The Film Room: Gus Little

247sports

The rising senior adds strength and size to the Class of 2015 defensive side.

Little's going B1G. The Class of 2015 solidified their linebacking corps when they received a verbal commitment from rising senior Gus Little last week. The commits keep flooding in and after a stagnant six months, and the Terps are reeling in recruits at an incredible rate. Maryland has attracted 14 recruits thus far including the most recent commit, Darnell Savage (whose highlight film is 16 minutes long!). According to 247sports, Maryland currently sits 25th overall in the recruiting rankings and sixth in the Big Ten behind Nebraska, Ohio State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and fourth ranked Penn State (sigh).

Well first things first, when I YouTubed Gus Little I stumbled across a machine pitch little league player. And although I was stunned by the Baltimore chop and hustle to first, I was elated to discover Maryland didn't sign a seven-year-old slugger. Little is just the opposite of what his name suggests. The 6'3'' 224 pound inside linebacker out of Massaponax High School in Spotsylvania, Va. was tagged with a three-star rating by 247sports composite. He is the 33rd-best player in Virginia and the 37th-best inside linebacker in the country, according to the composite. Little also held offers from Boston College, Army, Charlotte and Elon.

Without further ado, I introduce you to Gus Little.

Little's highlight tape looks like a video gamer constantly spamming the hit stick button in Madden. Little appears to be massive compared to his opponents. He overpowers his opponents and seems to easily find his way to the backfield.

One of my favorite things about the tape was Little's patience. He didn't just rush the quarterback every time fearlessly, he waited for the play to develop and react instead of going helter skelter. He often sat back and let the back come to him and when it came time to wrap up and stop the runner, he never failed to put his head down and make the big play. The best examples for his patience came at 0:51 and 1:20.

His ability to make tackles in the open field could turn out to be very valuable for the Terps. According to MaxPreps, Little racked up an unreal 63 solo tackles, meaning he was never shy to go one-on-one with the opposition. When the hole cleared up for the running back, he was often met by Little who quickly closed the gap.

What does the future look like for the Terps?

What does the future look like for the Terps?

Little was surprisingly effective when he dropped back into zone coverage in the film. He was incredibly instinctive and almost used a sixth-sense to sniff out exactly where the ball was going. With a 4.1 GPA, his football knowledge speaks volume to the potential he has as a linebacker in the Big Ten.

One concerning aspect of Little's game is his speed. He ran a clocked 4.78 40 which certainly isn't the quickest 40-time in the world. Although his breakaway speed may not be explosive, he absolutely never gives up on a play. My favorite play in the highlight came at 3:01, where the opposing player seemed to hit some open field until Little got an extra boost and was determined to thwart the other team. His speed may not be part of his repertoire but his motor is diesel. Pete's initial comparison to Alex Wujciak is an accurate one, which should certainly excite Maryland fans.

Little has the talent to play on both sides of the ball, but defense heavily outweighed the offensive highlights in the game film. However, the coaches trusting Little to line up at tight end speaks to his ability to both catch the ball and pass block, which could be big for either interceptions or special teams.

Looking forward to the 2015-16 campaign, Little would be sixth on the depth chart at ILB according to seniority. And seeing that Abner Logan would almost undoubtedly have the starting job locked up for that season, I would be shocked if Little didn't redshirt. He could be a major asset on special teams in his redshirt freshman season before competing for some time at linebacker.

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