Cast your vote for the best middle linebacker in Middle Georgia over the past decade.
Thomas Barnes, Dublin: Named the consensus Class AA Defensive Player of the Year (AJC, GACA, AP) in 2006 after leading the Irish defense to a state championship. Named to the GACA all-state team as a sophomore. He was an honorable mention all-state player as a junior. Had 67 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. Rarely played full games. Leader of a defense that allowed three points in 10 regular season games in 2005.
Brian Buford, Warner Robins: Buford was a consensus all-state pick in 2006 as a senior. Led Demons to 2006 state semifinals. Led team with 149 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and a sack. Holds school record for tackles. Played in the GACA all-star game. Named honorable mention all-state as a junior. Signed with Valdosta State.
De’Onte Burnam, Dooly County: Burnam was named the Class A Defensive Player in 2002 when the Bobcats advanced to the state championship game following a 1-6 start. Had a reported 235 tackles as a senior. Burnam was an honorable mention all-state pick in 2000. Signed with Central Michigan.
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Kevis Burnam, Macon County: He was a conensus all-state pick as a senior in 2001. Finished his senior season with 150 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions. He had 90 tackles and five sacks as a junior. Region defensive player of the year as a senior. Signed with Auburn.
Julian Burnett, Westside: Named All-Middle Georgia Player of the Year in 2008. Also named the AP Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, and finished third in the voting for All-Classification Player of the Year as a senior. Burnett was the only All-Middle Georgia Player of the Year this decade who played primarily on defense. Had 154 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and six sacks as a junior. Started a few games this year as a true freshman for Georgia Tech.
Corico Hawkins, Baldwin: Hawkins might be the best linebacker in school history, which is saying a ton because he followed Leroy Hill. He was named to the All-Middle Georgia team twice, and was a consensus all-state pick as a junior and as a senior. He had 97 tackles and 22 tackles for loss as a junior. Hawkins is a freshman at Clemson.
LeRoy Hill, Baldwin: Hill was a consensus first-team all-state pick in 2000. Finished with 150 tackles as a senior. Later went on to become the ACC Defensive Player of the Year at Clemson and currently plays for the Seattle Seahawks.
Brad Jefferson, Johnson County: Jefferson received consensus all-state honors as a senior in 2006. Finished with 78 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He was an honorable mention pick in 2005. Currently plays at Georgia Tech.
Deonta Jordan, Northside: Jordan was named the Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year by all three major all-state voting groups in 2006 when he led a Northside defense that helped the Eagles win their first state championship. Named all-state by the GACA as a junior in 2005. He had 121 tackles and seven sacks as a junior.