One of the most pressing needs for Florida State in the 2019 recruiting cycle is linebacker.
The Seminoles still aren’t done at the position, but have some solid building blocks to work with…including signee Kalen DeLoach.
DeLoach is a four-star recruit from Savannah’s Islands High and is rated as the No. 243 overall prospect in the 2019 class. The Seminoles had to fend off late charges by Michigan and Auburn to land DeLoach, and keeping him was a significant win for FSU given the priority at linebacker this class.
Noles247 continues its look at senior highlights of 2019 signees by going over some of our favorite plays from DeLoach this past season.
Ultimately, this is why you’re bringing DeLoach in: To play defend space. He’s an excellent athlete, fluid in space and does a really nice job sniffing out plays.
Note the foot speed and comfort dropping into coverage here. His ability to diagnose the play and then shut down a crossing pattern helps cause the play to breakdown, and then he does well to make his way downhill to finish the play. FSU’s linebackers weren’t all that adept in coverage this past year and that limited the play calling to an extent, so getting linebackers who can cover — like DeLoach — has been a priority in this class.
DeLoach did a little bit of everything in high school: In addition to playing linebacker, he returned punts, punted and regularly worked at running back.
Part of turning over the roster involves finding football players. This doesn’t mean that FSU will use multifaceted prep standouts in different roles on the college level, but the staff likes the idea of recruiting players who enjoy the sport and thrive in multiple areas. DeLoach fits that bill as his athleticism was often on display while at running back. Here, you see the foot speed, shiftiness and strength that can translate to the defensive side of the ball.
Sometimes you just want to see your linebacker mix things up and just trigger into traffic. DeLoach does that here, diagnosing the inside run and stopping it by quickly attacking the ball carrier.
DeLoach isn’t a traditional, thumping linebacker. But he’s clearly able to attack the line and win with his quickness.
Getting DeLoach in the fold should, in theory, open up some options for FSU in the upcoming season. He’s capable of lining up at Star or outside linebacker, and he should make an immediate impact on special teams. If he’s ready to contribute regularly within the defense as a rookie, DeLoach could enable FSU to move talented rising sophomore Jaiden Woodbey to safety. At the least, DeLoach’s ability to play in space should give him a good shot at carving out a role within passing-down packages.
Previous Highlight Reviews