7:54 Sunday Morning Update
FSU landed three quality commitments resulting from its junior day. There's a lot to like about this trio, and I break down the attributes that likely lead to FSU accepting their commitments.
4:45 Saturday Update
Sounds like Junior day is going well. Quite a few players who were expected to make it (Derwin James, Tarvarus McFadden, Sam Bruce, Devante Peete, John Burt, Damon Arnette, Jordan Scarlett) ended up at the 7-on-7 event in Melbourne instead. But FSU did manage to get three linemen to visit ($) who I didn't know were coming: 4-star DE Kengara Daniel (of North Carolina), 4-star DL Austin Bryant, of Thomasville, and 3-star OL Tyree St. Louis, of the IMG Academy in Bradenton. I think St. Louis will eventually be a four-star and have been a fan of his since his days at Tampa Bay Tech. Sh'mar Kilby-Lane also made it in, per Chris Nee.
Overall, this is a solid turnout with a 7-on-7 tournament going on in the state. It sounds like Florida's visitor list was similarly impacted by the event. The key will be getting some of the prospects who elected to go to the 7-on to come up next weekend.
Star linebacker Roquan Smith also had a great time
Loving it here in tally— Hunnit_Gang1 (@RoquanSmith1) February 22, 2014
We'll catch up with some of the stars who made it in over the coming weeks.
Miami Killian safety JaQuan Johnson also made it in.
Up in Tallahassee #FSUtrip— Jaquan Johnson (@AuthenticMade_Q) February 22, 2014
Looks like Johnny Frazier, a very good North Carolina RB, also made it down.
In Tallahassee— ★★☆ Now_YouSeeMe ☆★★ (@JohnnyOsoFast) February 22, 2014
Florida State hosts one of its junior days Saturday. Junior days are important for recruiting, as many of FSU's top targets get a chance to visit the program, understand what goes on at Florida State, and what makes Tallahassee special, including learning about the academics and history of the program. FSU will also host a junior day on March 1, and prospects and their families can meet the coaches during both events. In case you're wondering, the trips cannot be paid for by the schools.
Note: This list is not intended to be exhaustive or comprehensive. It's simply what I've seen on social media and gathered via texting,etc. Junior day lists are notoriously off, as the school cannot release any official list or even acknowledge to the media who is coming. There will be star players who show up unannounced, and there will also be players listed below who likely cancel or head to other junior days. Also note that there is a 7-on-7 going on this weekend, and that some of these players, and others, may elect to participate in that rather than visit.
With that said, here are some of the top names I'm expecting for the February 22 junior day.
Florida State QB commitment De'Andre Johnson, of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast High School will be checking out a campus with which he is already very familiar. Florida State is probably going to take two quarterbacks, however, and Johnson said recently that he is OK with that.
Running back Jordan Scarlett, one of the best players in the country, should be along with many of the top players from Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas. Scarlett has all the major offers from around the Southeast, and I compare him to a young Fred Taylor stylistically. He is very high on FSU's recruiting board. Scarlett, a recent transfer to Aquinas from University School, is committed to FAU, but most believe that is just to bring attention to the school of his old coach who is now coaching at FAU.
Running back Karan Higdon, a three-star from Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview, is a current USF commit, but coach Todd Johnson's star player will be making the trip to check out Tallahassee. He does not currently have an FSU offer, but with the Seminoles looking to take at least two backs in the class, he could earn one in the future. Johnson has done a great job of turning around Riverview.
The receiver group is quite good indeed. 2016 superstar Sam Bruce, of Aquinas and the nephew of NFL legend Isaac, will be there with the rest of the Raiders. That includes Devante Peete, a 2015 receiver who, again, has all the major offers in the country. Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln John Burt is also expected, as is Miami (Fla.) Central's Da'Vante Phillips. Peete, Burt and Phillips are all among the best 10 receivers in the country, and they all have most or all of the major offers in the country. Also of note: various Central players have tweeted about being at differing junior days, so don't be surprised if they end up at the March event.
On the offensive line, the big name expected is Abdul Bello, a really fast rising offensive tackle from Montverde (Fla.) Academy. I expect him to end up as one of the ten best offensive tackle recruits in the country, and early on, he is a Florida v. Florida State battle.
FSU Defensive tackle commit Kendrick Norton, of Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian is excited to be making the trip. Island Coast defensive lineman Marlon Gonzalez also told me he was coming, but I am not sure of his status. Malik Walker, of Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County will also be there -- he's a rising defensive end.
The linebacker group is an excellent one, including Roquan Smith, also of Macon County, whom we profiled last week. Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes' Brian Bell is also going to be coming down.
The defensive back group is awesome. Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Plantation CB Tarvarus McFadden will be coming up. McFadden is one of the nation's best. Aquinas cornerback Damon Arnette, one of the fastest-rising prospects in the country, should also be there, as should Aquinas cornerback Rashard Causey. The former two have FSU offers. And they'll surely be shown around by FSU 5-star safety commit Derwin James, who should also be in attendance.
This will be updated and edited at least twice through the weekend to reflect cancellations and new visits.