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Meet The 2019 Class: Inside linebacker

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

The 2019 class is officially on the clock and with the early Signing Period just about nine months away and the first opportunity for prospects to take official visits coming this spring, it’s time for recruiting fans from across the country to start familiarizing themselves with the class of 2019.

We at Rivals.com are here to help. Over the next two weeks, we will introduce the top five players at each position in the class. Today we take a look at inside linebacker.

MEET THE 2019 CLASS: PQB | DTQB | AP RB | RB | WR | TE | OL | SDE | DT | DE | OLB

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Shane Lee
Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

Early contenders: Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, among others.

Breakdown: Lee has kept a pretty low profile since his junior season ended, but he did pop up at Ohio State for an unofficial visit last month. The trip to Columbus was the second for Lee in the past seven months after he camped with the Buckeyes over the summer. Lee also took fall visits to Michigan and Penn State and both schools are expected to host him again sometime soon while in-state school Maryland will also be a factor. Despite his national list of offers, it’s shaping up to be a heated Big Ten battle for Lee’s signature.

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Henry To'oto'o
Rivals.com

Early contenders: UCLA, Washington, Notre Dame, Michigan, USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Alabama, Utah, among others.

Breakdown: To’oto’o already has a long list of offers, but that hasn’t stopped new programs from continuing to add to his offer list. While Alabama and Michigan have been mentioned quite a bit with To’oto’o, several Pac-12 programs like their chances to keep him on the West Coast. UCLA, Washington and Oregon already have a nice start in their pursuit of To’oto’o, but with his recruitment expected play out slowly, look for several different twists and turns before he makes a decision.

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Maninoa Tufono
Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

Early contenders: Oregon, Washington, Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Tennessee, among others.

Breakdown: Tufono has already been clear that he has no intentions of making a decision before the end of his senior season and, as a native of Hawaii, it’s not exactly easy for him to take several visits to campuses on the mainland. Nevertheless, he’s set to visit USC and UCLA this month and has mentioned several other programs as possible visit destinations. The programs that he visits now will have a chance to make an early impression, but expect his recruitment to heat up once he starts taking official visits later this year.

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Daniel Heimuli

Early contenders: Illinois, Washington, LSU, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Utah, among others.

Breakdown: Heimuli has seen his recruitment take off over the past month with several major programs joining his offer list. After receiving an offer from Washington as part of the recent spree, Heimuli quickly declared the Huskies his leader. Heimuli has yet to visit Seattle, but he is hoping to rectify that soon. With so many new schools showing him attention, expect Heimuli to take several visits before truly cutting down his list, but also expect Pac-12 programs like UW, Oregon, USC and UCLA to play a major role in his recruitment.

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Lavonta Bentley
Rivals.com

Early contenders: Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, among others.

Breakdown: Bentley is farther down the road on his recruitment than some other prospects on this list, with Clemson, Alabama and Auburn shaping up for a battle to land his commitment. Bentley recently visited Clemson and has raved about his relationship with the Tigers' coaches. But anytime an elite prospect from the state of Alabama is wanted by the in-state schools, it’s an uphill battle for anyone. All three programs will likely get visits before he makes a decision, but don’t expect his recruitment to linger deep into the fall without a commitment.