The MAC Conference might not be the alpha dog when it comes to top FBS talent, but that doesn’t mean elite playmakers don’t exist. One thing the conference can take pride in are a group of Linebackers that could be some of the best in the country by years end.
Starting off, you’ve got Toledo Senior, Ja’Wuan Woodley. Some say he’s the heart of the Rockets defense. Standing 5’11 and weighing 233 lbs, Woodley isn’t the biggest player on the field, but his 79 tackles last season say otherwise. Throw in an additional 3.5 sacks and you’ve got yourself one hell of a football player.
Central Michigan isn’t a powerhouse by any means, but Mailk Fountain very well could be. The Junior recorded an impressive 90 tackles last season. He’s got great size for his position, leading many to believe he could be a potential NFL draft pick.
Saving the best for last, Ulysses Gilbert might be the best defensive player in the entire MAC Conference. The Junior linebacker recorded 122 tackles, including 11.5 for a loss. This also includes 4 sacks on the season as well. He’s without question the heart and soul of a rather underwhelming Akron football team.
So, out of these three MAC linebackers, which one reigns supreme? It’s obvious looking by statistics that Gilbert is the choice. Given Akron’s rather disappointing record last season, he really stood out. This doesn’t mean that Fountain and Woodley aren’t worthy of All-MAC honors, it just solidifies Gilbert as the class of the Conference.
Let’s see how the season plays out before we make any judgements on the best LB in the MAC. As far as preseason goes, it’s Gilbert that takes the crown. We do know that Fountain and Woodley will give him a run for his money, and also other names as well such as, Kahlil Hodge (Buffalo), De’Andre Montgomery (Miami), and Junior McMullen ( Miami). It goes without saying that the MAC is full of outstanding Linebackers.