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Florida Gators on Top for 5-star OLB Lyndell ‘Mack’ Wilson

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Lyndell “Mack” Wilson is a 5-star outside linebacker from Montgomery, Alabama, and he recently announced on Twitter that he’s narrowed his list down to eight.

Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon and USC were all represented on Wilson’s list, and he ranked each school one through eight.

Perhaps surprisingly, especially considering the fact that he’s ranked as the top player from the state of Alabama, per the industry generated and averaged 247Sports Composite, the Gators top Wilson’s list. This is despite the fact that he holds offers from in-state powers Alabama and Auburn, and he recently unofficially visited the Crimson Tide for their game against Ole Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

According to an interview done by Drew Champlin of AL.com, who spoke with Wilson’s mentor Todd Dowell (h/t Damon Sayles of Bleacher Report for finding this), Wilson likes Florida because of the defensive scheme, and he “kind of” likes Gators’ head coach Jim McElwain. He’s also been talking a lot to Florida co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Randy Shannon, and that’s perhaps one of the most important relationships a recruit can have. The amount of time a player spends with his position coach is a highly underrated factor in recruiting decisions, at least from the media perspective.

“They’ve been going at him kind of hard,” Dowell said of Florida, via Champlin’s report.

Of course, despite Florida’s No. 1 spot on Wilson’s list, it’s tough to count out the competition, especially considering some of the names on board for the 5-star outside linebacker. Alabama and Nick Saban will always be a player for elite recruits, let alone elite in-state recruits, and it’s tough to go wrong with the likes of LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State and Ohio State as a defender. While not known for their defense, the Oregon Ducks are a natural pick for many recruits for the name brand alone, and USC is in that same boat; especially when you consider the pros of living in Los Angeles.

Either way, though, if you’re going to play linebacker at a top-level school you’ve got to be a great athlete, and Wilson certainly lives up to the billing of his No. 1 ranking at outside linebacker.

Today’s U Initial Scouting Report:

Wilson has the size and speed that you look for in an outside linebacker recruit at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds. He runs a 4.64 40 according to his HUDL account. Wilson has a quick downhill break and long strides which allow him to cover a lot of ground quickly. He’s physical at the point of attack and has a knack for making big hits. One downside to that is that he may have a tendency to go for the big hit over the fundamental wrap and drive, but that’s something that likely due to his physical dominance as a high school player. A good college coach should be able to work on that, to make sure that he wraps up and finishes the tackle on a consistent basis.

Wilson has sideline-to-sideline speed and the versatility to play inside or outside in Carver High School’s 3-4 scheme. He’ll be comfortable in open space in coverage, but will also excel in short-yardage “phone booth” situations because of his physicality and downhill nature.

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