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  College Player Notes by Position: OLB
Previous 25 OLB Notes Next 25 OLB Notes

01/20/18- Darrion Owens, rJr, Houston, 6-2, 240
LB Darrion Owens announced he will transfer to Houston from Miami. The Cougars officially added Owens to their roster Friday. According to NCAA guidelines, he will be eligible immediately to play at Houston as a grad transfer. Last season, Owens finished with 35 tackles, including 4.5 for loss. As a freshman in 2014, Owens played in all 12 games. He won a starting spot the following year but sustained a season-ending knee injury in the second game in 2015.

01/15/18- Mekhi Brown, rSo, Tennessee State, 6-4, 241
LB Mekhi Brown is transferring to Tennessee State to continue his football career, according to reports. Brown was last seen attempting to attack an Alabama assistant coach on the sideline after he received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the CFP national championship for punching Georgia's Wyatt Payne. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound sophomore must have had in his mind earlier in the fall that he would leave after the season because he had already been admitted to Tennessee State. Brown apparently will have to comply with stipulations set by Tennessee State before he can play there. In 12 games during the 2017 season, Brown had three solo tackles and four assists for a total of seven tackles.

01/10/18- T.J. Roof, Fr, Indiana, 5-11, 215
Linebacker T.J. Roof is transferring from Georgia Tech to Indiana. He will be eligible for spring practice but must sit out next season because of the NCAA transfer rules. He will have three years of eligibility remaining when he returns in 2019. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Roof played in 11 games as a freshman in 2017, finishing with 17 tackles and two sacks. Coach Tom Allen says he's eager to see what Roof can add to the Hoosiers. Roof helped Buford High School reach four straight Georgia state championship games, winning titles in 2013 and 2014. His father, Ted, is North Carolina State's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. Roof's twin brother, Mic, is a quarterback at Charlotte. - AP College Football

01/10/18- Logan Wilson, rSo, Wyoming, 6-1, 229
2017 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): LB Logan Wilson So. Wyoming,...Wilson earned Second Team All-Mountain West recognition as a sophomore. Wilson tied for the team lead in tackles with teammate Wingard, both had 111 tackles during the regular season. Among MW linebackers, Wilson ranked fifth in tackles, averaging 9.2 tackles per game. He ranked No. 29 in the nation in total tackles. Wilson also ranked No. 2 in the conference and No. 9 in the NCAA in solo tackles, averaging 5.9 per game. He led the Cowboys in solo tackles with 71. He scored the third defensive touchdown of his career versus Texas State earlier this season. Wilson helped the Cowboys rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 17 in the nation in defensive touchdowns, with three on the season. - Wyoming Football

01/09/18- Silas Kelly, rFr, Coastal Carolina, 6-3, 225
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Silas Kelly (Coastal Carolina, LB, RS-Fr.),...Kelly (Mount. Airy, Md.) ranked third on the team in tackles (75) despite missing the Texas State due to injury and his 6.8 tackles per game ranked 16th in the Sun Belt. A four-time game captain and member of the Team Leadership Council, Kelly had a season-high 12 tackles versus Georgia Southern. He led the team in tackles twice (eight at UAB and 11 at ULM) and was credited with nine tackles in his collegiate debut versus UMass. - Coastal Carolina Football

01/09/18- Tron Folsom, rSo, Troy, 6-1, 218
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Tron Folsom (Troy, LB, So.),...Folsom led the Trojans with 77 tackles and was third with nine tackles for loss, while Stadom added a team-best six sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss from his defensive tackle position. - Troy Football

01/09/18- Frankie Griffin, Jr, Texas State, 5-11, 205
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE THIRD TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Frankie Griffin (Texas State, LB, Jr.),...Griffin started all 12 games as an outside linebacker this season and ranked ninth among Sun Belt Conference leaders with 11.5 tackles for loss. He also was listed 20th in the league with 4.0 sacks and ranked third on the team and 23rd in the Sun Belt with 74 total tackles. Griffin's best game was at Arkansas State, where he led the Bobcats with a career-high 13 tackles and nine solo stops. He also tallied a career-high of nine solo tackles versus New Mexico State. Griffin also ranked ninth among Sun Belt leaders with two fumble recoveries and tied for 10th in the league with two forced fumbles. - Texas State Football

01/09/18- Hunter Reese, Jr, Troy, 6-0, 221
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Hunter Reese (Troy, DL, Jr.),...Reese, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship in fall camp, leads Troy with 11.5 tackles for loss this season and is second with five sacks on the year. He has ended the year strong with a tackle for loss in each of Troy's final seven games with eight over the final five games. - Troy Football

01/09/18- Finesse Middleton, rSr, South Alabama, 6-0, 242
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Finessé Middleton (South Alabama, DL, Sr.),...Lawrence (Smiths Station, Ala.) was second on the squad and among the top 15 in the conference in tackles after recording a career-high 83 to go along with three forced fumbles and three passes defensed, while Barge (Moultrie, Ga.) was credited with a career-best 77 stops - including three behind the line of scrimmage - four quarterback hurries and a pair of forced fumbles as he was third on the team and in the top 25 in the SBC in tackles. Songy (New Orleans, La.) collected 62 stops with five for loss as well as four passes broken up and an interception in his final season at the collegiate level, and Middleton (Gadsden, Ala.) shared the team lead with 3˝ sacks among his 26 total stops, adding four quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery in his last year as a Jaguar. - South Alabama Football

01/09/18- Terrill Hanks, Jr, New Mexico State, 6-2, 225
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Terrill Hanks (New Mexico State, LB, Jr.),...O.J. Clark, Terrill Hanks, Roy Lopez and Anthony Muse wrapped up the list of NM State honorees with Sun Belt Honorable Mention nods. - New Mexico State Football

01/09/18- Shaquem Griffin, rSr, Central Florida, 6-1, 229
Alabama and Georgia topped the final Top 25 college football poll of the season but many eyes were on Central Florida. Alabama was voted No. 1 in the final Associated Press college football rankings and received 57 of 61 first-place votes from the media panel. Georgia finished second and Oklahoma was third, followed by Clemson and Ohio State. UCF received the other four. The Knights went 13-0 to cap the only perfect season in the Football Bowl Subdivision. After beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl, UCF athletic director Danny White said the Knights were declaring themselves national champions. Florida's governor followed suit with his own proclamation, saying UCF deserved it by winning every game and by beating Auburn - the only team that defeated both Alabama and Georgia this season. - AP College Football

01/08/18- Lorenzo Carter, Sr, Georgia, 6-5, 243
When Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter wants to wash away the pressure's of football, he turns to cello music. The only difference? Carter is playing it. Carter is an accomplished cello player who grew up loving the classical instrument because of its soothingly, sweet sound. These days, when he needs an escape, he'll pull out his cello and play. "When you get stressed out in one part of your life, it helps to have another," he said. Carter's had little to stress over on the football field. The 6-foot-6, 243-pound senior was one of the Bulldogs heroes at the Rose Bowl, blocking an Oklahoma field goal try in the second overtime that set up Georgia's walk-off win (a 27-yard run by Sony Michel) moments later.

Now, Carter and the Bulldogs face Alabama for the national championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Monday night. Carter credits his love of music to his parents, who emphasized a well-rounded background that included music. He learned to play several brass instruments like the tuba and the trombone when his high school did not have an outlet for cello players. When he first showed some Georgia teammates, Carter saw some eyebrows rise about his musical taste. "They didn't know what it was," Carter said, laughing. Carter, an NFL prospect, returned for his senior season to help Georgia try for a title. He's projected as a high-round selection in this year's draft. - AP College Football

01/08/18- Caleb Tucker, rSr, Louisiana-Monroe, 6-2, 230
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Caleb Tucker (ULM, DL, RS-Sr.),...Four other Warhawks have received All-Sun Belt honorable mention: sophomore quarterback Caleb Evans, junior linebacker David Griffith, fifth-year senior defensive lineman Caleb Tucker and senior wide receiver Brian Williams. - Louisiana-Monroe Football

01/08/18- David Griffith, rJr, Louisiana-Monroe, 6-0, 209
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): David Griffith (ULM, LB, Jr.),...Four other Warhawks have received All-Sun Belt honorable mention: sophomore quarterback Caleb Evans, junior linebacker David Griffith, fifth-year senior defensive lineman Caleb Tucker and senior wide receiver Brian Williams. - Louisiana-Monroe Football

01/08/18- *Jerome Baker, Jr, Ohio State, 6-1, 225
Ohio State junior Jerome Baker, an athletic linebacker with first-round potential, announced Monday he is entering the NFL Draft. NFLDraftScout.com lists him as the top outside linebacker in the junior class with a first- or second-round grade. Baker, however, was a bit disappointing this season, when he made 72 tackles, including eight for loss and three sacks. NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang wrote of Baker: "Quick passes to backs and tight ends are forcing defensive coordinators to find athletic linebackers who can cover with many willing to sacrifice size for speed. Because of this fact, Baker has a chance to earn an early selection. "That said, one shouldn't have to search for linebackers on tape and all too often that has been the case with Baker. No one denies that he possesses rare athleticism for the position -- including agility and straight-line speed -- but those traits must be complemented by greater awareness and take-on strength if Baker is to live up to the success of the Ohio State linebackers who preceded him."

Baker (6-1, 225) made 83 tackles as a sophomore, including 9.5 for loss and three sacks, and picked off two passes. His ability to cover, which should be a strength, will be scrutinized as he goes through the draft process. According to Rang, Baker "fails to consistently provide an initial pop to backs and tight ends, allowing receivers free release and immediate separation in man coverage. Though he is fast enough to recover, Baker too often turns back to steal looks at the quarterback, inexplicably losing track of his coverage responsibilities." He is the third Ohio State player to leave early this offseason, joining cornerback Denzel Ward and defensive end Sam Hubbard. - The Sports Xchange

01/08/18- Joe Dillon, rSo, Louisiana, 6-2, 232
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE THIRD TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Joe Dillon (Louisiana, DL, So.),...Dillon recorded 30 tackles on the season and finished as the team leader in sacks for the second straight season. The 2016 Freshman All-American had a 15-yard sack and a game-preserving defensive PAT in the season-opener against Southeastern Louisiana and was credited with a sack and forced fumble at Texas A&M. - Louisiana Football

01/08/18- Michael Shaw, rJr, Georgia State, 6-3, 230
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE THIRD TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Michael Shaw (Georgia State, LB, RS-Jr.),...Three-year starter at outside linebacker who is Georgia State's career leader in tackles for loss with 25 while ranking third in 7.0 career sacks....Has 49 tackles with six tackles for loss, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the season...Key part of a front seven that held three teams under 100 yards rushing and was the last FBS team in the nation to allow a 100-yard rusher this season (Game 10)...Helped the GSU defense hold four opponents to two touchdowns or fewer...Had seven tackles with two TFL as he helped the Panthers hold South Alabama to a school-record 41 yards rushing in the 21-13 victory...Had five tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss in shutout win at Charlotte...Recorded a sack and then a shared sack on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter of win at ULM...Forced and recovered a fumble at the GSU 21-yard line in the fourth quarter of the Panthers' 21-17 win at Georgia Southern. Also had seven tackles and a pass breakup...Georgia State's career leader in tackles for loss with 25. - Georgia State Football

01/07/18- Caleb Caston, Sr, Arkansas State, 6-1, 238
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE THIRD TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Caleb Caston (Arkansas State, DL, Sr.),...Joining Blaise Taylor on the third team for Arkansas State were Justin McInnis (Jr., WR), Jaypee Philbert (Sr., OL), Caleb Caston (Sr., DE), Sawyer Williams (Soph., K) and Cody Grace (Soph., P). - Arkansas State Football

01/07/18- Kaden Elliss, rJr, Idaho, 6-2, 222
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Kaden Elliss (Idaho, LB, Jr.),...Elliss garnered second-team honors at linebacker after leading the Vandals and ranking third in the Sun Belt with 16 tackles for loss. His 15 solo tackles for loss led the league. Elliss' six sacks were second on the team and fifth in the conference. The versatile athlete hauled in seven receptions on offense for 156 yards and two touchdowns and also played special teams where he blocked a kick. - Idaho Football

01/07/18- Leonard Hazewood IV, rSr, Idaho, 6-3, 248
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Leonard Hazewood (Idaho, LB, Sr.),...Hazewood came on strong in his first season full healthy, recording 5.5 sacks among 11 tackles for loss. His sack count ranked top 10 in the Sun Belt. - Idaho Football

01/07/18- Ronheen Bingham, Jr, Arkansas State, 6-2, 241
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Ronheen Bingham (Arkansas State, DL, Jr.),...A-State's second-team choices were made up of Chris Murray (Sr., WR), Ronheen Bingham (Jr., DE), Kyle Wilson (Sr., LB) and Justin Clifton (Jr., DB). - Arkansas State Football

01/06/18- Darius Jackson, rSr, Jacksonville State, 6-2, 233
2017 STATS FCS BUCK BUCHANAN AWARD WINNER: People are quick to describe Jacksonville State's Darius Jackson as easygoing by nature. Those who don't know him may not say that after watching how the senior defensive end terrorize opposing offenses. Jackson capped a stellar career Friday night by winning the 2017 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award at the national awards banquet in Frisco, Texas. A national panel of 151 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries selected Jackson as the FCS defensive player of the year in the narrowest vote possible, his 304 points edging Western Illinois senior linebacker Brett Taylor's 303, with James Madison senior defensive end Andrew Ankrah finishing third with 259 points.

"He's the same guy every day, brings a lot of energy and makes plays day in and day out," Jacksonville State coach John Grass said. "You've got to account for him and know where he's at on the field. And that opens up a lot of other things for us, too. And the leadership he shows day in and day out is huge. He always gives everybody a smile on their face - it's just good, positive energy." Jackson, from Bessemer, Alabama, entered college as a safety/linebacker, but grew into a 6-foot-3, 237-pound defensive end. As a senior, the Ohio Valley Conference's first two-time defensive player of the year since Eastern Kentucky's George Floyd in 1980 and '81 broke his own school single-season record with 20 1/2 tackles for loss (for 116 yards). He also totaled 55 tackles, seven sacks, 23 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He will leave Jacksonville State as its all-time leader in sacks (27 1/2), tackles for loss (60 1/2) and yards from tackles for loss (277). The Gamecocks went 43-8, never lost an OVC game and were the 2015 FCS runner-up in his four seasons. - STATS FCS Football

01/06/18- JaVon Rolland-Jones, rSr, Arkansas State, 6-1, 245
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (Arkansas State, DL, RS-Sr.),...Rolland-Jones, a four-time all-conference selection, is both the Arkansas State and Sun Belt Conference all-time leader in career sacks with 43.5 to his credit, leaving him only one shy of breaking the NCAA FBS record (44.0) currently held by Terrell Suggs (Arizona State, 2000-02). This season alone, he is ranked second in the nation in sacks (1.18 per game) and seventh in tackles for loss (1.7 per game). - Arkansas State Football

01/05/18- Devan Stringer, Sr, Appalachian State, 5-11, 208
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE THIRD TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Devan Stringer (Appalachian State, LB, Sr.),...A four-year starter, Stringer ranks seventh on App State's team with 45 tackles even though he missed three games, and opposing offenses averaged only 284.0 yards per game when he returned for the final three victories. - Appalachian State Football

01/05/18- Caleb Fuller, Sr, Appalachian State, 6-0, 241
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE THIRD TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Caleb Fuller (Appalachian State, DL, Sr.),...Fuller has 23 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, including a takedown on Idaho's final drive in a 23-20 win by App State. He also made a big impact on special teams, rushing for 23 yards on a fake punt against Georgia Southern and blocking a punt at Georgia State. - Appalachian State Football

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