Rivals Los Angeles Combine: Top Middle School Linebackers
The Rivals Combine Series kicked off its annual spring slate of events on February 26th in Los Angeles. The combine, largely geared towards high school athletes, saw a total 1,085 kids go through combine testing drills such as the 40-yard…
The Rivals Combine Series kicked off its annual spring slate of events on February 26th in Los Angeles. The combine, largely geared towards high school athletes, saw a total 1,085 kids go through combine testing drills such as the 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, vertical jump, broad jump and shuttle run. The top performing athletes from the combine on Saturday, were then invited back on Sunday to compete with the upperclassmen.
Jacob Cruz | Linebacker | California | 2026
If you play for the Orange County Buckeyes, you more than likely have Division 1 ability–and that’s the case with Cruz. The outside linebacker measured in at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds and entered the combine already holding an offer from Louisville. At the combine he proved it wasn’t a fluke, as he showed off his athletic ability and posted up top-10 finishes in both the broad jump (99″) and vertical jump with a 25.1″. He will be attending Bishop Amat in the fall.
| Linebacker | California 2026
I feel like we’ve seen Smith everywhere recently, and it’s only March. The throwback Mike linebacker measured in at just under 6-foot and a stout 202 pounds. At this point Smith is a built like a brick house and has the strength portion of his game covered, but there is room for improvement in the speed and quickness aspect of his game. He’s in the weight room nearly every day and there’s no concerns about improvement–he’s going to get there.
Aisa Taeleifi | Linebacker | California | 2026
The big, hard-hitting linebacker tipped the scales at 193 pounds and measured in at 5-foot-10. Though his testing times weren’t elite, but there’s no denying he has the ability to be a very good player. For a linebacker at this level he moved well enough with a 5.113 in the 3-cone drill and showed good lower body strength and explosion with an 89-inch broad jump.
There were a couple very large middle linebackers in attendance at the combine, namely Gabriel Alvarado. Alvarado measured in at 6-foot-2 and 268 pounds. Despite that size, he clocked in at 5.119 in the forty yard dash–which is moving for a guy that size. I look for him to transition to a defensive end or extremely athletic tackle. Keep him in mind.