ShareThis Page

HS football position by position breakdown: Scouting the linebackers

Chris Harlan
| Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, 8:15 p.m.
McKeesport’s Layton Jordan (right) can play multiple positions, but several colleges recruiting him see him as a hybrid linebacker.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
McKeesport’s Layton Jordan (right) can play multiple positions, but several colleges recruiting him see him as a hybrid linebacker.
Franklin Regional's Bryce Lauer practices Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, at Franklin Regional.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Bryce Lauer practices Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, at Franklin Regional.
McKeesport's Layton Jordan
McKeesport's Layton Jordan
West Allegheny's Anthony Dellovade
West Allegheny's Anthony Dellovade
Seneca Valley's Gabe Miller
Seneca Valley's Gabe Miller
Washington's Isaiah Shoonmaker
Washington's Isaiah Shoonmaker
Steel Valley's Todd Hill on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Steel Valley's Todd Hill on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.

Layton Jordan's position is a multiple-choice test.

The McKeesport senior is an outside linebacker on defense and a wingback for the Tigers' option offense. The team's roster lists him as a wide receiver and free safety.

And he also punts.

Most college coaches envision him as a hybrid linebacker, but "he's being recruited as a tailback, a receiver, a safety, a linebacker," said McKeesport coach Matt Miller, noting Jordan recently was timed at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. "He's got those freakish qualities where he can do numerous things on a football field."

A year ago, Jordan rushed for 670 yards and six touchdowns on 87 carries with two teams absorbing much of his damage. He had 278 yards and three touchdowns vs. Latrobe, and 178 yards and two touchdowns against Kiski Area.

"Believe it or not, there was a Big Ten school that talked about him at tailback," Miller said.

Versatility isn't rare among linebackers this season, a position that attracts some of the best athletes.

Consider, Washington senior Isaiah Schoonmaker rushed for two touchdowns in one victory and had two touchdown catches as a wide receiver in another.

Franklin Regional senior Bryce Lauer has earned first-team all-conference honors on both sides of the football.

1. Isaiah Schoonmaker


Senior, 6-2, 200

The Miami (Ohio) commit is a disruptive force at outside linebacker. He had 64 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and four interceptions as a junior. A 55-yard INT return for a TD in the playoffs showed his quickness. He was first-team all-conference for defense in Class 2A. His other offers were from Bowling Green, Kent State and Ohio.

2. Layton Jordan


Senior, 6-3, 210

Akron, Bowling Green, Temple and Toledo have offered scholarships to Jordan, who is among the WPIAL's best two-way talents. He played a key role as McKeesport reached the WPIAL Class 5A final last season, earning second-team all-conference honors at running back. But his size and speed also make him well-suited for outside linebacker, where he'll cause offenses trouble this fall.

3. Bryce Lauer

Franklin Regional

Senior, 6-3, 250

Lauer was credited with 139 total tackles last season along with four sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was an all-conference linebacker in Class 5A. Robert Morris and St. Francis (Pa.) were the first to offer him D-I scholarships. As a sophomore, Lauer was an all-conference center.

4. Gabe Miller

Seneca Valley

Senior, 6-1, 220

Miller earned first-team all-conference linebacker honors as a junior in arguably the toughest conference in the WPIAL. The inside linebacker had a team-high 64 tackles and four sacks last season when Seneca Valley reached the WPIAL Class 6A final. He has nine sacks in two years. Duquesne awarded him his first D-I offer.

5. Anthony Dellovade

West Allegheny

Senior, 6-2, 205

Dellovade was a stopper in the middle for the WPIAL Class 5A champions. He had 119 total tackles, two sacks and earned first-team all-conference honors as a junior. He lists D-I offers from Duquesne and Youngstown State, where brother Armand is a sophomore linebacker.

One to watch: Todd Hill

Steel Valley

Junior, 5-10, 220

As a sophomore, his state-champion defense allowed just 121 points and won all 15 games under the mercy rule. Hill returned two interceptions for touchdowns (26 and 49 yards) in a win over Vincentian Academy. The first-team all-conference linebacker announced an offer from Robert Morris in December.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.