To a defense, a great player at middle linebacker is like an excellent quarterback. The right plays get called, everyone is on the same page, and no one gets caught out of position.
Fans from Tuscaloosa to Columbus to Southern California are hoping Rivals' No. 1 rated middle linebacker Jeff Luc decides to call plays from their defensive formations in the future.
Sometimes you can tell how good a recruit is by how many schools are still included when he's "narrowed down" his choices.
Luc narrowed his finalists to seven, and said he will not sweat until high school football is over.
So where will MLB Jeff Luc end up? Click through to get a better idea.
Let's start with who it won't be: the Hurricanes were left off Luc's list of seven finalists, surprising many, since Luc grew up in Miami during their glory years.
Turns out Luc and his family were, well, not really fond of the area. Safety was a concern for Luc's parents, who felt Jeff was hanging around with the wrong crowd.
Though Luc did say he had an idea how his life would proceed if he did commit to the 'Canes, it looks like that plan won't need to go into practice. They missed his final seven.
But the Tigers took some serious lumps. First was losing out on an official visit from Luc in favor of USC. Then running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Larry Porter took off to Memphis.
Now, LSU is imbroiled in (self-reported) recruiting violations that, though unspecified as of now, probably rubbed good kids like Luc the wrong way.
LSU missed Luc's final seven, so the Tigers are last week's news.
With only 13 recruits committed to the Buckeyes in the 2010 class, you'd think there's plenty of room for Luc in Columbus.
Luc took an unofficial to Columbus over the summer, calling them "a possibility."
But that's kind of the long and short of it. Luc hasn't really discussed OSU since—they missed out on an official and I couldn't find word of an unofficial during the season. It's kind of a wonder they made his final seven.
The Buckeyes missed their chance to get him on campus. Don't expect a scarlet and grey steal at the eleventh hour.
There were rumblings that Luc really liked the 3-4 defense that Alabama deploys (Alabama deploys a 3-4 system? News to me), but aside from that, the Tide's recruitment of Luc has been relatively quiet.
Luc didn't come in for an official visit, and though the Tide were successful in getting him on campus unofficially this summer, there's been no recent word about Luc attending any football games despite the proximity.
Whether he's skeptical of Rolando McClain entering the NFL, or if he's just cool towards the scene in Tuscaloosa, it looks like Alabama is not really in the running.
Luc's relationship with Tennessee defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is rumored to be solid.
And there was clearly something about the Vols that Luc liked: Tennessee got one of Luc's three official visits to campus, arriving for the Auburn game in early October. Early returns looked solid. Some even had him as a lock for the Orange based on a few extra unofficial visits in Knoxville.
But there's not been much buzz recently about Tennessee from Luc, and insiders are not optimistic.
I won't attribute anything to those off-the-field incidents. I think this is just a case of plain-old dwindling interest.
Luc took an official to USC on October 23rd for the Oregon State game (not the prettiest game to watch, but still better than Stanford) and has also taken a few unofficials to Southern California.
Getting him on campus was a good step, but again, there just wasn't much to buzz about the visit from Luc's end (and he's an effusive guy when he wants to be, as we'll see in the case of Georgia). The buzz isn't there behind the scenes.
Despite the clear need for a bruising linebacker on defense. California is probably too far from home for Jeff Luc. I don't expect them to be in the final running when Luc decides at the end of December.
Finally, the rich don't get richer...
The Bulldogs looked to have jumped the rest of the competition when they landed a commitment from Luc's teammate, Deon Rogers, also a linebacker.
Not to be outdone, Florida State turned up the heat on Rogers, who has maintained his status as a soft verbal since the commitment, meaning he will visit other places.
Luc and Rogers visited Georgia frequently and the returns were very positive.
It is one of only three schools to which Luc took an official visit, reporting back that he "felt at home" there.
But firing defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and linebackers coach Jon Jancek might not have been a step in the right direction from Luc's standpoint. Jancek in particular was someone with whom Luc had a personal relationship, one of the few criteria Luc has offered as being important to the school of his choice.
If Rogers decides to stick with Georgia, it could sway Luc towards the Bulldogs—such package deals are, of course, not unprecedented in the world of recruiting.
But firing Martinez and Jancek, though necessary, disrupted Luc's stated "personal relationship" needs, and it might cost UGA an otherwise legitimate shot at Luc in the long run.
Before the season began, there was another rumor that Luc was a silent commit to the Seminoles, though the veracity of that rumor has definitely died down.
Luc's brother, Alex, is an alum and a big Florida State fan, though Jeff maintains this won't affect his final decision.
The shake-up at the top can't be helping, however. Not only is Bowden gone, but defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews announced his retirement earlier this year.
However, according to Rivals, Luc's relationship with the Seminoles is through recruiting coordinator James Coley (though to be fair, it appears as though every recruit's relationship goes through Coley), so perhaps the impact on their standing with Luc would be minimal. It's not as though Luc made playing for Bowden a priority of his recruiting.
He's made numerous unofficials to Tallahassee, for the Maryland game as well as others, and he's obviously got Florida State high on his priority list.
Given that he will likely not leave the state, but also taking into account Florida State's reshuffling at the top, I'd say the Seminoles are second banana only to...
The Gators were Luc's favorite to conclude his junior season, but he's since backed off from declaring UF as a leader.
However, the latest word from recruiting site gridironstuds.com has the Florida Gators with the tentative lead on Luc.
They are the best team in the state Luc lives, which certainly can't hurt.
Plus, Luc attended the Gators summer camp for recruits to build a personal relationship with the coaches.
In return, Urban Meyer and defensive coordinator Charlie Strong attended one of Treasure Coast's games against Seminole Ridge, so there's clearly a personal connection being fostered, and the proximity will help.
Though came away relating the company line—he's not committing until he commits—you have to like the trajectory this one is taking. Early favorite, good relationship, in-state power winning national championship.
I think the Gators are where it's at. The coaches have shown they understand the personal connection. Meyer will be able to sell the open middle linebacker spot vacated by Brandon Spikes to Luc. And what recruit wouldn't want to commit to Florida right now?
I expect Luc to bleed orange and blue on signing day.