Carrying the Spear: LB Markuss Eligwe

During the final 10 weeks before the season kicks off, NoleNation will march through the depth chart to analyze Florida State's top 50 contributors for the 2012 season. From Austin Barron to Vince Williams, we'll review each player's career, evaluate his role in 2012 and project what might be in store down the road.

Markuss Eligwe

Linebacker, Freshman, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds

Looking back: Markuss Eligwe played in a 3-4 system at Stone Mountain (Ga.) High School, and he showed the size and athleticism to handle both the inside and outside linebacker spots well. A four-star recruit, Eligwe was wooed late in the process by Cal and Georgia, but landed with Florida State a few days after National Signing Day.

Right now: Eligwe has good tackling skills in the open field with an innate ability to find the football and deliver a blow. At the very least, that should earn him snaps on special teams this season, but it's also distinctly possible he'll work his way into the mix at linebacker, too. While the front four and secondary appear solid, there's some room for playing time among the linebackers -- and Eligwe's skill set will earn him a long look from the coaching staff during camp.

Looking ahead: Eligwe oozes all the things coaches love in a linebacker: A high motor, a tough mind-set and an ability to punish ball carriers. His coverage skills are solid, but still developing, and he's still refining some of the intricacies of the position. The transition to the 4-3 and the higher level of competition could take a little time, but if Eligwe continues to develop as an all-around defender, he could be a fixture in the Seminoles' linebacking corps by next season -- if not sooner.