Florida State is just a few months away from the start of fall camp. To help get you there, the Osceola and Noles247 will break down the 85-man roster in numerical order. Up next is No. 52, linebacker Markuss Eligwe.
Eligwe is slated to be the No. 2 SLB heading into fall camp.
No. 52: Ukeme "Markuss" Eligwe
Redshirt freshman linebacker
Stone Mountain, Ga.
Out of high school: A top ten linebacker in the country, Ukeme Eligwe was both a member of the US Army All-American team and SI.com’s Second Team All-American squad.
Eligwe was a four-star prospect out of Stone Mountain High in Georgia and 247Sports had him ranked highly, not only among linebackers, but also amongst other recruits in the 2012 recruiting class. Cracking the top 100, Eligwe made the No. 96 spot and was considered the No. 7 outside linebacker in the nation.
Scouted as either outside or inside linebacker, Eligwe has been noted on his ability and strength to shed blocks and distance himself from defenders while going after the ball. He also showed nice speed for his size and position, clocking in at 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
The four-star prospect had scholarship offers from over 25 other schools and chose Florida State for not only it’s football program, but for it’s nationally ranked criminology program. He was recruited by former FSU assistant Dameyune Craig.
The story so far: With Eligwe redshirting his freshman year due to a hand injury, there hasn’t been much of a story to tell. He has a promising future for the Seminoles and had an impressive fall camp last year for the special teams.
Eligwe had a good spring as well this year and posted eight tackles in the Garnet and Gold Game.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher noted that Eligwe “flashed at times” during the game, setting up for what hopes to be a stepping stone for the upcoming season.
2013 Forecast: While last fall didn’t come with any playing time for Eligwe, he did well enough during the spring to earn a spot behind Terrance Smith at strong-side linebacker.
FSU's linebacking corps has been a bit of an oddity since Jimbo Fisher took over in 2010. At times, the group lagged behind the defensive line and secondary and the Seminoles often went to multiple-DB formations at the expense of a linebacker or two. That doesn't figure to change under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who comes from a DB-heavy defensive scheme at Alabama.
That doesn't necessarily bode well for Eligwe (or, for that matter, Smith), because it's highly unlikely that seniors Christian Jones or Telvin Smith will be the first ones off the field in those nickel and dime packages.
Still, there will be plenty of times when the Seminoles go with four linebackers, and Eligwe has positioned himself to be a part of that rotation. And it's not as if Smith is entrenched as the starter there, either. There's certainly an opportunity for Eligwe to push for more action.