Best players by position: SEC, ACC coveting Georgia’s deep linebacker talent

GHSF Daily’s rollout of the Georgia Power 100 continues today with linebackers. Four have committed to SEC schools, two to Tennessee. Three have committed to ACC schools, two to Clemson. All 10 made all-state teams last season.

This is another in a series of feature articles that recognize the state’s best players by position. They are chosen primarily on high school production, though college potential also is considered.

*Raul “Popo” Aguirre, Whitewater: Aguirre (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) is the state’s consensus No. 1 senior LB recruit and the No. 8 LB prospect nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite. He’s Whitewater’s most heavily recruited player in history. He was honorable mention all-state last season and probably deserved better as he had 80 tackles for an 11-2 Class 5A team that won a region title. Aguirre committed to Miami last month.

*Jamal Anderson, Mill Creek: Anderson was the second-leading tackler on an 11-2 Class 7A team. He had 78 tackles overall, four sacks, five pass breakups and two interceptions. He was first-team all-county per the Gwinnett TD Club. Anderson (6-4, 200) is a consensus top-200 national recruit who committed to Clemson in June.

*Dion Crawford, Collins Hill: Crawford was a Class 7A first-team all-state performer and the Gwinnett County TD Club’s Outside Linebacker of the Year in 2021, when he had 86 tackles, 23 stops for loss, 14 sacks and 22 QB hurries for a state championship team. Crawford (6-1, 225) is a consensus three-star recruit with offers from Florida State, Georgia Tech, Michigan and others.

*Dee Crayton, Denmark: Crayton was a first-team all-state performer and Region 4-7A’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, when he had 90 tackles, 15 for loss, five sacks and three forced fumbles. Denmark allowed only 12.3 points per game and won its first region title in history. A consensus top-400 national recruit, Crayton (6-2, 215) committed to Clemson in June.

*Troy Ford, Calvary Day: Ford was a first-team Class A Private all-state player in 2021, when he had 13 tackles for loss, four sacks and 13 QB hurries in 2021. Calvary Day was 12-1 and allowed 9.2 points per game. Ford (6-1, 235) is a consensus three-star recruit who committed to Central Florida in March.

*Grant Godfrey, North Gwinnett: Godfrey, the son of former NFL and Georgia star Randall Godfrey, is a top-400 national prospect who had 12 tackles for loss, six sacks and four fumble recoveries for a 6-6 Class 7A team in 2021. Godfrey committed to Kentucky last week.

*Everett Roussaw, Cedar Grove: Roussaw, a three-year starter, was in on more tackles (92) than any other Cedar Grove player in 2021, when the Saints won Class 3A. He had 3.5 sacks, 4.5 other tackles for loss and four interceptions. Roussaw (6-2, 215) is a consensus three-star recruit whose reported favorite is Louisville.

*Jalen Smith, Grayson: Smith broke Grayson’s single-season tackles record with 174 in 2021 and was Region 4-7A’s Defensive Player of the Year, helping Grayson to a 10-4 finish. He was first-team all-county per the Gwinnett Daily Post. A top-500 national prospect, Smith (6-0, 210) committed to Tennessee in July.

*Jeremiah Telander, Gainesville: Telander was a two-time region defensive player of the year while playing for North Hall, for which he had 33 tackles for loss last season and 137 stops overall. He was first-team Class 3A all-state. Telander (6-2, 215) transferred to Gainesville in the offseason. He’s a consensus three-star recruit who committed to Tennessee in June.

*Whit Weeks, Oconee County: Weeks, a first-team all-state performer and Region 8-3A’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, had 134 tackles, second most in school history, for a 10-2 team in 2021. Ten tackles were behind the line. He had 814 all-purpose yards on offense with four touchdowns. Weeks (6-2, 205) is a consensus three-star recruit. He’s the son of former Georgia player David Weeks and brother of current LSU player West Weeks. Whit committed to LSU in July.

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