In the past four years, Channing Crowder and Brandon Siler have pretty much defined the way middle linebacker should be played for the Florida Gators. Their combination of tough play in the middle and inspired leadership has set a standard for all who will follow at the MIKE position. The job belongs to Brandon Spikes now, but the Gators are already seeking his successor and that’s one of the reasons Florida is high on Etienne Sabino’s list of favorite schools.
“I know they are in need of a MIKE linebacker because they only have one right now so that is something I am considering,” said the linebacker from Miami Dr. Krop.
In addition to what seems like a favorable depth chart, Sabino also really likes the wining tradition the Gators have. Those two reasons helped Florida survive when Sabino cut his list a couple of weeks ago.
“I have cut my list for the most part right now,” he said. “Florida is a team I am still considering, but I am also still looking at about seven other schools. They are Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, Tennessee, LSU and Southern Cal.”
Sabino has already set one official visit, as he will visit Southern Cal when the Trojans host Idaho on September 1. As far as his other visits, Sabino is somewhat undecided.
“I will probably take an official visit to Ohio State and I also may go to Florida for the Auburn game,” he said. “But I’m not really sure about everything yet. My main focus is on my high school team right now.”
According to Sabino all the schools are pretty equal at this point. With the new text message ban things have quieted down but Sabino says the coaches have still found ways to stay in contact.
“All the schools send me emails every once in awhile,” he said.
The main factor in Sabino’s decision will be how comfortable he feels at each school.
“I am looking for comfort,” he said. “I want a place where I can be myself with the players and the coaches and they make me feel at home.”
Sabino spent all summer working hard to improve many areas of his game and he expects his hard work to payoff.
“I feel good and I have been playing well in practice,” he said. “I feel stronger and faster, so I am excited to see how my season goes.”