Charlie took his knack for closing late to new heights today by landing 2013 linebacker James Hearns. Hearns is ranked as the number 17 inside linebacker by 247's composite. He is a former Florida commit that had his offer pulled while he was trying to get qualified. Auburn, Kentucky, FSU, Georgia, and LSU were also in the running for Hearns during his recruitment. Kudos to James for getting his academics together as well as the staff for sticking with him and affording him an opportunity.
Hearns is a big middle linebacker that uses his size extremely well. Most high school linebackers choose to "sift" through the line of scrimmage to avoid blockers and get to the ball carrier. Hearns engages blockers and manhandles them. He isn't a guy that's going to chase running backs down sideline to sideline, but Preston Brown wasn't that type of player when he got here either. But he showed this past season that he has developed that ability while still keeping his 260 pound frame. Hearns is a big time talent that could definitely earn a backup role to Preston or Keith Brown this year.