As we prepare for the 2013 football season, we’re taking a look at the best returning HBCU players at each position. Today, we check out the top linebackers in the MEAC.
Lynden Trail, Norfolk State
Trail only started three games in his first season at Norfolk State, but he was a factor in pretty much every game he played. Whether lined up in a three-point stance or as a standup linebacker, the 6’7 University of Florida transfer was all over the field for Norfolk State last season. He finished with 70 tackles, including six sacks. He also finished with 17 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble en route to winning several post-season accolades, including HBCU All-American Honors by College Sporting News. He was just named to the CFPA Watch List as well.
Jarkevis Fields, Bethune-Cookman
The lone-returning linebacker from last season’s All-MEAC first team, Fields heads in to the 2013 season as the best returning pure linebacker in the conference. Fields led Bethune-Cookman with 103 tackles. His performance helped the Wildcats finish top three in scoring defense and total defense en-route to its second MEAC championship in three years.
D’Vonte Grant, NC A&T
Grant may not have come to Greensboro with a scholarship offer, but he has certainly proved he was worthy of one. The 5’11, 205 linebacker was a big part of NC A&T’s return to MEAC relevance, helping the team finish at the top of several categories, including total defense and scoring defense. The former Mallard Creek High School star led the Aggies with 88 tackles, helping the Aggies record their first winning-record in nearly a decade.
Ernest Adjei, Delaware State
Though Delaware State’s Nick Elko-led offense was its calling card, DSU also put together one of the conference’s better defenses, allowing just 214 points. Adjei was a big part of that, coming up with 93 total tackles and 2.5 sacks as a junior. With an offense undergoing a makeover, Adjei and the defense will have to step up their performance even more in 2013.
Tabrian Resby, Howard
Playing alongside current Bills linebacker Keith Pough, Tabrian Resby didn’t come into the 2012 season with much fanfare. The junior linebacker showed he was a capable playmaker as well, coming up with 81 tackles and three sacks his first year at Howard. The former JUCO star made a game-saving play by intercepting a Robert Council two-point conversion attempt against rival Morgan State. With Pough gone, Resby will be the linebacker opponents have to gameplan for.