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Breaking down SEC East linebacker recruiting

The SEC is usually known for its elite front-sevens on defense and while the defensive line is where it all starts, linebackers are almost as equally important. Only seven out of a possible 28 ESPN 300 linebackers signed with SEC schools last year. For comparison sake, SEC schools already have commitments from five of a possible 29 ESPN 300 linebacker prospects in the 2017 recruiting class. While the SEC is off to a solid start when it comes to linebacker recruiting, there is still a long way to go. Here is a closer look at the latest linebacker news on SEC East teams.

Florida

2016 signee(s): Four-star outside linebackers Vosean Joseph and Jeremiah Moon and three-star inside linebacker David Reese.

2017 commitments: N/A

Overview: The Gators signed three linebackers in last year’s class, one of which, Reese, enrolled early and went through spring practices. Depth at linebacker is still a concern for Florida and the Gators are targeting several prospects including ESPN 300 prospects Baron Browning, Justin Foster, Nathan Proctor and Walter Grant. Ideally, Florida would like to sign between two and three more linebackers in their 2017 class.

Georgia

2016 signee(s): ESPN 300 inside linebacker Jaleel Laguins

2017 commitments: ESPN 300 outside linebackers Breon Dixon and Jaden Hunter

Overview: After signing only one linebacker in the 2016 class, Georgia is making the linebacker corps a priority in the 2017 class. The Bulldogs have commitments from two of the five ESPN 300 linebackers committed to SEC schools and would like to add a few more. Some of Georgia’s top options are ESPN 300 prospects Baron Browning, Markail Benton, Justin Foster, Walter Grant and Nathan Proctor.

Kentucky

2016 signee(s): Three-star inside linebackers Kash Daniel and Roland Walder and two-star outside linebacker Jamar Watson.

2017 commitments: Outside linebacker Jamin Davis

Overview: The Wildcats signed three linebackers in last year’s class and currently have one commitment from a linebacker in this class. Mark Stoops will be looking to add depth and size in this class. Some of Kentucky’s top linebacker priorities include ESPN 300 prospects Maleik Gray, Leonard Warner, Drew Singleton and Walter Grant.

Missouri

2016 signee(s): Three-star outside linebacker Trey Baldwin and inside linebacker Cale Garrett

2017 commitments: N/A

Overview: After adding only two linebackers in the 2016 class, Missouri will be looking to add immediate depth in this class. While the Tigers currently have no commitments, some of its top targets include Tyler Taylor, Tyshon Fogg and Micah Awodiran and Trajan McQueen.

South Carolina

2016 signee(s): Three-star inside linebackers Robert Tucker and T.J. Brunson

2017 commitments: Outside linebacker Damani Staley

Overview: New head coach Will Muschamp secured two three-star linebacker commits despite not having much time after taking over for Steve Spurrier. This year, Muschamp already has one commitment and will look to add more depth and talent for the unit going forward. Some top targets include Justin Foster, Maleik Gray, Nate McBride and Kendric Haynes.

Tennessee

2016 signee(s): ESPN 300 inside linebacker Daniel Bituli and three-star outside linebacker Jaquain Bailey.

2017 commitments: Three-star inside linebacker De’Morreal Burnam and outside linebacker Marquez Bembry

Overview: After signing only two linebackers in last year’s class Tennessee is making the position a priority. The Volunteers already have two commitments and will look to add between two and four more linebackers. Some of their top targets include in-state ESPN 300 linebacker Maleik Gray as well as other ESPN 300 prospects Nathan Proctor and Drew Singleton.

Vanderbilt

2016 signee(s): Outside linebacker Kenny Hebert

2017 commitments: N/A

Overview: Vanderbilt signed only one linebacker in its 2016 class and will certainly need to address the position in this class. Some of Vanderbilt’s top targets will consist of in-state ESPN 300 linebacker Maleik Gray as well as Justin Foster, Addison Gumbs and Duke commit Ellis Brooks.