KICKOFF22 SHOWCASE | Rising LB prospects impress in STL (2023) — ST. LOUIS — The Six Star Football 2021 St. Louis Showcase featured several of the state’s top rising class of 2023 defensive back prospects as several players took their game to new heights and showed off their all-around skills in both the Six Star Football combine and showcase events.
Anil Dharmaraja, 6’1, 193, LB, 2023, John Burroughs @AnilDharmarajan
A multiple sport athlete who shows up both on the field and on the hardwood. He is a well-built player with good strength and muscle tone and showed good confidence in his game and an ability to stay with receivers and even swat down passes. Has a good build and good strength overall but isn’t maxed out yet physically. A smart player for John Burroughs who keeps his eyes open and is always looking to make a play
Gage Greer, 5’11, 190, LB, 2023, Basehor-Linwood (Kan.) @GageGreer12
A quick athlete who shows some straight line speed and good promise at the position as he continues this off-season. He is good at selling a move and then stopping and shedding blockers so he can wrap up ball carriers and can do so on his own and in open field against talented skill players. Plays with a lot of passion and takes each down, each rep and each drill seriously. Greer recorded 44 tackles his junior season and had 26 solo three sacks, three fumble recoveries and eight tackles for loss.
Wyatt Haverstick, 6’2, 195, LB, 2023, CBC @haverstickw05
A good sized player who has some speed, toughness and the ability to make plays in space. He is listed at 6’2, 195-pounds and he brings good mobility and decision making to the field and excels at getting to the backfield. An underrated prospect out of CBC who has good potential and could overall strength. He can also see time as a defensive lineman and has versatility as an athlete with good speed as well. He’s very scrappyLast season he recorded 20 tackles through six games and had six solo, 14 assists, four tackles for loss and three sacks.
Kyan Franklin, 6’3, 225, LB, 2023, CBC @kyan_franklin
An impressive athlete and standout at LB who has great size, good power and the ability to stop drives and force turnovers. Franklin is listed at 6’3, 225-pounds and he moves well and is able to shoot gaps and stop rushers before they have a chance to make a move. He hits extremely hard on short notice and can turn his hips and explodes well off the line. An extremely productive athlete and stock riser who is still flying under the radar in recruiting and he shows a lot of untapped potential moving forward. Franklin was the team leader in tackles for the state champion CBC last season with 89 and had 10 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Nash Kell, 6’2, 215, LB, 2023, St. Dominic @nash_kell
An all-conference, all-district and all-state athlete who hits hard stays focused throughout the game. He has a big frame at 6’2, 215-pounds and is able to initiate contact and power his way through the line and get to the backfield. He doesn’t rush plays and is very patient and is able to handle himself in a variety of open field situations. Kell can make things happen on his own and shows the ability to finish tackles and even recover and pull down opponents who appear to get a step on LBs. Cal recorded 36 tackles last season with 28 solo, one tackle for loss, 8 assists and two sacks.
Matthew McCurdy, 6’0, 160, LB, 2023, Mexico
A good athlete who has the ability to make plays on both sides of the ball. He has good size at 6’0, 170-pounds and he is able to make catches in stride and continue down the field. Shows improvement with his routes and has very good hands and real toughness to his game. He has good muscle tone and absorbs contact well, also a standout defender who hits hard and can anticipate routes and put himself in a position to make a play. Last season he had 73 total tackles with 25 solo and 48 assists with 2 sacks and two interceptions.
Austin Romaine, 6’2, 220, LB, 2023, Hillsboro @AustinRomaine2
A two-way prospect who can make some impressive plays as both a linebacker and a rushing option. He has great size and height and shows good speed and footwork. He is very good at anticipating ball carriers and can finish plays and make it difficult for players out of the backfield, but is also a good ball carrier himself. He hits hard and is good at targeting the ball and finishing plays in space. He recorded 85 tackles last season with 19 tackles for loss, eight sacks and one interception. He also had 1,047 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns on the ground and three touchdowns through the air with 15 receptions for 172 yards.
Ty Rudd, 5’11, 205, LB, 2023, Fort Zumwalt East @TyRudd2303
A smart and athletic linebacker who brings great leadership and consistency to the field. He is a second team all-district linebacker who hits hard and is able to overwhelm opponents in a variety of situations. An underrated linebacker in the area who can read plays and apply strong pressure wherever he is asked to play. Rudd recorded 70 tackles for the season with 15 solo, three tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery. He also had nine rushing attempts for 129 yards and one touchdown and one two-point conversion while averaging a strong 14.3 yards per carry.
DeAdrian Sharp, 6’0, 190, LB, 2023, McCluer
An impressive and extremely underrated LB and occasional DE who shows good speed and a high level ability to stop the ball. A player who is currently flying under the radar, Sharp is a very athletic 2023 LB who can move well and make big hits and good tackles. He is smart and reacts and doesn’t overthink plays and can fight off blockers and make things happen through the air. He recorded an astounding 139 total tackles his junior year with 77 solo, 62 assists, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions. An important player to keep your eyes on.
Michael Thrash, 6’0, 205, LB, 2023, Scottsbluff (Neb.) @Michaelthrash22
A strong and tough linebacker who can command the middle of the field and find his way to the ball carrier. He has good hands and a stout frame and just finds the quickest route to the ball. He is capable of pushing and clawing his way past tackles and some guards and can trip up players or pull them down from behind. He has good strength overall and quick feet, he has some shiftiness and bounce and just looks to attack and out work and out hustle the opponents he’s matched up against.
Draven VanGilder, 5’9, 195, LB, 2023, Joplin @DravenVanGilder
Joplin standout Draven VanGilder is an emerging prospect who can hit hard, make big plays in space and easily stop the run. A first team all-state, all-district and all-conference LB who shows a high level of production and good technique overall. VanGilder has terrific footwork and can stop and flip his hips and quickly regain ground and make physical tackles. He has good vision as well and he plays extremely hard and sees the field well and can anticipate plays and completely knock the wind out of ball carriers. Last season he recorded an astounding 173 total tackles with five tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, four QBH, three pass deflections and one field goal blocked.
Zane West, 6’0, 175, LB, 2023, Potosi @zanewest_32
An energetic defensive prospect who shows good footwork and ever improving technique. He has quick feet and can explode off his back foot and quickly get to the ball carrier and make a play. He has good size and muscle tone and is constantly working and looking for ways to gain an advantage both with his strength and IQ. He plays hard and has good mobility and can make plays both as a middle linebacker and outside linebacker, capable of staying with skill players and making plays in space and along the sideline. A good stock riser and underrated athlete.