Fall is closing in fast, and it is time to start breaking down the Beehive State and the best prospects at each position. These rankings are solely based off of my evaluations from spring and last year's game tape. Evaluations are fluid and things will be reevaluated dozens of times between now and the end of the 2014 football season.
My categories are defined as the following: "Top Tier" which means the prospects in that group are D1 bound. The next group is "Next Level Guys" which means the prospects in that group are not definite D1 scholarship guys, but have a shot and certainly belong at some level of college football. And lastly, is the "Keep An Eye On" which are the guys that have potential to play in college and are on the radar at some level.
Top Tier Middle Linebackers
1) Christian Folau- Folau goes about his business like a professional. He never barks, never pounds on his chest, and never draws unwanted attention to himself. With that being said, Folau is one of the best linebackers in the country and one of the best football players out West this year. Folau's instincts are special. The way he plays makes me think he is seeing the game in slow motion. His pre-snap reads and reaction to the ball are elite. A few years ago Folau showed some weaknesses in pass coverage. It is clear that he has put in the work during the off season, because Folau is now solid against the pass. His strength will always be stopping the run and blitzes, but there are no true weaknesses in the Stanford commits game anymore. Like all great middle linebackers, Folau is a superb leader on the field, in the locker room, as well as away from the football field. The East High School middle backer is one of the best high school football players to come out of Utah in the past few years.
2) Jeremiah Ieremia- Ieremia is similar to the energizer bunny on the football field. He is constantly flying around the field and he never seems to get tired. At All-Poly, Ieremia was always the first hat to the ball. He has great instincts and the intensity you want to see from the general of your defense. Ieremia is also a great power running back, which translates to good ball skills on defense. Whoever lands the Hurricane HS middle backer is going to get a good one.
3) Daniel Langi- Langi is a throwback football player. He may not be 6-4 240 pounds and he may not run a 4.50 40, but he knows how to play the game. Langi has a great blend of smarts and tenacity. He is strong at the point of attack and is really good at shedding blockers. Langi is one of the biggest pieces to Utah's best high school team. Bingham's defense fuels off of Langi's energy. I think Langi will grow another inch or two, but even if he doesn't I'd bet on him having a successful college career.
Keep An Eye On