Azeez Al-Shaair, ILB-OLB, Florida Atlantic #2

6010, 228, 4.78

Notes: Born in Tampa, FL. Has overcome a very challenging childhood. His mother worked multiple jobs to support eight kids and they moved frequently. As a 15-year-old high school sophomore, he rescued his brothers and his niece from a house fire at his grandmother’s house. Received the Wilma Rudolph Award as one of five athletes nationally who overcame great personal, academic or emotional odds to succeed in college athletics. Made an immediate impact as a freshman, played in 12 games and collecting 94 tackles, 7 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 PBU and 1 FF in 2015. Started all 12 games, with 113 tackles, 12 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT (for 30-yard touchdown) and 1 PBU in 2016. In 13 games, he posted 147 tackles, 11 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 4 PBU and 1 FF in 2017. He suffered an elbow injury requiring Tommy John surgery, but opted to postpone surgery until after the 2017 season. Devout Muslim who observes Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, requiring fasting (no food or water) from dawn to sunset, which typically encompasses parts of May and June. Has played for three different defensive coordinators at FAU.

Positives: Plays fast and aggressive. Extremely active and productive. Sideline-to-sideline player who makes tackles all over the field. Outstanding quickness and burst. Shoots through gaps and makes big plays. Hard hitter and good tackler. Sheds and out-quicks blocks to get to the ball. High energy and enthusiasm. Has the skills to handle coverage. Should excel on special teams. Team leader who is known for his maturity and wisdom by teammates and coaches. Has very good work ethic, discipline and practice habits.

Negatives: Lacks prototype size. Narrow frame. Needs to add bulk and strength. Doesn’t show very soft hands on interception opportunities.

Summary: Needs the right scheme, and still has a ways to go, but could be special in time. The kind of kid you truly root for.

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