Player Spotlight: Reggie Northrup

First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Fla., has established itself as a major talent pool most Division 1 programs look at every year to see what kind of players they have on the roster. The 2011 class saw nine First Coast players sign Division 1 scholarships. The Buccaneers are still loaded and will feature rising senior, Reggie Northrup, this fall.

"I'm up to 12 offers," said Reggie Northrup. "I'm hearing from a lot of them, but I don't have any favorites right now. I'm keeping my options open and see what happens as far as other offers and taking more visits. I'd like to make a decision between spring football and the start of my senior year, so probably in the summer."

The South Carolina Gamecocks were the first program to offer Northrup, a 6-3, 202, weakside linebacker or "Will" in First Coast's 4-3 defense. Their offer came at the beginning of Northrup's junior year. He has since been offered by West Virginia, South Florida, Louisville, Miami, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Auburn, and recently Tennessee.

"It was early last month when Coach (Peter) Sirmon called me and extended a verbal offer to Tennessee," Northrup stated. "It's really a great school, very prestigious with many accomplishments. They do a good job developing their linebackers, so it's somewhere I'm very interested in checking out. I'm most likely going to visit, but I'm trying to organize my schedule now with my coach. So far I've only made three visits to Florida, South Carolina, and South Florida."

This was Northrup's first season with the First Coast Bucs after a transfer from William M. Raines High School, also in Jacksonville. He had good results making 108 tackles, eight sacks, and causing three fumbles.

"I think I got faster and improved on my covering skills," said Northrup of his junior season. "As far as hitting, locating the football, and tackling, I've always done a good job with that. I got here (First Coast) at the end of my sophomore year, right before spring football. This year I want to get some interceptions and be a team leader. I'm going to play hard and stay hungry."

First Coast defeated Raines by a field goal to complete an undefeated regular season in 2010. However, the Bucs would lose by two in the 2nd round to Fleming Island in Florida 5A. Before Northrup starts his final high school year, he hopes his college decision is behind him.

"I'm looking at going to a school that will give me the opportunity to compete to get into the rotation," said Northrup. "I don't want to be like your typical freshman and just be there to take everything in. I'm going in to work hard and earn my spot so I can play early.

"I want to study Architecture, so I'm looking at schools that offer that as a major. With the coaches, I want to talk and get to know them. I ask myself, ‘do I want this guy to be my coach for the next four years'."

The Bucs should be well stacked for head coach Marty Lee in '11. Linebacker Joseph Jackson has already committed to West Virginia. The team also has highly regarded wide receiver, Chris Black, who has five SEC offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Vanderbilt (among others) has extended an offer to defensive back Shaq Beverly. There's certainly no talent shortage at this Duval County High School.

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