Rick O'Brien: Here are the go-to guys among area linebackers

Our position-by-position rankings continue with a review of the best linebackers in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

In compiling this top-10 list, we considered a player's toughness, open-field tackling ability, instincts in sniffing out the pigskin, and potential to play at the next level.

1. Matt Galambos, senior, 6-foot-2, 225 pounds. Smart and rugged, Galambos, who is ticketed for Pittsburgh, was a driving force behind the Fords' 7-4 campaign. He also played running back and tight end.

2. Diquan Gilbert, Communications Tech, Sr., 6-1, 195. This versatile performer, also a running back and long-snapper, is drawing interest from Penn State and Boston College.

3. Shane Dougherty, Ridley, Sr., 5-10, 195. Green Raiders defensive coordinator Ralph Batty can't say enough good things about the hardworking Dougherty.

4. Todd Jones, St. Joseph's Prep, Sr., 6-2, 210. He showed his season-long mettle by totaling 26 tackles (17 solos) in two Catholic League Class AAAA playoff games.

5. Tyler Burke, Coatesville, Jr., 6-4, 240. His solid play has been key in the Red Raiders' run to the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA semifinals. He's also a threat at tight end.

6. Brandon Chatmon, Imhotep Charter, Sr., 6-2, 220. In Friday's 40-8 triumph over West Catholic, Chatmon helped limit Greg White and the Burrs to 116 rushing yards.

7. Tommy Hose, Pennsbury, Sr., 6-1, 210. The Falcons' defensive headliner, a good fit for a Division II program such as West Chester, also contributed as a wingback.

8. Colby Johnson, Souderton, Sr., 5-10, 215. For the 7-4 Indians, Johnson, also a brute at offensive guard, registered a team-high 71 tackles.

9. Chris Cruz, Roman Catholic, Sr., 6-0, 220. A ball-hawking defender, Cruz, also a tight end, earned first-team all-Catholic League Class AAAA honors.

10. Zaire Franklin, La Salle, Jr., 6-2, 215. Franklin registered 14 tackles, including eight solo stops, in the Catholic League Class AAAA final vs. St. Joseph's Prep.

Twenty others to watch, listed alphabetically: Jeff Adams, Pottsgrove, Jr., 6-2, 190; John Antiskay, St. Joseph's Prep, Sr., 6-0, 205; Deion Cleveland, Glen Mills, Sr., 6-1, 225; Pete Donovan, Central Bucks East, Sr., 6-1, 195; Mike Dougherty, Springfield (Delco), Sr., 5-10, 200; Kevin Duggan, Central Bucks West, Sr., 6-0, 200; Nate English, Council Rock North, Sr., 6-2, 215; Rashon Fentress, Interboro, Sr., 6-3, 215; Charlie Fisher, Pennsbury, Sr., 5-7, 175; ; Rob Gorman, Germantown Academy, Sr., 5-11, 205; Evan Harvey, Archbishop Carroll, Sr., 6-0, 220; Pat Krimm, Council Rock North, Sr., 6-1, 205; Shawn Luterman, Haverford High, Sr., 6-2, 160; Wade Mastrog, Downingtown East, Sr., 6-1, 225; Matt McLaughlin, Episcopal Academy, Sr., 6-3, 215; Nick Moriconi, Cardinal O'Hara, Sr., 5-11, 195; David Pulliam, Northeast, Sr., 6-2, 200; Trent Simmons, La Salle, Sr., 6-0, 220; Sean Steinmetz, West Chester Rustin, Jr., 6-0, 220; Brian Toal, Neshaminy, Sr., 5-11, 192.

Extra points. Imhotep Charter senior tailback David Williams is scheduled to take an official visit to Tennessee next weekend. His next stop after Knoxville likely will be South Carolina. He already has visited Arizona State. . . . In Imhotep's 40-8 win over West Catholic on Friday, the Panthers (10 for 95) and Burrs (11 for 101) combined for 21 penalties for 196 yards. Imhotep totaled 325 rushing yards on 50 attempts. It was the first time West had allowed 40 points since a 42-34 nonleague loss to La Salle in Week 3 of the 2006 season.

Since Pennridge is playing Quakertown on Thanksgiving Day and Spring-Ford is facing Phoenixville the night before, the District 1 Class AAAA semifinal between Pennridge and Spring-Ford has been pushed back a day. The teams will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at Poppy Yoder Field.

Coatesville's Emmitt Hunt has completed 105 of 169 passes (62.1 percent) for 2,263 yards and an area-best 32 touchdowns. The yardage mark is second only to Downingtown East's Kyle Lauletta (2,307).

Interboro, with Friday's 22-21 win over Del-Val League rival Academy Park, advanced to the District 1 Class AAA final for the first time since 2009. The No. 3-seeded Bucs will face No. 4 West Chester Henderson at 7 p.m. Friday at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

In the first round of states, Bristol, the District 1-12 Class A champ, is tentatively scheduled to meet the District 11 survivor at 1 p.m. Saturday at Souderton.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @ozoneinq. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone.