RW Recruiting: 4-star LB David Bailey shines in No. 1 Mater Dei’s win over Duncanville
OXFORD, Miss. — Just as any great offense has its leader, the quarterback, the defensive side of the ball is no different. You could say the anchor of a defense manifests in the linebacker position. To me, the traits of an elite linebacker are something found in the words of the late, great Muhammad Ali: “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee – His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”
If there ever was a position in football that requires versatility, it is this one. Linebackers are the force that must be able to stop the run game but must also be athletic enough to play the pass.
While we completely expect the Ole Miss defense to be much improved this season, a big factor in its resurgence will be the continued recruitment of top athletes. The 2022 class could be a key component in the Rebs’ defensive revival.
Friday Night Lights: David Bailey shines on Nation’s No. 1 team, Mater Dei
Last night, from coast to coast, Friday Night Lights returned, providing a huge stage for some of the nation’s top high school programs and prospects. One of the showdown games that football fans had their eyes upon was the Cali-Texas matchup between No. 1 Mater Dei and the No. 13 Texas 6A powerhouse Duncanville Panthers.
In his 33rd season with the Monarchs, head coach Bruce Rollison brought that “Cali Chaos,” and his team left its mark in DFW by steamrolling the Panthers, 45-4. The game featured forty players who have at least one FBS offer.
Mater Dei is a storied program that in the high school world needs no introduction.They solidified their No. 1 national ranking on both sides of the ball last night. So, let’s get to the meat of the matter — you’re probably wondering why I am asking Ole Miss fans to keep an on on this SoCal team.
Two words — David Bailey.
The 4-star Mater Dei linebacker, who stands at 6-foot-5 inches and weighs in at 225 pounds, is one of the best in the nation at his position. He is the No. 68 overall athlete in the class of 2022, the No.8 linebacker in the nation, and the No. 5 athlete at any position in California.
David Bailey 4 star Mater Dei Stud DE pic.twitter.com/sOTXS6sDl3
— Saddleback Strength (@SaddlebackStre1) June 30, 2020
He has offers from: Cal, Stanford, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Colorado, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Washington. He holds SEC offers from LSU and Alabama.
Quick Scouting on Bailey
Here’s what Greg Biggins, national recruiting analyst for 247Sports has to say about Bailey:
“Long, athletic pass rusher with unlimited upside. A natural pass rusher who’s explosive off the edge uses his hands well and has very good closing speed. He’s a naturally strong kid who can bull rush an opposing tackle or beat with him with sheer speed. He’s versatile enough to drop in coverage and can break down in space. He’s an excellent open-field tackler and has the athleticism to run down plays from behind. He has a college body right now and is still just scratching the surface of how good he can be as he’s still a relative newcomer to football. When you look at his frame, natural athletic ability, toughness, and motor, there aren’t many players in the ’22 class with more long term potential.”
– Greg Biggins, National Recruiting Analyst 247 Sports
Takeaways From Watching Bailey vs. Duncanville
One of the key successes to Mater Dei’s victory and top ranking is their defensive talent — and you can’t talk about that without mentioning Bailey. It’s no surprise he had great success lining up as a standing edge rusher and off the ball in the traditional linebacker role. He left no room to breathe for Panthers QB Solomon James, and in the process rarely was unsuccessful in taking down any ball carriers breaking through that Mater Dei defensive front.
Bailey has obvious athletic ability and talent, but he could also be a franchise-level player for the Rebels and fill a big need in the 2022 class. Cali-to-the-Sip seems to breed greatness, so perhaps we will start to hear more about Bailey.
Mater Dei will take on Liberty (Henderson, NV) in another road non-conference game on September 10, 2021. We’ll continue to monitor this defensive talent!
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.