Feb. 29, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For Florida State fans that have a strong distaste for the Seminoles' two in-state rivals, Reggie Northrup is surely a favorite among the 2012 signees.
The talented linebacker did after all spurn Miami on National Signing Day.
A longtime Hurricanes verbal commitment, Northrup permanently switched to FSU in time to sign his letter on intent in early February and continue the pipeline that FSU has developed at First Coast High School in Jacksonville.
When he enrolls in classes this summer, Northrup will reunite with former First-Coast stars Eric Beverly and Derrick Mitchell. Jermaine Thomas, Avis Commack and Nigel Carr are also former Buccaneers that have been on Seminoles teams in the last few years.
As the first linebacker-signee from First Coast High School since Carr, Northrup brings multidimensional value to coach Greg Hudson's corps of 'backers.
"I think he's very athletic," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "You watch him on film [he's] very instinctive. Makes a lot of plays. He's not just a run linebacker; he can cover the pass. He has good ball skills in the things he does."
Northrup joins Markuss Eligwe as the 'Noles' two linebacker prospects in the 2012 class and -- if history is any indicator -- both have the chance to play on special teams right away.
With the graduation of Nigel Bradham, transfer of Arrington Jenkins and medical disqualification of Holmes Onwukaife, FSU returns seven linebackers in 2012 -- including former safety Nick Moody -- so the chance for Northrup to work his way into the rotation is a there simply from a numbers standpoint.
And if his production in high school is any indication, he has the ability to make an early impact.
"He had 190 tackles this past year," said FSU wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey, Northrup's primary recruiter. "He had 37 tackles for loss and he's an all-state wrester as well."
Number watch: Northrup won't be able to wear the No. 9 he sported in high school and the same number former FSU linebacker Kendyll Pope donned while terrorizing offensive players. Since rising sophomore safety Karlos Williams has No. 9 for defense, Northrup will have to choose a new number once he gets to Tallahassee.