2014 LB Justin Todd
(6’1, 212) from Oakleaf High School (6A) in Jacksonville is a name not many people have heard, but should keep a close eye on. In his sophomore year, he recorded 105 tackles, 8 sacks and forced 4 fumbles.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the strongest, but I’m very aware of everything that’s going on around me and I’m fast for a linebacker. The last 40 I ran was a 4.6.”
One of the challenges that Todd has had to face is the constant coaching change at his school. Despite that, he has continued to move forward.
“A lot of my success came natural last season. I just listened to my coaches and bought into the program because this is my third new head coach. We’ve had a lot a lot of downs, but I don’t let it get to me and pout about it. I just had to grow up and get over it because I know what my dream is and how to achieve it.”
One of the schools that has really caught Todd’s attention is the University of Miami. He was down in Coral Gables for a camp earlier this year.
“I really like coach Barrow at Miami because he was the first one to really show interest in me. I’ve been to a lot of their combines and stuff like that and every time I’ve been I’ve seen the ones who have graduated and made the foundation and seen how close they are with their coaches even though they’ve already passed. They just seem like more of a family than the other colleges I’ve seen and seem more in-tune with what’s going. I got a tour of the campus and I like how you can hang out indoors or outdoors and everybody is one and connected. It just looks like a fit for me.”
Why does he like coach Barrow?
“He told me he had a lot of interest in me and he wanted to put a name to a face. He told me to just keep doing what I do. He gave me his cell number and he has been keeping in contact with my dad.”
There are other top programs interested in Todd as well.
“The schools that are interested right now are FSU, Florida Atlantic, Arizona, Georgia Tech. Florida Atlantic and FSU look at me as a top recruit for 2014. I’ve also talked to Missouri and Vanderbilt.”
Academics is an important part of the process for Todd and will definitely factor into his decision.
“Right now I think I’ve decided that I wanna be a science major, so any school that’s strong in science is gonna really catch my eye. I want to try to stay in Florida too.”
After such a great season last year, he still has some goals for his junior year.
“I want to try to break my stats from last year. I also want to get closer as a team and get to know my brothers more, not really worry about the wins and losses. I want to be on top of the ball in the classroom too.”
Todd knows that there is still room for improvement in his game as well.
“I go over a lot of game film and I process it a lot because sometimes in games I overthink it. Right now I have to tell myself to dumb it down and not really think about it and just have fun and play football.”