Virginia LB Justin London

This article, published as a premium article on 9/26, is being republished for the benefit of non-subscribers.<br><br>Justin London is one of the premier high school middle linebackers, and has an offer from Penn State.

The 6'2", 222-pound athlete (4.62 40-yard dash) amassed an incredible 152 tackles last year. He also had 8 sacks. His outstanding play has earned him several scholarship offers, including one from Penn State.

Justin plays for Northside High in Roanoke, VA.  His team lost a lot of starters from last years team and is struggling this year.  They are currently 1-3.  Justin started playing on offense this year to help out.

"I play wingback on offense," Justin said.  "It's like a flanker type position.  I'm in there the whole time on offense unless I come out for a breather.  We run the I-formation with a tight end, me as a wingback and a wideout."

However, it is his outstanding play at LB, his favorite position, that has gotten him so much attention.

"I have around 11 offers officially," he said.  "A lot of schools have offered me over the phone but I haven't received the letters yet.  I have offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, NC State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Penn State, East Carolina and some others."

"I haven't received an offer from UCLA yet," he said.  "I was always interested in them and followed them when I was younger.  I still do.  They're one of my favorites.  NC State was the team I followed most of the time, because my dad played for them.  He played DB for NC State and later for the Browns.  He was good.  He was a 225-pound DB and ran a 4.4."

Both of his parents graduated from NC State.  They are not pushing Justin in any direction, however, but want Justin to go where he feels most comfortable.

Justin attended a Nike Camp at San Diego State this summer so that he could be seen by UCLA.  UCLA has not yet officially offered Justin, but an offer could come soon.

"If they offered right now, they would not be my favorite, just because I haven't been around the program much," he said.  "But, I do plan on visiting.  They told me that I have a scholarship there.  I just haven't received a letter from them.  The recruiting coordinator, Gary Bernardi, called me last Thursday and told me to start thinking about some dates for visits.  I'll probably visit in January.  I was out there when I went to a Nike Camp at San Diego State.  I talked to a sports writer at the camp and I ended up visiting UCLA before I left.  The athletic director and the linebacker coach took me around a little bit and I got to sit in on some meetings.  I was also able to watch them scrimmage that night.  I liked it.  I just think it would be kind of hard to concentrate there because there are a lot of beaches and fun stuff out there.  It could be a distraction during my freshman year, but after I get into the swing of things it should be fine.  I just have to pray about it."

Justin favors two teams at this time.

"Tennessee and Virginia Tech are my top two in no particular order," he said definitively.  "Virginia is recruiting me the hardest, but they're not in my top five.  I just didn't feel comfortable there.  My friend Tommy Morgan walked on to Virginia Tech and he's redshirting there now.  A lot of my other friends that don't play football go to Tech too.  One of my best friends ended up at Tech.  That might have something to do with my decision, but probably not, because there are always new people out there.  Coach Amato at NC State coached my dad at NC State, so my dad knows him pretty well.  The OLB coach at Virginia Tech, Coach Cavanaugh, was my dad's coach at NC State as well."

He currently has only one official visit scheduled so far.  He will visit NC State in December from the 7th to the 9th.  He will also visit Tennessee, Virginia Tech and UCLA.  The last official visit will go to one of three teams.

"It'll be between West Virginia, Penn State and Maryland," Justin said.

He has already unofficially visited Virginia Tech, NC State, West Virginia, UCLA and Virginia.

"I'm going to visit Tennessee unofficially next weekend, October 5th and 6th," he said.  "I'm going to check out a game and talk to some coaches."

He went to summer school this summer and was unable to attend many camps.  He did attend a couple sessions of the Virginia Tech camp since it was so close.

Justin is fully qualified and will most likely take all of his trips before he commits.

"I'm looking to see where I feel the most comfortable," he said.  "I'd like to know a couple of people at the school.  Basically, every school I'm looking at has a good business program."

Justin is a Lavar Arrington fan and had Penn State high on his list at one point in time.

"I am a Lavar Arrington fan," he said.  "They [Penn State] have dropped a lot though because of the fact that their program is going down pretty fast.  I don't think the coaching staff is going to be there too much longer and I don't want to have a coaching change while I'm at a school.  They started recruiting me early.  They were high [on his list] early, like when I was going into 11th grade.  That was based on my love for linebackers that come out of Penn State.  It is a linebacker school.  I have a top 10 school in my own backyard so that definitely makes a big difference.  Why go to a school that's not ranked when you can go to a #9 school in the country or a #7 school in the country."

Penn State still has a chance with Justin though.

"The last visit is going to be between them [PSU], Maryland and West Virginia," he said.  "I like the Maryland area.  I have family up there too.  My uncle went to Maryland and he said he loved it.  It is the ACC though and I'm kind of trying to stay away from the ACC because I don't know how many teams other than Florida State are going to win the ACC every year.  Carolina killed Florida State this weekend so you never know.  I like West Virginia too.  I like the people up there and I like the coaching staff.  Everybody's real nice and the place is real nice.  It's cool up there.  They're crazy about football."

He will be watching his favorite teams this year to see how they do.

"Definitely," he said.  "I'm doing my research right now."

Fight On State Top Stories