One of several area players primed to make an impact for a Division I program this year, Sweat (6-2, 238) is a bit bigger than he was during his days with the Hillers, and the senior ranks as the Buckeyes most experienced linebacker. He'll start on the weak side, and Sweat has earned praise for his play leading into the season.
Chad Hagan, Sweat's teammate and a Canon-McMillan graduate, has worked his way onto the depth chart at linebacker. Hagan (6-1, 225) has all the tools and it appears the Buckeyes coaching staff is getting the best out of the redshirt freshman. Hagan is the backup to injury-prone Etienne Sabino at strong side linebacker and could see considerable playing time.
Mike Hull, who graduated from C-M with Hagan, is a redshirt freshman at Penn State and the backup at weakside linebacker. Hull (6-0, 225) is backing up junior Gerald Hodges has continued to show his knack for finding the football that he displayed at Canon-McMillan, which should come in handy on special teams.
Mike Yancich graduated Trinity with Sweat and opted to play linebacker for Penn State. Last year, it looked like Yancich was poised to make an impact and he saw considerable action but was moved to tight end for spring practice. The athletically gifted Yancich (6-2, 235) has moved back to linebacker and is No. 3 on the depth chart at middle linebacker.
Jeravin Matthews, like Yancich, has bounced around from offense (wide receiver, running back) to defense while at Northwestern but the speedy Canon-McMillan product seems to have found a home at cornerback. Matthews (5-11, 180), a former Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, will see his share of action as he starts opposite All-Conference honorable mention corner Jordan Mabin.
Photo courtesy of Lance Vallee