West Lafayette High School linebacker Yanni Karlaftis highlights
Watch Indiana's No. 2 overall prospect in action during his junior year.
Dick Butkus, Luke Kuechly, Chris Spielman, Jack Lambert, Lavar Arrington, Jack Ham and Shane Conlan. The Great Lakes states have produced several notable linebackers. Below is the latest batch. Too early to tell if there are any Hall of Famers here, but the talent is undeniable.
Heading into the 2020 high school football season, these are 12 of the top linebackers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. All player rankings referenced are according to 247sports.com.
Who is the best? You tell us. Vote in the poll below to support your QB. Voting closes at noon (EST) on May 28. You may vote as many times as you like.
We will release additional positional "Difference Makers" articles over the next two weeks. The pieces are a precursor to the Great Lakes Preseason Football Teams, which will be unveiled in June.
GREAT LAKES REGION LINEBACKERS 2020
Jamari Buddin, Belleville (Mich.), 6-2,2 10, 2021
Michigan’s No. 9 overall prospect and 21st ranked outside linebacker prospect nationally. Had 61 tackles, 29 tackles-for-loss and nine sacks last season. Joshua Burnham, Traverse City Central (Mich.), 6-3, 205, 2022
Michigan’s No. 2 overall 2022 prospect and the nation’s No. 7 outside linebacker prospect. Holds nine offers including Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. AP All-Michigan. Reid Carrico, Ironton (Ohio), 6-3, 225, 2021
Ohio State commit is No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in the country. Holds 30 offers including Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, LSU and Oklahoma. Anthony Johnson, Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.), 6-1, 230, 2022
Pennsylvania’s No. 7 overall prospect and the country’s No. 4 inside linebacker prospect. Holds 17 offers including Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon, Pitt, Nebraska and Texas A&M. Yanni Karlaftis, West Lafayette (Ind.), 6-2, 203, 2021
Indiana’s No. 2 overall prospect and the country’s No. 14 outside linebacker prospect. Holds 12 offers, including Purdue, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Notre Dame. Kobe King, Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.), 6-0.5, 223, 2021
Penn State recruit is No. 21 inside linebacker prospect in the country.Gabe Powers, Marysville (Ohio), 6-4, 215, 2022
Ohio’s No. 1 2022 overall prospect and the country’s fourth ranked outside linebacker prospect. Holds 17 offers including Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Stanford.