Steele is waiting for an opportunity

One of the top returning tacklers in the JUCO ranks this year is Ellsworth LB Irving Steele (6-1, 218). While he put up some gaudy numbers, he has yet to see recruiting pick up but he hopes a good summer in the classroom and a fast start to his sophomore season will draw some attention his way...

Steele enjoyed a solid prep career at Stranahan (Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.) High School, but he was missing a foreign language and that prevented him from receiving offers from four-year schools.

"My grades were good, but I didn't have a foreign language so all of these schools that were looking to offer me had to pull back," Steele recalled to "Ellsworth started recruiting me and they said I should come up and play for them and I just decided it was a great place for me because all I had to focus on was football and school and making sure I got to where I needed to be both academically and on the field."

As a prep, Steele played almost exclusively at defensive end, so when he arrived at Ellsworth and made the move to linebacker, there was a bit of a learning curve and his coaches decided the best move was for him to redshirt.

"It was frustrating and I wasn't real happy (about redshirting), but now I see how it has benefitted me and I'm glad that I did," Steele admitted. "I was able to get used to playing linebacker and just get comfortable with things and that helped me have a big season last year."

Big is an understatement.

Steele is one of the leading returning tacklers in the nation after totaling 110 stops with 16 tackles-for-loss and an interception.

"I have good instincts and that helps me a lot," Steele noted. "I can read the play and then I have the quickness to get there and make the tackle.

"I study film a lot. A lot of guys take that for granted, but I am always studying film and that helps me recognize things and, most of the time, I know what the play is before the offense runs it."

On the recruiting front, you would think that schools would be clamoring to get into the mix for a talented defensive prospect like Steele, but so far the interest has been tepid at best.

"Akron has been sending me stuff and I took a visit with my teammates (J.T. Tolbert and Devante Averette) to Iowa State in the spring and that's about it right now," Steele said. "I am hoping that I get a fast start to my sophomore season so schools can get a look at what I can do. I feel like I can play at the highest level, but I just need someone to take a chance on me so I can prove it."

Steele has been hard at work this summer, taking a total of 21 credits, so that he can sign with a school in December and he will have two years to play two following the 2013 football season.

Irving Steele Scout Profile

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