Grading the active five-star LBs in college football

Five-star prospects are rare in each recruiting class and, as we know, some pan out and some don’t. For the last two weeks, we have been looking at five-stars still playing in college football and grade how they’ve been doing. Today, we continue with the linebackers.



CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series


CLASS OF 2016 BEN DAVIS – Alabama

This has been a puzzling disaster and I can’t figure out why, but Davis never emerged despite staying at Alabama and waiting for his chance.

Grade: F

***** RAHSHAUN SMITH – Maryland (transfer from Clemson)

Another one I can’t figure out, as Smith could play outside or inside linebacker and appeared to be a can’t-miss player. He’s had a few moments, but not much else.

Grade: F

***** MIQUE JUAREZ – UCLA (portal)

So, 2016 was a bad year for linebackers, huh? Juarez has done nothing at the college level.

Grade: F

***** CALEB KELLY – Oklahoma

Finally a 2016 linebacker who did something. Kelly hasn’t had an amazing career, but he’s been solid.

Grade: B-

***** CURTIS ROBINSON – Stanford

Robinson started to emerge last season, but he still hasn’t come close to expectations.

Grade: D

***** DAELIN HAYES – Notre Dame

Hayes has grown into a defensive lineman and has become a solid pass rusher, but he’s not the dynamic talent we expected.

Grade: B-

***** CLASS OF 2017 BARON BROWNING – Ohio State

Browning is starting to emerge as a solid player, but we expected a lot more out of his career.

Grade: C+

***** JORDAN ANTHONY – Michigan (portal)

This is another miss as Anthony was supposed to be the next Jabrill Peppers at Michigan.

Grade: F

***** DYLAN MOSES – Alabama

Moses was injured last season, but he has been one of the best linebackers in college football and could be a first-round NFL Draft pick.

Grade: A

***** CLASS OF 2018 MICAH PARSONS – Penn State (opted out)

I’m including him because we need a few more hits here. He’s been amazing.

Grade: A+

***** TERADJA MITCHELL – Ohio State

Mitchell hasn’t done much, and he needs to turn things around quickly to live up to the hype.

Grade: D


Gaoteote has been solid and was getting better, but injuries have derailed him this year.

Grade: B-

***** CLASS OF 2019 NOLAN SMITH – Georgia

Smith has been solid, but he was expected to take the next step this year and hasn’t quite yet.

Grade: B-

***** MARCEL BROOKS – TCU (transfer from LSU)

Brooks hasn’t done much at TCU after the transfer, but he still has plenty of time to right the ship.

Grade: C

***** CLASS OF 2020 JUSTIN FLOWE – Oregon

It’s still too early to grade Flowe and his injury this season will be a setback.

Grade: Incomplete

***** NOAH SEWELL – Oregon

Sewell was destroying people before he got injured, but his body of work is too small.

Grade: Incomplete

***** TRENTON SIMPSON – Clemson

Simpson has been awesome as a true freshman and already has three sacks.

Grade: A

***** CHRIS BRASWELL – Alabama

Braswell has yet to make an impact, but true freshmen at Alabama have to wait their turn.

Grade: Incomplete

***** DEREK WINGO – Florida

Wingo hasn’t played enough to be graded.

Grade: Incomplete

***** DEMOUY KENNEDY – Alabama

Kennedy hasn’t made an impact yet.

Grade: Incomplete