Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on the defensive line; this week, we’re taking a look at the linebackers.
Ayinde Eley, LB
Weight: 226 lbs.
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
High school: Good Counsel
How he got to College Park
Eley was listed as a three-star athlete when he committed to Maryland in April 2016. He rose from the 37th- to 24th-rated outside linebacker in the country by the time his Letter of Intent came in on National Signing Day, helping solidify a role for Eley on the team.
Though his official height comes in lower than his originally reported 6’5, it seems he’s bulked up since signing day. Eley’s recruiting profile on 247Sports has him listed at 205 pounds, but his bio on Maryland’s site now has him at 226 pounds. His weight is now in line with the other linebackers on the roster, which should allow him to compete for snaps early.
Eley’s last full season of highlights come from his junior year, where he rotated between lining up at defensive end, defensive back and outside linebacker.
Eley looked comfortable in coverage and busting up an opposing backfield, and has the makings of a playmaker. From the tape, he also looked solid at reading run/pass on the second level and showing the discipline to make the right play.
In Maryland’s 4-2-5 base defense, each linebacker is responsible for a side of the field, so Eley’s comfort in coverage should be an asset. He’s going to have to prove he can hold down half the field and consistently contribute at the college level first, though.
Eley’s one of three incoming linebackers, along with early enrollees freshman Bryce Brand and junior college transfer Nick Underwood. Both players will have a slight experience edge over Eley, but nothing is really set in stone behind Jermaine Carter Jr. Standing at 6’3, Eley is the second-tallest at the position, and since he bulked up ahead of camp, he should get his opportunity to prove he deserves his share of rotational snaps.
Eley impresses all through camp and is involved in the linebackers rotation from the jump. His height and versatility on the second level allows him to carve out a significant role in the linebackers rotation. He ends his freshman year near the top of the depth chart, setting himself up to become an even larger part of the linebacking corps in his sophomore year.
A Georgia sophomore with two career tackles so far.
say_al has clinched this week with three, while Denton5, Scaletta, jatk13, Sabadahut, PMatt and Baltimoronic all have one.