Hilton Head (S.C.) High School linebacker Jaylen Sneed is preparing to make his final college announcement. The elite linebacker and top Notre Dame target is going to announce his decision at his high school on Monday, July 12.
Notre Dame already has the nation's best linebacker class, but first year defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman - who also coaches the linebackers - is looking to make it even better, and Sneed is the key to making that happen.
According to Hilton Head head coach BJ Payne his star linebacker is going to make his announcement at his high school. He noted that details are still being worked out, but 247Sports writer Steve Wiltfong wrote that the announcement will be at 7:00 PM.
Sneed is essentially down to Notre Dame and Oregon, the two programs that he visited this June. He also looked hard at Oklahoma and Tennessee, with offers also coming from Alabama, Florida, Texas, USC, Michigan, Auburn, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Virginia Tech among many others.
A 6-2, 210-pound linebacker that can play rover, Will or even Mike in the Notre Dame defense, Sneed has the kind of versatility and elite athleticism Notre Dame covets. Sneed is ranked as the nation's No. 46 overall player according to Rivals.
Sneed took a visit to Notre Dame from June 14-16 and the Irish have been in great position in his recruitment ever since.
"Sneed isn’t the biggest linebacker, checking in at 6-2 and 215 pounds, but his length is impressive and he has plenty of room to fill out that frame. He shows a strong lower body and the potential to add a good 10-15 more pounds, which will only enhance his power and explosiveness.
"What makes him a top prospect at this point is his athleticism and upside. Sneed is an extremely explosive athlete, one with elite burst, impressive lateral quickness and good speed. Much like former Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Sneed likely won’t blow you away with an elite 40-yard dash time, but his initial burst, short-area quickness, change of direction and flexibility makes him play with exceptional speed.
"Sneed has the kind of foot quickness and downhill explosiveness that should allow him to eventually develop into an impactful inside linebacker. His range, length and instincts also lend to him being an effective player in space. Sneed is also an outstanding edge rusher thanks to the aforementioned initial burst I talked about and ability to chew up a lot of ground in a hurry.
"The Hilton Head star shows a good feel for the game, possessing quick reaction skills and the ability to diagnose between run and pass relatively quickly. At times he doesn’t take the best angles, but that can certainly be improved. He’s a bit of a free-lancer, which needs to be harnessed a bit, and he played defensive end as a junior, so there’s plenty of technique work needed with Sneed, but the tools are truly outstanding.
"What I don’t know right now is if Sneed has the coverage instincts to play as a true rover. It’s not that I doubt that he has them, but I just haven’t seen enough of him in coverage on film to really get a feel for how well he’ll perform with that part of the game. Rover is not, however, the ideal position for him, so this doesn’t really impact his grade much. At the very least Sneed projects to be a quality zone defender as an inside linebacker, but the athleticism and length gives him the potential to eventually develop into an impact cover player at inside linebacker."
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