Hylton All-Met linebacker E.J. Levenberry, who unofficially committed to Florida State during an April ceremony at the high school, this weekend will make his third trip to Tennessee before officially choosing a college by National Signing Day on Wednesday.
“Basically, this is just a leave-no-stone-unturned trip,” said Eric Levenberry, E.J.’s father, “so he doesn’t look back and say, ‘I wish I had gone there.’ That was the school he originally liked, prior to Florida State. That’s the stadium that he wanted to play in because of their fans and everything.
“You don’t want to two or three years later look back and say, ‘Why didn’t I go look at them and check them out?’”
Florida State followers will be happy to know that the FSU “war chant” plays before you can leave a message on Eric Levenberry’s cell phone. Three Seminoles assistant coaches spent about two hours at the Levenberry home one night this week, the elder Levenberry said.
Because of changes in the Tennessee coaching staff in recent years, the Volunteers had stopped recruiting Levenberry for a time but recently resumed the courtship. Potomac (Va.) graduate Tommy Thigpen, formerly on the Auburn coaching staff, is now the Volunteers’ linebackers coach for new head coach Butch Jones.
At the time of his unofficial commitment, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Levenberry chose Florida State over Michigan and Oklahoma. Levenberry last season made 172 tackles, including 129 solo stops, deflected 14 passes and hurried 24 others. He was a defensive captain for the East team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in early January.
“Right now, we’re still 100 percent committed to Florida State, and the folks at Tennessee are aware of that,” Eric Levenberry said. “Nothing really has changed. You want to know that you did your due diligence to research everything and every school.”