Mississippi Gridiron identifies the top ten high school linebackers as we enter the 2011 season. This ranking is based on several factors and conversations with high school coaches and recruiting professionals, with consideration to a player’s potential but an emphasis on on-the-field production in high school. The list of great players in this state is a long one and some may be left off, but this will get the conversation started as we identify the best players in Mississippi.
1. Richie Brown (6’2, 222, SR) Long Beach
2010 Stats: had 151 tackles last season, and 162 in 2009.
Brown has put up back-to-back great seasons for Long Beach. He led of 6A and 5A schools in 2009 with 162 tackles, and again ranked among the state leaders last year with 151 tackles. Brown is the #67 ranked outside linebacker in the country according to Scout.com.
2. Lelland Ducksworth (6’1, 220, SR) North Forrest
2010 Stats: had 69 tackles and 1 sack last season.
Ducksworth jumped on the recruiting radar this summer with impressive camp performances. Ducksworth is rated as the #96 outside linebacker in the country by Scout. Com, and has attracted multiple scholarship offers from SEC shools.
3. Jerry McCorvey (6’4, 225, SR) Vancleave
2010 Stats: had 96 tackles and 1 sack last season.
McCorvey committed to Southern Miss this summer. The Vancleave product had 96 total tackles and a sack last season. He is the 64th-ranked middle linebacker prospect in the country according to Scout.com.
4. Jamison Goins (6’2, 250, SR) Gulfport
2010 Stats: had 101 tackles and 3 sacks last season.
Goins was the anchor in the middle of the defense for Gulfport last season, as the middle linebacker totaled 101 tackles and three sacks.
5. Herbert Harris (6’1, 225, SR) Clinton
2010 Stats: had 120 tackles and 3 sacks last season.
Harris picked up 120 total tackles last season for the Arrows.
6. Wynton McManis (6’2, 210, SR) Olive Branch
2010 Stats: had 42 tackles and 1 sacks last season.
McManis is committed to play for the University of Memphis.
7. Brandon Edwards (6’0, 205, SR) West Point
2010 Stats: had 115 tackles and 5 sacks last season.
Edwards stood out last season on a dominant West Point defense. Edwards piled up 115 total tackles and five sacks for the Green Wave. .
8. Artis Thigpen (5’11, 195, SR) West Jones
2010 Stats: had 126 tackles and 2 sacks last season.
Thigpen was the leading tackler for a West Jones defense last year that was among the state’s best. Thigpen finished with 126 stops, and had ten tackles or more in seven games.
9. Kieddrick Flowers (5’11, 212, JR) South Panola
2010 Stats: had 41 tackles and 2 sacks last season.
Flowers was the 6thleading tackler as a sophomore last year on a South Panola defense that helped win a national title. Flowers finished with 41 stops, and is in line to add to the South Panola history of great Tiger defenders.
10. Jamel Dennis (6’0, 210, SR) Lafayette
2010 Stats: had 135 tackles and 7 sacks last season.
Dennis was dominant last year for the State Champion Commodores with 135 total tackles.