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Decision Debate: Which School Will Florida Linebacker Tevon Coney Pick?

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Three-star linebacker Tevon Coney decides on his school tomorrow and the OFD staff weighs in with their picks.

Tevon Coney at the Miami NFTC.
Tevon Coney at the Miami NFTC.
Student Sports

Tomorrow morning at 9 AM ET, three-star linebacker Tevon Coney will be making a verbal commitment to a college during a ceremony at his high school. A few of our One Foot Down writers weigh in with their thoughts on the matter and throw down a pick for which school they think he'll be choosing.

PLAYER BIO

Tevon Coney

  • Palm Beach Gardens Community High School
  • Palm Beach, Florida
  • Inside Linebacker
  • 6-1, 222 pounds
  • Composite Score- 0.8802
  • No. 374 National, No. 10 ILB, No. 53 Florida

Uyeyama Scouting Report:

The first thing that jumps out about Coney is how explosive he is as a blitzer. He has good timing and absolutely brings it when coming across the line of scrimmage.

He's very good at working his way through the muck to find the ball in the inside run game. When he gets to the ball carrier, he arrives with violence and often hits through his opponent.

I love how he doesn't run around to avoid blocks. He engages and sheds very well. I'd like to see him get a little bit better with his hands in getting off blocks, but he is way ahead of the curve compared to most linebackers at the prep level.

He's shown on the camp circuit that he has the ability to cover backs and tight ends in man coverage. He's a little all over the map in terms of his drops though. It looks like he is so geeked up to play the run that he gets caught up and doesn't take his proper zone drop all the time. Even when he did this though, he still was able to read the quarterback's eyes and break up and intercept some passes.

THE COMPETITION

Florida: The presumed favorite until the summer but received the last official visit.

Notre Dame: The top trending team after a pair of visits since June.

Miami: The hometown team with plenty of visits in the past but no official visit yet.

THE STAFF PICKS

Eric: We just ran a scholarship post on Tuesday and the main theme of that is how tight the numbers are right now with 3.5 months left until National Signing Day. When Asmar Bilal committed last week it appeared at first that he'd taken the last linebacker spot for this class. The recruiting guru's are saying this is not the case. Notre Dame will take Coney if he wants to come on board. It seems pretty difficult to believe that he would want to jump on board of Florida's class right now with Muschamp almost certainly fired within 6 or 7 weeks. Notre Dame looks like a safe bet although it wouldn't be shocking if we really were full at linebacker. No one at Florida seems to think he's picking the Gators. Miami might sneak in here at the last minute but I'll pick the Irish.

Pick: 

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Brendan: The Irish made a big impression on Coney during his unofficial visit over the summer. Many people, including me, assumed Tevon would be very difficult to pull from Florida, especially with Florida and Miami both coming after him hard. Critically, word started to leak out that Coney's inner circle was actually supportive of Notre Dame, recognizing the post-football opportunities that would be available to him. The more time passed, the more ground the Irish have seemed to gain. I think there's space for Coney, and I think he'll choose to leave home.

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Jamie: Maybe if the Gators weren't such a tire fire this season, then I could see Coney choosing Florida. WIth the questions surrounding that situation and Notre Dame playing so well to start this season, all signs point to South Bend. His Dad is in Notre Dame's corner and that is never a bad thing for a recruit thinking about leaving home. The only question with Coney is what will happen if the Gators bring in a good hire that tries to get back in later in the process. The choice may be to leave home now, but I think this might be one to monitor until he enrolls unfortunately.

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Jim: While I share some of the optimism of others, pulling talented kids out of the state of Florida is always a challenge.  The Gators aren't playing well at all and are likely looking for a new coach once the calendar flips to December (if not before).  Miami is in a similar place, but probably gives Golden one more year to really turn things around.

I think this is still a bit of a coin flip, mainly for two reasons.  First, Notre Dame is going against two in-state schools, one of which plays in the premier football conference in the country.  Second, Florida received the last visit--something that I tend to put more stock in than many others.  It appears that the Irish have been leading for some time, so maybe it just comes down to on-field performance this season.  That gives the Irish the edge in this race, but only by a slim margin.

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Phil: I feel like it's tough to read these kids sometimes, and for most of us, the pressure they're under is unimaginable. With that said, I think everything I've read and heard points to a Notre Dame commitment. In a larger sense, the implications of this particular commitment, I believe, are much broader than simply picking up a talented linebacker. The fact that the program is competitive with a talented kid out of the state of Florida with an elite offer list (if not an elite rating) validates the progress made under Brian Kelly. It demonstrates the wisdom behind the notion that the team simply has to go out and win and everything else will take care of itself. Finally, I think it's fair to say that we can trust that Coney will be well-developed when it comes time for him to play, more so than higher-rated recruits under previous staffs.

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Paul: Look, lets be honest here. No one wants to jump on a sinking ship, and the Gators are sinking fast. There are way too many unknowns right now at Florida that would make it in any way appealing for Coney. If he doesn't early enroll at South Bend, perhaps the new Gators coach would be able to draw him back into the fold but right now, Coney has to like what he sees out of the Irish defense. The addition of having Alford as his recruiter doesn't hurt either. That man is a wizard. Coney will be Irish and if they can get him in-house in January, he as a shot at being someone special.

Pick: 

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