From the Mats to the Gridiron
Florida State’s leading tackler Reggie Northrup takes pride in the way he takes down opposing ball carriers.
“I take a lot of pride in it,” Northrup said. “I know it’s a skill set that I continue to work on and get better at.”
The junior linebacker from Jacksonville, Fla., credits some of his tackling prowess to wrestling in high school.
“I used to watch that WWE stuff, but I was interested in the real kind of wrestling” Northrup said. “I tried it out and I happened to be pretty good at it. Your leverage, it helps make your hips better. Your pad level, your able to get lower and being able to grab and wrap up.”
Not only was he a two-time Florida state qualifier on the mat, but he immediately saw dividends on the football field.
“Wrestling in high school took my game play to a whole other level,” Northrup said. “Especially being a linebacker I’d just go out there in games and start doing things better. My fundamentals, I was able to stay low and read stuff.”
“Usually wrestlers are tough guys,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Individually mentally strong guys because there’s nobody else out there to do it with, it’s you and him. They’re usually great grip guys, very strong in their hands. When they get their hands on someone, they usually tackle very well.”
And his teammates certainly notice the effects as well.
“On the field he’s just a wild man,” red-shirt junior Tyler Hunter said. “He would run into a brick wall. I can definitely see the wrestling on the football field.”
“Reggie’s a very low center of gravity guy,” senior Karlos Williams said. “He’s just explosive in the way he tackles through the hips and on the rise. I remember going through camp he caught me a couple of times when I was going through the hole and my pads were a little bit too high and I was like I would hate to have to hit this guy on a Saturday night when I was wearing opposite colors.”
“All I know is that he hits hard,” senior Desmond Hollin said. “I don’t know about wrestling, I just know he’s one of the hardest hitters on the team.”
Now thanks to what he learned on the wrestling mat, Northrup can bring even more pain to opponents when he takes them to the ground on the football field. Something Seminole fans have come to enjoy on a lot from Florida State’s leading tackler.
Layne Herdt, Seminoles.com.