Feb. 15, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Credit Florida State's well-respected Criminal Justice program with the assist on this one.
Consensus four-star linebacker Markuss Eligwe publicly committed to FSU last April and remained firm with that decision until the very end of the recruiting process when the University of California wowed him with a late official visit.
Eligwe knew he loved FSU, its campus and the type of defense utilized by coordinator Mark Stoops. He also knew he wouldn't have to travel far from his Stone Mountain, Ga. home to attend school and his family would be within driving distance to see him play.
But the lure of the West Coast and Cal's Berkley campus gave him enough pause that he toyed with delaying the signing of his letter to FSU.
Luckily for Florida State's coaches, they had an ace up their sleeve -- the academic kind -- and Eligwe inked with the 'Noles as originally planned.
"This is a very intelligent kid," said FSU wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey, who served as Eligwe's primary recruiter. "He mainly chose Florida State because of academics before football. His major is Criminal Justice and we have the top program in the nation and that was a deciding factor for Markuss."
"You talk about a very smart, well thought-out, very well-mannered, sharp young man," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher added.
While Eligwe is sure to make his mark in the classroom, the talented linebacker has the credentials to do the same on the football field
Eligwe was rated as one of the nation's best linebackers by each recruiting service because of his ability to play inside or outside, his speed, coverage skills and ability to stop the run.
At FSU, he will have the opportunity to compete for playing time at all three linebacker positions as he helps ease the losses of starter Nigel Bradham to graduation and Arrington Jenkins to transfer.
Without Bradham or Jenkins and with the unknown health status of Holmes Onwukaife, FSU isn't particularly deep at the linebacker position making the signings of both Eligwe and Reggie Northrup all the more important.
"He can middle linebacker, he can play the Sam, he can play the Will," Dawsey said about Eligwe. "He also was the starting quarterback for his football team. He's about 6-3 right now, he's about 235 pounds and he can play from sideline to sideline.
"We are making tremendous strides in what we are trying to do with the size and speed of the kids we are bringing in and we are expecting a lot."
Previous Signee Breakdowns: