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Yannick Ngakoue focused on South Carolina, Florida State

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Top linebacker recruit Yannick Ngakoue is focused on South Carolina and Florida State, though Maryland is also still in the race.

Yannick Ngakoue
Yannick Ngakoue
Bud Elliott (SB Nation)

Yannick Ngakoue is one of the more interesting recruits of the 2013 college football recruiting cycle.

Out of Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy, Ngakoue was once committed to the Maryland Terrapins, but backed off that commitment in September.

I spoke with Ngakoue during the Under Armour All-America Game Week to get the latest on his experience and recruitment.

Ngakoue is 6'3", 240 pounds, very athletic and raw. What makes him so intriguing is his age. He just turned 17, and there is a distinct possibility that he is not done growing. He is certainly far from maturing physically.

The choice between linebacker and defensive end doesn't bother Ngakoue.

"I'm going to lift hard and eat, and if I end up a defensive end I'll plan to be the best defensive end in the country," he said.

"It was a great experience," Ngakoue said of his time at the Under Armour All-America Game. "I've always dreamed of playing in this game since I saw it two years ago. I get to show my skills against the top players in the country. It's a blessing."

Ngakoue has enjoyed the opportunity to work with former pro and college coaches.

"They told me I can be a great player and they like how I listen to them," he said. "They say I am coachable."

Ngakoue has been working with his high school coach on defensive back workouts to improve his foot speed and coverage skills.

Ngakoue's recruitment is primarily focused on two schools, though he says "Maryland is somewhat in it a little but."

"It's Florida State and South Carolina right now."

Ngakoue is a big fan of South Carolina's defense and their academics.

"It's their defensive scheme, and how I'd be on the inside. I like that, playing linebacker on the field," Ngakoue said. "South Carolina's academics, you come in as a freshman, they set it up so you have no choice but to do your work."

Ngakoue thinks he can play early for the Gamecocks, and that's an important aspect of the school for him.

"It's a possibility and they lose a lot of linebackers," Nouche said. "Early playing time is very high on my list."

Ngakoue's attraction to Florida State is more about relationships than the school itself, because he is yet to visit the school.

"It's about coach Sal [Sunseri]," he said of Florida State's new defensive coach. "He is really funny. He just got the job and my scholarship carried over from Tennessee (Sunseri's former employer). He puts guys in the NFL, too. He told me I'm one of his top guys. If I go in there and learn the scheme and work hard, I can play early. "

Ngakoue knows very little about the Seminoles, but that will change on Jan. 11 when he takes an official visit to Tallahassee as part of a big recruiting weekend for Florida State.

"I know [fellow Washington D.C. recruits now at Florida State] Ronald Darby and Eddie Goldman. We're friends, and they'll show me what it's all about when I get there," he said.

An official visit to South Carolina will follow the week after he visits Tallahassee.

Ngakoue plans to decide on national signing day.

While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel:

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