Florida State linebacker Reggie Northrup was the team leader in tackles for the 2014 season with 122. However, in the final game of the season against Oregon, Northrup tore his ACL putting his status for the 2015 season in jeopardy. He knew that the injury was bad as soon as it happened.
“I knew I was hurt because normally when I’m hurt or banged up I still try to play,” Northrup said. “I was aware it was kind of messed up.”
Florida State’s linebacking corps was already thin with Northrup in the lineup so losing him would have been a major blow. He knew how much the team needed him and made every effort to come back as soon as possible from the injury.
“Once I got started in my rehab program I took it seriously,” Northrup said. “Sacrificed sleep and free time to get my rehab workouts in to be right for the team.”
Northrup had surgery late in January and for the first five months he was constantly working out trying to get his knee back in shape.
“A lot of strengthening,” Northrup said. “Squats, leg presses, single leg presses, knee extensions, calf raises, calf presses. A lot of treatment. Hydrotherapy. Running on the little G machine. A whole bunch of stuff.”
Those workouts paid off and by the time July rolled around he was back running with the team.
“I started getting out and moving around in July,” Northrup said. “I started running with the team. Summer workouts and stuff. Just getting stronger and stronger.”
Despite participating in summer workouts it wasn’t until right before practice started that he really felt like he was back to 100-percent.
“Before we started practicing and stuff I would do bag drills and a lot of football movements,” Northrup said. “The linebackers used to meet up and do bag drills and drop in coverages and stuff. I was able to do that with my teammates so I knew I would be okay.”
After the first couple days of practice Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is putting the pressure on Northrup to continue to get better.
“Reggie’s got to play better and I told him today,” Northrup said. “Terrance is really playing good. Reggie is playing good but he needs to play better.”
That’s not the first time coach Fisher has tried to light a fire under Northrup. Last fall Northrup was dropped on the depth chart behind E.J. Levenberry for a practice, and coach Fisher called him out. Northrup responded by taking that job and never looked back. It will be interesting to see if he can do that again this year.