Los Angeles- There appeared to be a talented group of linebackers at the Home Depot Center on Tuesday as many of the country's major programs including USC, Miami and Michigan are represented along with some potential hidden gems from Bowie State and Furman. Tuesday's practices were of the non-contact variety, so it was a little difficult to measure the impact of the position.
The player who certainly looks the part of an NFL linebacker is USC's Chris Galippo. Despite having an injury-riddled career which caused him not to live up to some lofty expectations, the 6-foot-2 inch, 250 pound Galippo is on the NFL radar as a potential middle-round draft pick.
"I'm just out here working as hard as I can," Galippo said.
Although Galippo will not go down alongside of Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews, he showed an ability on the first day of practices to stand out amongst his National roster competition. Galippo was very quick to the football, and showed excellent ball skills as he intercepted a G.J. Kinne pass in a 7-on-7 drill.
"I think I had a good day," said the now former Trojan. "It's a little different trying to get used to playing with new guys."
Another former big school player who shined on the American roster was former University of Miami linebacker Jordan Futch. The 6-foot-3, 235 pound linebacker is versatile enough to play on the inside and outside and showcased his skills as he had a nice interception on Tartleton State quarterback Nick Stephens.
Like most players from "The U," Futch showed good speed and a willingness to get a little scappy.
"It's really great to be here and I'm thankful for the opportunity," Futch said following practice.
A potential small school gem is Bowie State linebacker Delano Johnson. The 6-foot-4 inch, 252 pound linebacker is put together well and was quick to the football moving forward. Johnson could be a nice late-round fit for a 3-4 team that's looking for another pass rusher.
Johnson looks the part of an imposing rusher and he is a player who should excel when the teams begin hitting. At his size and with the limited preparation, the wide open 7-on-7 passing drills were not Johnson's strengths and we look forward to seeing more of the Bowie State Bulldog this week.