Leader Emerges for Nation's 32nd-Ranked ILB DeAndre Fitz-Henley

A school hailing out of the Midwest is sitting atop the list for DeAndre Fitz-Henley, the fifth-ranked inside linebacker in the Sunshine State.

Deandre Fitz-Henley is a throwback type of linebacker with a tone-setting mentality in the middle of the defense. He diagnoses plays very well, and does a good job of breaking down and shuffling his feet before striking through the gaps.

Fitz-Henley, the nation's 32nd-ranked inside linebacker, might not be equipped with the prototypical size that is coveted in today's day and age of college football, but is a productive kid who plays sideline to sideline. 

"My top school right now is Toledo," Fitz-Henley said. "I like the way the coaching staff is talking a big factor for me, which is being given an opportunity to start from the get-go.

"They also have a great law school, which is what I want to get into when I go off to college."


Marquel Blackwell, a Pinellas County native himself who starred at quarterback for the University of South Florida, is Fitz-Henley's go-to contact at Toledo.

"Me and (running backs) coach (Marquel) Blackwell talk often," Fitz-Henley said. "He just keeps things real with me, and it also helps that he's from around here and has that knowledge of been there, done that."

Fitz-Henley, who holds roughly a dozen offers, says Colorado State and Appalachian State are the two additional schools pushing hardest for his services.

Like with the Rockets, coach Mike Bobo and Colorado State envision Fitz-Henley making a splash sooner than later.

"It's kind of the same thing with Toledo," Fitz-Henley said. "They told me I could come and start right away."

Fitz-Henley has not scheduled a date, but plans to journey up to Toledo in the foreseeable future.

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