State of the position: Florida State came into the 2013 class in need of linebackers. Nick Moody and Vince Williams depart after exhausting their eligibility leaving two open slots, but the argument could be made that the need existed prior to this recruiting cycle. Christian Jones returns as arguably their best after turning down the lure of leaving for the NFL early. Telvin Smith is back as maybe the most dynamic player of the group. Reggie Northrup, Terrance Smith and Nigel Terrell are back, but with limited experience. Ukeme Eligwe, too, is in the running for playing time after taking a redshirt in his first season on campus.
ESPN.com scouting report: Lyons lines up as both a safety and linebacker and shows the ability to effectively play the run and pass. He has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition and his frame appears capable of supporting additional bulk over time. Lyons is a strong wrap tackler -- he is good in space and doesn't allow much yardage after contact -- and should be effective playing multiple positions on special teams and could see early playing time. He runs very well and has the hip flexibility, agility and balance to play in space. He demonstrates the intensity and instincts needed to make plays all over the field from both positions. He shows good initial quickness and gets off the mark while demonstrating very good key and diagnosis reaction skills. He flashes the playing strength to take on and defeat blockers at the point of attack, but he needs to improve his leverage. He is quick to attack downhill and shows the willingness to fill the alley from the deep safety alignment. He moves through traffic well, avoids trash when in lateral pursuit and can turn and change direction with excellent range and chase down speed. He is very efficient as a zone coverage defender and shows good route awareness with the ability to look up receivers in his area and get on a collision course to the ball. He does a nice job running with inside receivers and plays the wheel route very well and also demonstrates the ability to turn and run, get the head around and locate the deep throw. We definitely see man coverage potential. Lyons is a tough customer who makes a great effort to get to the football. He does not appear to be an immediate starter at the BCS level of play, but his athleticism and toughness could earn him early playing time.
Expected impact: Lyons is probably in the same boat as the rest of the outside linebackers coming in with this freshmen class -- with the exception of Matthew Thomas. He's fast and athletic, but he's raw. Up until last season, he was a safety for his high school team, so he had to learn on the fly during his senior season. He grew more and more comfortable as the season went on, but it will be interesting to see how that translates at the college level. Because of his superior athleticism, he could absolutely contribute on special teams, but it may be more valuable to redshirt him in order to gain experience playing linebacker, first.