Florida State will welcome six official visitors this weekend. Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby four-star linebacker Jacob Pugh, Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee four-star defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas, and Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood three-star defensive end Blake McClain are all very solid commitments to FSU. And they'll be trying to make their future roster better as three five-stars come into town. I wrote about two of them recently for SB Nation when I tried to pick landing spots for the remaining uncommitted four- and five-star recruits.
Malachi Dupre is one of the highest-rated wide receivers in the country. Listed at 6'2.5 and 187 pounds, he attends John Curtis (La.) High School and hails from New Orleans. He is rated as a five-star prospect, and is considered the 17th-best player in the class, as well as the second-best wide receiver in the country. He holds offers from LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Texas A&M and UCLA, among others.
Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: Dupre has real interest in UCLA, Alabama and Florida State. But until I hear differently, I just don't see him leaving the state of Louisiana. He raved about his visits to LSU and Alabama recently, and has a trip to Tallahassee coming on Jan 24. Yup, another call for the Bayou Bengals of LSU.
Dupre is a big fan of Jameis Winston, but with a ton of immediate playing time available at LSU, I am not sure if even Jameis can win this one.
Lorenzo Carter is another big-time prospect available for the 2014 class. Listed at 6'5 and 232 pounds, he attends Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga. He is considered a five-star recruit, and is ranked as the 18th-best player in the class, as well as the second-best weak-side defensive end nationally among players in the class of 2014. He holds offers from Florida, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida State, among others.
Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: This is very tough. All five schools listed above have a real shot. How much will geography matter for this star from the Peach State? What scheme does he like? Does Carter see himself as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, or a traditional defensive end in a 4-3? I'll say Georgia, reluctantly, because of the staff's relationship with Carter's family. But Charles Kelly's promotion to defensive coordinator may help Florida State here, as he has long been a strong recruiter at Carter's high school.
Thomas is a five-star defensive end out of Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington, and a Miami commitment. While he is a teammate of FSU QB/athlete commitment Treon Harris, this will be a very tough pull. Thomas would arguably be Miami's best defensive end the minute he steps on campus, and he is enamored with bringing Miami "back." Florida State is loaded to the gills with edge rushers and playing time would not come easy. Both FSU and Miami offer majors in music, which is what the multi-talented player wants, so FSU is going to have to sell him on program prestige, facilities, stability in the coaching staff. They have to make it clear that the program in Tallahassee is simply on another level than the one in Coral Gables -- and they have to do so in a way that doesn't involve cheap, negative recruiting of Miami's program.
If FSU could land just one of the three five-stars discussed above, it would be a huge bonus for what is already one of the best classes in the country.
Commits visiting elsewhere
- The above mentioned Harris will be checking out the Auburn Tigers. The fear here for FSU fans is that Harris will realize he is 5'11 and probably a better fit in the spread -- a message he heard last weekend when he visited UF.
- WR C.J. Worton (three-star from South Dade HS) will be visiting Florida. I am a big fan of Worton and think he would be a loss to the class and a really nice get for the Gators. But recruits must make the best choice for themselves, and FSU already has several sub-6' receivers on its roster, with other studs (Rudolph, probably Ermon Lane, too) coming in.
- WR Jojo Robinson (three-star from Miami Northwestern HS) will be visiting Arkansas. I do not expect Robinson to be in this class, as playing time is much more available at other schools. Arkansas is my guess on his destination.
Targets visiting elsewhere
- Five-Star Malique McDowell, of Michigan, will visit Michigan State instead of LSU. This does not bode well for FSU's chances, and I'll be interested to watch where he visits the following weekend (LSU or Ohio State). McDowell visited Tallahassee last weekend.
- Four-star DL Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach) and four-star WR Javon Harrison (Lakeland Kathleen) are both visiting Viginia Tech. Harrison is a VT commitment, while Nnadi also likes the Hokies a lot. FSU would very much like to sign both players. Nnadi visited FSU in december and Harrison last weekend.
- Five-Star CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala.) will be visiting Alabama. I expect him to sign with Alabama, despite his love for FSU's track program and some desire to be like Jameis Winston, making a name for himself by not just being another Birmingham-area kid to head down the road to Tuscaloosa.