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UPDATED 12/15 at 9:30pm: The coaching carousel and how it might impact Florida State recruiting

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Could FSU steal some signatures from the SEC this week?

BCS Championship Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Updates posted under each player

2020 has been a strange year in college football, to say the least. Postponed games, cancelled bowls, cleats without feet inside determining playoff teams... this season has had a little bit of weirdness from every corner. The next slice of crazy will come from the infamous college football coaching carousel, which has already seen five Power 5 jobs open up, 3 of which reside in the SEC. With the Early Signing Period (ESP) upon us, running from December 16 through 18, programs with shiny new coaching vacancies are in a predicament with committed prospects. While they scramble to install new hires, stable coaching staffs continue to develop relationships with recruits in current and future cycles.

Florida State Seminoles’ fans have seen plenty of agony over the past several ESP cycles with top prospects flipping to other programs but this year is different. Coaching staff stability is expected among most positions and a strong foundation of commitments who have bought in to the vision Mike Norvell is selling are vocal on the trail. No strangers to being on the wrong side of the ESP flip, might ‘Nole fans finally find themselves on the joyous side of the recruiting drama this cycle?

We will keep track of each Power 5 coaching vacancy in this article, updating as needed, and examining which prospects FSU may seek to steal from programs in coaching flux. Vacancies at non-P5 programs will not be covered.

Auburn Tigers: Gus Malzahn out, new coach TBD.

Names to know:

DT Lee Hunter: The ‘Noles were one of Hunter’s finalists before he chose Auburn but the standout DT from Eight Mile AL has continued flirting with FSU on social media. Current FSU commits are chirping in his ear but some think Hunter is determined to play in the SEC. This recruitment could be a wild ride.

DT Marquis Robinson: It came down to FSU and Auburn for the Milton, FL, defensive lineman, with the Tigers winning out. With a clear need for DTs in the 2021 class, might FSU re-engage and try to keep the athletic lineman home? We know he thinks very highly of Odell Haggins.

WR/CB Tar’varish Dawson: Dawson is a lightning bolt on the field in Lehigh Acres, FL, and has already stated he will delay his signing until February. FSU has given him plenty to think about, but rumors have Clemson highly interested as well. FSU will prioritize Dawson down the stretch and Auburn will certainly fight to keep him in the fold, but it may come down to whether Clemson can fit the electric Dawson in its class.

OT Garner Langlo: Langlo was offered back when FSU was fighting to hold on to Jake Slaughter and trying to land Caleb Johnson to keep the three Trinity Catholic (FL) linemates together at the next level. With Slaughter now pledged to UF and Johnson off to Notre Dame, it’s probably unlikely FSU pushes for Langlo, but worth monitoring.

DB Philip O’Brien: FSU was a suitor early on for O’Brien, but with several defensive backs committed and other options in the JUCO ranks, FSU may or may not re-engage the Deerfield Beach product. UPDATE: O’Brien has decided to delay his signing and is a name to watch.

DB Ahmari Harvey: I don’t see Harvey in garnet and gold, but I know people will ask about him so I included him. Harvey has a small frame and some question his ability to make an impact at a major program. Despite playing high school ball right down the road, look for Harvey to find a home elsewhere. UPDATE: Harvey still plans to sign on December 16.

RB Armoni Goodwin: A former Auburn commitment, Goodwin is a priority for the FSU coaches. The blue-chip RB from Trussville, AL was offered by FSU in mid-November and decommitted from Auburn a few weeks later. He’s interested in LSU, FSU, and will keep listening to Auburn and others. UPDATE: Goodwin appears to be trending to LSU but may stick with Auburn. FSU is unlikely. He will sign on December 16.


South Carolina Gamecocks: Will Muschamp out, Shane Beamer in.

Names to know:

DE George Wilson Jr: Wilson decommitted from South Carolina after Muschamp’s firing. While not an Auburn commitment, Wilson was leaning toward Auburn prior to Malzahn’s dismissal. With things up in the air on the Plains and South Carolina out of the picture, watch for the ‘Noles to beat out North Carolina and land a commitment from the talented Virginia DE during the ESP. UPDATE: Wilson will sign at 11:11am on December 16.

Vanderbilt Commodores: Derek Mason out, Clark Lea in.

There currently aren’t any names associated with FSU, but with Mike Norvell’s experience recruiting Tennessee, it might help in the portal, or in 2022.

Arizona Wildcats: Kevin Sumlin out, new coach TBD.

There currently aren’t any names associated with FSU, but with Kenny Dillingham and Mike Norvell’s strong AZ connections, this may help with 2022 prospects like QB Nicco Marchiol (who I expect to be a ‘Nole).

Illinois Fighting Illini: Lovie Smith out, new coach TBD.

There are no names associated with FSU at this time.