasons, he'll receive his share of national recognition.

Justin Warren, Sr. Texas A&M - 95 tackles, 3 sacks, 6 TFL, 3 broken up passes
Warren has lived up to his recruiting hype and then some after leading the team in tackles last season. He's a 245-pound guided missile who's always around the ball and always cleaning things up. A first team All-Big 12 selection last season, his numbers should skyrocket with more room to roam in the 4-2-5 alignment.

Mark Zalewski, Sr. Wisconsin - 83 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 12.5 TFL
One of the team's best tacklers over the last two seasons with 138 stops, he's able to play either on the strongside or in the middle. He's the leader of the defense and should hover around the 100-stop mark in his second year on the inside. At 236 pounds, he’s the biggest Badger linebacker in the mix and is expected to grow into an All-Big Ten superstar.