Florida State's annual Jimbo Fisher camp begins Wednesday and runs through Friday. There is also a 7-on-7 tournament and a big-man camp on Saturday. About half of Florida State's starters participated in Jimbo's camp at some point. Each year, quite a few new names emerge and the event helps the coaches form their board, and it also helps us media in that regard.
The camp runs through Friday, with a big-man camp on Saturday. Camp is a major part of Florida State's recruiting engine because the staff gets to take accurate height and weight measurements and work out prospects in person. Is the kid as fast as his tape looks? How big are his hips and shoulders? Can he add the weight the school needs him to add?
As we saw with the last camp, FSU is likely to be very selective and stingy with some offers to rising seniors. Having a "road" game at Miami in front of many South Florida recruits and the uncertainty swirling in Gainesville may yield opportunities for FSU to be in a position to grab some players it otherwise would not have landed. It needs to have spots open later in the year and not be in a position which forces it to tell commits to look elsewhere. Offers to underclassmen are different and usually plentiful.
Here are some of the top names we are expecting. We will update this as we hear more.
FSU QB commitment Bailey Hockman told me he’d be getting to at least one FSU camp, but so far I have not confirmed him for this camp.
I’m also told to look out for QB Riley Smith, of Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail, a promising 2018 with only one FBS offer to date (Charlotte). Smith has good size at 6’4 and has visited FSU before.
Max Johnson, the son of former FSU QB Brad Johnson is a class of 2020 member I am excited to watch. I saw him work out in Atlanta this spring and he is a very special looking QB. Miami's Mark Richt has offered him and an FSU offer would not surprise me. He is more talented than many older kids already.
Superstar RB Cam Akers (Mississippi) told me he'd be camping at Florida State. Most believe FSU is on the outside looking in for the five-star. But Tim Brewster is an ace recruiter and has Mississippi ties. Getting the 5’11, 212-pound superstar on campus is an important first step. We believe FSU is taking two RBs this cycle.
FSU 2018 commit James Cook, the little brother of Dalvin will also be there. Alabama commitment Trey Sanders, of nearby Port St. Joe will also attend.
FSU commit ZaQuandre White tells me he will not make it due to a death in the family.
Four-star slot receiver commitment D.J. Matthews, one of the quickest players in the country out of Jacksonville Trinity Christian will be in attendance embarrassing defensive backs and trying to recruit others to FSU.
Five-star receiver Trevon Grimes of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas is coming. Most believe FSU trails Ohio State for the Indiana native. FSU is also welcoming in Jerry Jeudy, a four-star from Deerfield Beach (Fla.) who might be the most well-rounded receiver in the country.
Four-star 2018 Justin Watkins of North Marion (Fla.) told me back in spring he’d be camping at FSU this summer, but I don’t know if he’ll be at the June or July session. Watkins is a former LSU commit. He is high on Florida State.
Florida State tight end commitment Alexander Marshall (New Hampshire) told me is is not making it down for this camp and isn't sure of when his next trip down will be. He visited a few weeks back. IMG tight end Tre’ McKitty mentioned FSU in his summer visit plans a few weeks back but I do not know what session he’ll be attending if he does. I’d be surprised if FSU signed two tight ends in this class.
FSU is taking a small offensive line class this season, so don't despair about the shortness of this list. Four-star Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal offensive tackle Walker Little is visiting along with his teammate, five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (see below). I spoke with Little this spring during a trip to Texas and he was high on Texas, Stanford and Ole Miss, where I’m told he has a legacy connection of some sort.
Miami commitment Navaughn Donaldson, of Miami Central will also be attending. He’s a teammate of James Cook and FSU has done well with Miami Central players under Jimbo Fisher, including Devonta Freeman and Dalvin Cook. Donaldson is a massive player and profiles as a right tackle.
Huntington (WV) Spring Valley four-star offensive tackle Riley Locklear is also expected again. Some scouting services rate him as a guard. I have not seen him play in person yet.
I’d bet that FSU finds some underclassmen and throws out some offers for 2018 and 2019 players this week.
This is a loaded group for Florida State on the interior. Four-star cousins/FSU commits Ja’Len Parks and Corey Durden of Newberry High School (Gainesville). They’ll be trying to get five-star Marvin Wilson to commit to the Noles to form an incredible trio of defensive tackles. FSU is legitimately in it with Wilson.
Tru Thompson, an elite 2019 defensive tackle from Griffin (Ga.) will be attending. It feels like he’s been at FSU camp since age 5.
The picture going in isn’t quite as strong at defensive end.
Jordan Wright, of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard will attend and compete for an offer. Wright has a lot of athleticism and room to grow. He was a standout name at the Kentucky satellite camp at FAU Tuesday. He also plays tight end. His teammate, three-star Miami commitment Jonathan Ford will also be there. Ford is perhaps more of a defensive tackle build than an end, but could perhaps be a strong-side player.
Other than those two, I don’t know of any other ends attending, which means I have probably missed a few and will see them out there.
Of particular note is Jarez Parks, the four-star end of Sebastian River. Many recruiting experts believe Parks is heading to UF, but FSU is recruiting him hard and one source says FSU is in better shape with him than many believe. It also wouldn't shock me if Robert Beal made it down from Georgia, but I have not confirmed Parks of Beal yet.
The underclassmen ranks should be great with South Carolina’s Xavier Thomas (2018) and FSU commit Michael Morris (2019).
As of right now, the only name of note I have confirmed is Owen Pappoe, the freak outside linebacker from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson. He’s class of 2019 and is a star. He was very good at the Atlanta Nike camp.
St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Rocky Shelton registered but tells he he does not think he’ll be able to make it.
The headliner name here is Stanford Samuels III, the FSU legacy who is a bona fide stud at cornerback. Samuels III is an FSU legacy, but at 6’2 is much taller than his dad. He’s one of the three or four best cornerback recruits in the country and a commitment from him would not surprise.
The other name to know at DB is Daniel Wright, who is now at St. Thomas Aquinas. Wright is a four-star and the little brother of Florida great Major Wright. FSU has been on him forever.
One of the elite 2018 prospects in the state is Isaiah Bolden, of Bartram Trail.
2019 star Jashawn Sheffield, of St. Simonds Island Frederica Academy is very high on the Seminoles.