2014 Texas Longhorns Recruiting: Linebacker - Edwin Freeman, Cameron Hampton, Andrew Beck

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin Freeman
Arlington Bowie
6-1, 210


I've written about Freeman before and he's an exciting college prospect - one of my favorite members of the 2014 recruiting class.  He brings physicality and speed, instincts for the game, quickness and great effort.  Along with Ford and Roberson, he's the headliner for the 2014 defensive class, a spread-busting multi-tool who can run like a safety and hit like a linebacker.  Some guys are great athletes, some guys are natural football players, a few, like Freeman, are both.

**


Cameron Hampton
Dallas Carter
6-0, 200

The aggressive LB from Dallas Carter can cover ground, strikes violently, and makes up for what he lacks in refinement with turnover-inducing mayhem.  The undersized Hampton has many characteristics that project favorably to a Big 12 hybrid LB spread smasher, but I also see inefficiencies when asked to do more traditional linebacking.  Hampton is a defender by temperament, but he's not yet a natural linebacker.

Hampton is at his best covered up from OL and operating in single assignment contexts: cover, blitz, run stunt, punish.  That has utility for any defense, but his ability to hone his instincts and recognition to solve more open-ended problems will determine his ceiling and likelihood of contribution. He'll be a developmental challenge for Longhorn LB coach Brian Jean-Mary.

Hampton is an interesting project who should be able to contribute early on special teams.

**

Andrew Beck
Tampa Plant
6-3, 230


A natural linebacker, Beck plays well close to the line of scrimmage and does a great job of using his hands, active feet and instincts to work through traffic and across blockers to take out the trash.  He brings the wood in several of his highlights and clearly doesn't shy from the physical side of the game - whether taking on blocks, stunting inside, or attacking the ball carrier.  He is a reliable, stabilizing force for the defense who doesn't make mistakes.  In many respects, Beck is an ideal 3-4 inside linebacker prospect who can hold up inside against OL without the benefit of a DL cover. Putting him in man coverage assignments is dicey - he's not a basketball on grass defender who can sink and run with RBs or inside receivers, but he is athletic enough to zone inside.


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