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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Noles 2013 snapshot: E.J. Levenberry

By Corey Dowlar

With national signing day behind us, NoleNation takes a closer look at the next crop of Seminoles.

E.J. Levenberry Jr.
While he might redshirt in 2013, incoming linebacker E.J. Levenberry could get into games late.
Vitals: Linebacker E.J. Levenberry (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton), 6-foot- 3, 230 pounds.

Committed: April 24, 2012. grade: 82, four-star prospect. rankings: No. 12 inside linebacker in the country, No. 37 player in the region, No. 12 player in the state of Virginia and No. 291 prospect in the ESPN 300.

Picked Florida State over: Oklahoma and Tennessee.

State of the position: Florida State came into the 2013 class in need of linebackers. Nick Moody and Vince Williams depart after exhausting their eligibility, leaving two open slots. But the argument could be made that the need existed before this recruiting cycle. Christian Jones returns as arguably FSU's biggest "recruit" after turning down the lure of the NFL. Telvin Smith is back as maybe the most dynamic player of the group. Reggie Northrup, Terrance Smith and Nigel Terrell are back, but with limited experience. Ukeme Eligwe is also in the running for playing time after taking a redshirt in his first season on campus. scouting report: Levenberry is a strong, overpowering middle linebacker with ideal size. He's tall and well-built with good bulk. He has a muscular frame and could continue to fill out to the 235-pound range. He has very good upper/lower body strength and is not going to get turned out of the hole when filling downhill. He is at his best staying square and plugging open gaps between the tackles. He fights his way through traffic with strength more than agility. He's a bit of a slow reactor and is often reached by blockers, but he has the size and power to shed and stack blockers despite lacking great technique. He is a tough inside run stopper with strong hands, but does not consistently lock out and stay clean. His lateral agility is adequate, and he lacks sudden and fluid change-of-direction but Levenberry flashes good burst when taking direct angles to the ball. He is a productive straight-on plugger and holds base at the point of attack. He flashes wrap-up and knock 'em back tackling and brings his hips and does not let up a lot of leaky yardage. He will turn and run to the sideline, but is more of a short-range player when projecting for the next level who will need to improve coverage skills to stay on the field in long-yardage situations. He shows tightness in his crossover and can struggle to get depth quickly. He does show deceptively good awareness and ball skills. Overall, Levenberry has the size, strength and power that will open your eyes, but he can be limited athletically without a lot of quick-twitched burst. He relies on stacking with strength more than slipping blocks, which will be more difficult to accomplish at the next level. Switching to defensive end is a possibility with added size.

Expected impact: Levenberry's chances of playing right away are a little different than the other linebackers coming in who are not named Matthew Thomas. As a true inside linebacker, Levenberry is more put together than some of his classmates. He has the durability to play inside at a position where there aren't as many numbers. It is possible he'll redshirt, of course, but he could get into games late.