Jacob Pugh Commits to Florida State: What 4-Star LB Brings to Seminoles' Defense

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIMay 29, 2013

Jacob Pugh is a 4-star outside linebacker recruit from Tallahassee, Fla., and he's the newest member of Florida State's 2014 class. That's great news if you're a Seminoles fan.

Pugh is the No. 14 outside linebacker in the nation and he's the No. 22 player from the state of Florida, both according to the 247Sports Composite. In some states, being No. 22 may not say much about a recruit, but in Florida, it means you're an extremely talented high school football player.

Derek Tyson of ESPN.com reports on Pugh's commitment:

The No. 5-ranked recruiting class in the country just got stronger. ESPN 150 outside linebacker Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) gave a verbal commitment to Florida State on Wednesday. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound athlete chose the Seminoles over Alabama and Florida. 

"I just felt Florida State was the right fit for me," the Under Armour All-American said. "I went up there on Tuesday and talked with coach [Jeremy] Pruitt and all the coaches and the d-lineman Demarcus [Walker] and it just made me want to be a part of what they are doing even more. 

"Plus it's closer to home. When I go up there I just feel like I belong there. When coach Pruitt first got the job, coach [Jimbo] Fisher asked him about me and coach Pruitt told him he was going to get me -- and now he's got me." 

Pugh is going to bring a lot to the table for Florida State, and he's the third linebacker recruit that Jimbo Fisher and his staff have picked up this recruiting cycle—joining 5-star inside linebacker Kain Daub and 4-star inside linebacker Delvin Purifoy.

It's also worth remembering that the Seminoles signed 5-star outside linebacker Matthew Thomas last cycle, so the future of the linebacker position looks bright. Thomas' future with FSU is still up in the air (Coley Harvey/thenewstribune.com), but this could still potentially be an elite group—even without Thomas.

Pugh is a versatile linebacker who fits Florida State's defense perfectly. He has good length at 6'4'', 221 pounds and does a great job of exploding into the chest plate of the blocker, extending and getting leverage with his length and then ripping off and making a play on the ball carrier.

He's a physical, fundamental hitter, but he'll also be great in space. He's agile and quick enough to flex out into the slot and cover a No. 2 receiver, and he can run to the flats and make a play on quick-hit throws. Pugh should also be able to flip his hips and run vertically with a route, if he's playing in coverage.

As a run defender, Pugh will be a great spill player. That simply means that when the defense is able to "spill" the ball carrier outside of the tackle, he can get downfield to the line of scrimmage and stop the run in its tracks.

He also has the speed and agility to be an effective blitz linebacker, and he'll be able to run the lane and make plays in pursuit from the weakside. He can plant himself at the line of scrimmage with his hand on the ground, or use a two-point stance.

Overall, Pugh is the definition of a versatile outside linebacker.

Note: All scouting and analysis done via tape study of film provided on Pugh's 247Sports profile page. Star rankings courtesy of the 247Sports Composite rankings.

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