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Florida State defensive back recruiting: Next up after Levonta Taylor

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FSU needs to reload in the defensive backfield and Levonta Taylor and Jamel Cook are just a start.

Trayvon Mullen
Trayvon Mullen
Student Sports

Florida State added a commitment from five-star cornerback recruit Levonta Taylor Friday, of Virginia Beach's Ocean Lakes High School. Taylor is widely considered one of the five best in the nation.

The Seminoles now have 13 commitments and the No. 1 rated recruiting class in the country. Florida State returns 12 defensive backs in 2016 and attrition of one or two is reasonable, meaning Florida State is in the market for four or five defensive backs, and more than likely three who can play corner.

Florida State has two defensive back commitments at current in Jamel Cook, of Miami Central, and Levonta Taylor. The 6'4.5, 189-pound Cook showed good range at the recent Miami Nike Camp, though he isn't great in man coverage against smaller slot receivers. Based on what I have seen, Cook's four-star rating seems deserved. Cook also seems solid to FSU, as the Seminoles have done extremely well at Miami Central in recent years. Taylor is rated five-stars but is probably more of a four-star type.

That means FSU is still in the market for two or three defensive backs, at least two of them with the ability to play corner.

FSU is very high on safety Nigel Warrior, a four-star from Atlanta Westlake, but seems unlikely to be able to beat out the numerous SEC schools vying for his signature. Other safety targets will likely develop this summer.

Florida State missed on five-star cornerback Saivion Smith, of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, as he recently committed to LSU. The commitment was really a surprise, but Smith, and especially his father really like the Tigers. FSU won't stop recruiting him, but this won't be an easy flip.

The other player with an argument for the honor of best corner in the state is Trayvon Mullen, of Pompano Beach (Fla.) Coconut Creek. Mullen is a four-star recruit who should be a five-star in my eyes, with his 6'2 frame, speed and agility. FSU's main competition for Mullen will be LSU, which has a history of pulling elite defensive backs out of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Gators. It's very important for FSU to get Mullen on a visit this spring and then for the summer as well for a camp session.

Another prospect to keep an eye on is Carlos Becker, of Kissimme Osceola. At 6'1.5, 185, Becker will remind FSU fans of P.J. Williams with his length. FSU was one of his first major offers, and UF, Ohio State, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Louisville and Mississippi State soon followed. Becker is likely underrated based on his film and size and I believe he would be a take for FSU if he wanted to come aboard right now. Becker visited Florida State a few weeks ago and learned about the school, but is not yet ready to commit.

Quickly ...Florida State remains in contact with undersized corner Khalil Ladler (5'10) of the IMG Academy. ... It is trying to get in the mix for John Broussard (four-star corner from Phenix City Alabama), who visited last weekend with teammate Jamal Couch, but Auburn is believed to hold a huge lead for Broussard. ... FSU will also continue to pursue Cocoa (Fla.)'s Chauncey Gardner, a four-star UF corner commit who has previously committed to Miami and Florida (yes, twice).