Florida State Football Recruiting: Junior Day Preview

Photo Credit: Caleb Dulgar

Florida State will host a major junior day this weekend as many of the state's top prospects come to town. They'll be joined by some national recruits as well. Since I already broke down FSU's recruiting needs the same positional format will follow. For many, this will be their first introduction to the kids FSU is pursuing. Oh, and another note: don't freak out of some kids do not show up. Many of these recruits do not have a car and have to rely on someone else for a ride. That doesn't always work out. Also, it's not necessarily important that FSU get commitments this weekend. With such a deep year in Florida, the 'Noles have plenty of time to continue evaluating, seeing how the kids perform at camps over the summer and in the upcoming senior season.

FSU could take a quarterback in this class, but likely only one. John O'Korn of St. Thomas Aquinas is expected to attend, as are Alton Meeks of Orlando Boone and Akeem Jones of Miami Carol City High School. None are top prospects at this point, but they all have potential and it's important for coach Jimbo Fisher to build the relationships now before they become elite.

A major group of studs is expected at receiver, a major position of need for the 'Noles this year. Tony Stevens of Orlando Evans High School is expected. Stevens' film is extremely impressive and he should be a high four-star prospect when all is said and done. Stevens is also an example of why recruiting rankings are coming out way too early due to the paysites' profit motive. Here is Stevens' film:

Not to be outdone is fellow stud Stacey Coley of Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeastern. Coley is 6'2" and 180 pounds, holding more than 15 scholarship offers already, including FSU, Florida, West Virginia, etc. Joining him will be Jordan Cunningham of University school. FSU has already offered, as has Florida, Alabama, Miami, etc. You get the idea. Cunningham is not a burner, but at 6'3" he can leap and has good body control. Tallahassee Lincoln's Taj Williams will also be in attendance. Williams is a lanky 6'4" 165 and Florida State has offered. Some think Williams is favoring Florida, as are many of his teammates.

While not being as big of a need as some who don't understand the recruiting process seem to believe, offensive line is still definitely a need. The star of the group, is Laremy Tunsil, an elite tackle prospect out of Lake City (Fla.) Columbia High School. Yes, that's the school that produced FSU's phenom defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, and coached by FSU linebacker great Brian Allen. Getting Tunsil on campus early is very important for FSU's chances, as Tunsil seems quite open to going to any one of his thirty offers, including Florida, to which he apparently has significant ties.

Josh Cardiello, an interior line prospect out of Buford (Ga.) High School is expected. He'll be a three or four-star prospect and FSU has a decent shot here. Other offers include Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Austin Droogsma of Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High School holds early offers from FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech and USF. He's a guard prospect at 6'3" 310 and like Cardiello, should be a three or four-star recruit when the rankings have time to settle. Fellow St. Thomas Aquinas recruit Austin Bland is expected, as well. At 6'2" and 255 (or 275? Depends on who you ask), Bland has quite a bit of growing to do, and may be more of a center prospect. FSU will want to see his size this weekend. Denver Kirkland, the offensive line teammate of FSU safety commitment Michael Johnson, is also expected. John Lopez, an offensive guard out of Orange (Calif.) Lutheran is also expected. FSU pulled tight end Christo Kourtizidis out of the same school last cycle. Finally, Tampa (Fla.) Plant Richy Klepal is going to make the trip. Klepal is listed by some sites as a tackle, but he's a guard prospect at Florida State because he's more 6'3" than the listed 6'5".

FSU is bringing in one tight end, West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman High School's Matt Burke. FSU has yet to offer the 6'6" tight end, but there is some interest.

But the 'Noles aren't just bringing in offensive talent. The 'Noles have one of the top defenses in the country and are committed to keeping it that way.

Jumbo defensive end Isaac Rochell of McDonough (Ga.) Eagle's Landing Christian School is expected. Rochell is 6'5" and 260 pounds. FSU's advantage here, aside from cranking out elite defensive ends for years, is that the 'Noles desire big defensive ends. Rochell holds offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, etc. You get the idea. He has five-star potential. Also expected is De'Asian Richardson, a jumbo defensive end/athlete prospect out of Orange Park (Fla.) High School. Aside from having an incredible name, Richardson is 6'4" and 270 pounds with elite athleticism. Offers from Saban, and Duke show promise. Stacy Thomas, a weak-side defensive end out of Miami Gulliver Prep has been offered by FSU, Florida and others. He is also expected to show up. Joey Bosa, a defensive end from Aquinas might show as well, but FSU is probably a longshot here to Alabama.

A loaded linebacker group is also expected. The headliner of the group is Miami Booker T. Washington's Matthew Thomas, a five-star teammate of FSU commitment Michael Johnson. The 6'4" Thomas is a beast. Just watch the film.

Also coming are Johnny O'Neal from Dublin (Ga.) West Laurens High School', a huge hitter at 6'2" and 225 pounds before his senior year, Jeremy Benjamin, a huge 6'3" 230 pound prospect out off Hollywood (Fla.) Mcarthur High School, and Nick Internicola, a teammate of Maquedius Bain, also an fSU commitment from University school.

Defensive back is similarly loaded. Florida State commitment Michael Johnson is expected with his previously mentioned teammates, as is Florida State commitment Sojourn Shelton. Joining them will be Vernon Hargreaves III, the top cornerback recruit in the county. Hargreaves plays for Tampa Wharton, in the Wesley Chapel area. Also coming is Marcel Harris, newly of Orlando Dr. Phillips after transferring from Groveland (Fla.) Southlake. Harris is a Gator legacy and a national recruit. He will be a tough pull. I'll be interested to see if four-star Mackensie Alexander of Immokalee (Fla.) High School will show. He is a Tennessee commitment, but is schedule to announce a top eight or ten soon. That might be the first time I've ever seen a committed kid come out with a top ten.


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