18 Shreveport area high school linebackers to watch in 2022 football season

Jimmy Watson
Shreveport Times

The 2022 high school football season is inching closer. Here's a look at some of the top linebackers in the Shreveport area to watch and what some of their coaches said about them. 

Also check out these stories on the top running backs, wide receivers, cornerbacks, defensive linemen, offensive linemen and kickers in Northwest Louisiana. 

Cade Bedgood

Calvary, Sr.

Height/weight: 5-10, 200

Why selected: Bedgood is the Cavaliers’ on-field leader who totaled 42 tackles last season.

Christian Blackmon

Northwood, So.

Height/weight: 6-2, 210

Why selected: “Blackmon started last year at middle linebacker. Very intelligent and aggressive, plays very similar to former Herndon Magnet turned Falcon All-State linebacker, Tyler Lummus, from a few years back.” – Coach Austin Brown

Connor Blank

Haughton, Sr.

Height/weight: 6-1, 215

Why selected: “Blank is a big, physical linebacker. Strong enough to play inside and can run well enough to go sideline to sideline.” – Coach Jason Brotherton

Brooks Brossette

Byrd, Sr.

Height/weight: 6-0, 180

Why selected: A returning Shreveport Times All-City, All-District and All-City athlete. Brossette led the Jackets with 106 total tackles and recently received an offer from Ouachita Baptist University.

Walteze Champ

Homer, Sr.

Height/weight: 6-0, 225

Why selected: “The strongest kid on the team benching 365 and runs a 4.7. He’s receiving interest from Grambling, ULM, SAU, Arkansas Tech and Southern-BR. Sky is the limit for this kid, has a great work ethic and is very humble.” – Coach Richie Casey 

Mark Engelke

Airline, Sr.

Height/weight: 5-10, 180

Why selected: “Mark played outside linebacker last year and is a very consistent player who makes plays.” – Coach Justin Scogin

Zach Halbert

Benton, Sr.

Height/weight: 6-2, 200

Why selected: "Halbert has added 30 pounds of weight this off-season. He's a devastating tackler who has a real nose for the football. He's the definition of ‘find the football and be angry when you get there.’ Has really worked to add weight and improve his coverage skills this offseason.” – Coach Reynolds Moore

Hayden Harmon

Glenbrook, Sr.

Height/weight: 6-1, 193

Why selected: Harmon will lead a solid Glenbrook defense with his ability to be a run-stopper in the middle.

Jyrel Jones

Red River, Sr.

Height/weight: 5-10, 220

Why selected: “Jones is a tackling machine finishing in the top five statewide last year in tackles. He’s got great speed, range and tackles well in open field. Jyrel has everything you want in a linebacker -- he’s big, fast, physical and a coach on the field.” – Coach Jeff Harper 

Jamal Jordan

Evangel, Jr.

Height/weight: 6-2, 225

Why selected: “Jamal will man the middle of the Eagles’ defense. Jordan is very disciplined and fundamentally sound. Last year he improved by the day.” – Coach Denny Duron

Travis Lewis

Green Oaks, Sr.

Height/weight: 5-10, 210

Why selected: The returning first-team All-District athlete is a hard worker who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. 

TOP SAFETIES: See who are the top safeties in the Shreveport area

TOP DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Here's who the top defensive linemen in NW La. are

Jadon Mayfield

Ruston, Jr.

Height/weight: 6-0, 225

Why selected: Mayfield is a returning starter who had 96 tackles, three sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and five quarterback hurries last season. 

Jakob McCarty

Minden, Sr.

Height/weight: 5-10, 190

Why selected: “McCarty is a returning starter and a strong inside player who is physical at the point of attack.” – Coach Spencer Heard

Barrett Newman

Parkway's Barrett Newman

Parkway, Sr.

Height/weight: 6-2, 215

Why selected: A 3-year starter, Newman led the Panthers in tackles last season. Also a standout baseball player, Newman dedicated his summer to weights and speed training.

Michael Shepard

Southwood, Sr.

Height/weight: 5-8, 179

Why selected: Not big as linebackers go, but Shephard packs a wallop.

Scotty Simo

Captain Shreve, Sr.

Height/weight: 5-10, 195

Why selected: Had 46 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles last year. “Scotty has a nose for the football and makes our defensive calls for us in the middle. He’s got a tremendous football IQ and is a student of the game.” – Coach Adam Kirby 

Ryketlen Van Zandt

Mansfield, Jr.

Height/weight: 5-8, 195

Why selected: While Van Zandt is a talented defender, he’ll also play running back for the Wolverines.

CJ Watts

Lakeside, Sr.

Height/weight: 6-3, 230 

Why selected: The multi-talented Watts is the team’s punter and kicker and is also an outstanding baseball player.

Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at jwatson@shreveporttimes.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.