Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

With These Bucs, You're Stopped Here; Trio of Star Linebackers Sets Tempo for Unbeaten First Coast

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

With These Bucs, You're Stopped Here; Trio of Star Linebackers Sets Tempo for Unbeaten First Coast

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

Run right, they're there.

Go left, they're there.

Up the middle? No chance.

First Coast's dominant group of linebackers leaves an offense few options for success.

With senior Reggie Northrup manning the middle and flanked by senior Joseph Jackson and junior Daniel McMillian, the Buccaneers field a linebacking corps most colleges would welcome.

Northrup is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and is currently committed to Miami. Jackson has pledged to North Carolina and is a three-star recruit, according to Rivals. McMillian will be one of the state's top prospects in the Class of 2013. One recruiting service, 247sports.com, ranked him as the nation's 117th overall player among juniors.

The trio is the primary reason First Coast's scoring defense stands at 12.8 points per game. They will try to keep the Buccaneers' season going as top-ranked First Coast (12-0) hosts traditional power Lakeland, ranked No. 2 at 13-0, on Friday night in a Class 7A state semifinal. The Buccaneers are making their first state semifinal appearance.

The three linebackers are all athletically gifted, but it's a unique trait that might give them an added edge.

"They're the biggest jokesters on the team," First Coast coach Marty Lee said. "They have such great dispositions and a real jovial attitude. They love the game and feed off each other. The team then feeds off them. They love being kids, but are kids in men's bodies."

The fun-loving mood helps keep the team loose in practice, but the focus is always there. They were all on campus well after practice Monday evening watching film together. As game day nears, Northrup, Jackson and McMillian begin to ditch the jokes.

"They know when to get serious," Lee said. "When we cut the lights on, those guys come to play. As they go, we go. They are the tempo of this team."

Northrup is the alpha male of the group. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Northrup has recorded 128 tackles, eight sacks and forced four fumbles. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.