February 01, 2012
First Coast (Jacksonville, Fla.) High and its star linebacker Reggie Northrup are not strangers to Florida State.
Apparently the tradition of First Coast to FSU will continue.
On Wednesday morning, Northrup decided to continue the pipeline and become a Seminole.
"I just committed to Florida State. That place just felt like home for me. I knew after the official visit that was where I was headed, "said Northrup.
He chose FSU over Miami, Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio State.
Florida State has had a steady stream of First Coast signees in years past, and this season, the linebacker position was an imperative need. So much so, FSU coaches put the full court press for Northrup despite his commitment to Miami. A week prior to his official visit on Jan. 20, Lawrence Dawsey and Odell Haggins both dropped in to see him. Then, a few days before his trip to Tallahassee, linebackers coach Greg Hudson and receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey returned to Jacksonville to see him.
"It was all a big family at FSU so that was a big difference for me. I have such a close relationship with Coach Dawsey. I can't wait to get there and get to work," he said.
Although Northrup visited FSU three times previously, his official visit was an eye opening experience. He got a better understanding of the academics, football program and got more in-depth time with the coaches. He especially took notice of how much the coaches love their players and the family atmosphere.
Northrup added a little spice to the decision on National Signing Day when he had hats of North Carolina, Miami and Clemson all on the table. However, in making his decision Northrup ripped open his shirt where he had a Superman shirt and underneath was a FSU shirt.
"I wanted to keep it pretty much a secret about what was going to happen and keep everyone guessing," said Northrup.
He also talked about where he will be lining up in what linebacker position.
"I can play either Will or Mike linebacker, but it doesn't matter to me. I feel that I bring a lot of hitting to that position. I just can't wait to get to work," he noted.
Some of the factors he considered when breaking down all his finalists were if he could picture himself at that school, a quality coaching staff and being able to compete for a starting spot. He seemede to find all three at Florida State.
The 6-foot-2, 218-pound, four-star prospect has shown that he can play all three linebacker positions (weak side, middle and strong side). However, he played the weak side position most this past season at First Coast and that appears what FSU likes as well.
In his senior season, Northrup had 196 tackles including 10 sacks and 39 tackles for loss and helped lead his Bucs to the state title game.
Rivals.com ranks Northrup as No. 30 at his position and No. 40 in the state.
-- Michael Langston, Warchant.com
- FlaVarsity.com's David Hickox contributed to this report.