With the recent additions of Joshua Kaindoh and Cam Akers, the 2017 Florida State recruiting class is now slated to have seven early enrollees in January. The quality of the enrollees is off the charts for the 2017 team and has tremendous potential to make immediate impacts at a variety of positions for the ‘Noles. 5 of the 8 enrollees, based on 247 composite rankings, are considered to be among the 50 best players Jimbo Fisher has signed since becoming head coach in early 2010. Let’s take a look at each of the enrollees, who is returning at their position, and what we might expect in terms of contributions for the 2017 season.
Cam Akers, 5-star running back
Returning at position: Ryan Green (rSr.), Jonathan Vickers (Sr.), Jacques Patrick (Jr.), Amir Rasul (So.)
Akers is the crown jewel of the 2017 class. Strong, fast, elusive, he is the ideal replacement for the departing Dalvin Cook. Make no mistake, Akers will have an immediate opportunity to not just contribute, but quite possibly win the job the moment he steps foot on campus.
Stanford Samuels III, 4-star corner back
Returning at position: Malique Jackson (Sr.), Tarvarus McFadden (Jr.), Marcus Lewis (Jr.), Levonta Taylor (So.), Kyle Meyers (So.)
A Seminole legacy, Samuels is one of the 20 best players in America and a top-3 player at his position for the 2017 class. Early entry into the ‘Noles weight program will be important for Samuels to attempt to add some size to his wiry frame (6’2", 175 lbs.). Samuels will likely spend time at both field and boundary corner in the spring and could be a key backup to fellow 5 stars McFadden and Taylor when fall camp opens in August.
Joshua Kaindoh, 5-star defensive end
Returning at position: Keith Bryant (rSr.), Josh Sweat (Jr.), Jalen Wilkerson (rSo.), Janarius Robinson (rFr.)
Extremely long and with a college-ready frame (6’6", 250 lbs.), Kaindoh will have an immediate chance to back up Josh Sweat at the defensive end position. The battle for the No. 2 end spot between Kaindoh and 2016 blue chip signee Janarius Robinson will be an interesting battle to keep an eye on in the spring.
Cyrus Fagan, 4-star safety
Returning at position: Nate Andrews (rSr.), Ermon Lane (Sr.), Derwin James (Jr.), Calvin Brewton (Jr.), AJ Westbrook (Jr.), Carlos Becker (So.)
At 6’2" and close to 190 lbs., Fagan has tremendous size and length to play in the back end for the Seminoles. As was seen in 2016, you can never have too many blue chips at the safety position, as the spot was ravaged by injury. With the spring to learn the system, it’s possible Fagan could work himself into the 2-deep before fall, but at a minimum he should see plenty of action on special teams in 2017.
Bailey Hockman, 4-star quarterback
Returning at position: JJ Cosentino (rJr.), Deondre Francois (rSo.)
With the departure of Malik Henry, getting Hockman on campus early becomes an even bigger necessity for the 2017 team. With only 2 returning quarterbacks, Hockman will have every chance to establish himself immediately as the primary backup to Deondre Francois.
Adonis Thomas, 3-star linebacker
Returning at position: Matthew Thomas (rSr.), Ro’Derrick Hoskins (rSr.), Delvin Puriofy (rJr.), Sh’mar Kilby-Lane (rSo.), Dontavious Jackson (So.), Emmett Rice (So.)
With 1⁄3 of the linebacking core being question marks (Puriofy’s health and Kilby-Lane’s academic standing), getting Thomas, a former Alabama player (and Under Armour All American) and JUCO transfer with 3 years of eligibility remaining, on campus and acclimated as soon as possible is critical. With the size and versatility to play inside or outside, Thomas could be a utility knife for the defense as either middle, weakside, or buck linebacker. And he’ll certainly be able to contribute immediately on special teams like we saw of Rice in 2016.
Tre’ McKitty, 3-star tight end
Returning at position: Jeremy Kerr (rSr.), Ryan Izzo (rJr.), Mavin Saunders (rJr.), Naseir Upshur (So.)
The 6’4", 235 lb. McKitty will come into a position that is crowded for the time being. This will allow McKitty to add some more weight and get the playbook down before being more heavily relied upon in 2018 and 2019.
The collection of talent enrolling for FSU in January is phenomenal. As illustrated, many of them will have immediate chances to not just play, but possibly crack the 2-deep depth chart when fall camp opens in August. Jimbo Fisher and his staff did a fantastic job of identifying positions of need and filling them with top-tier talent that is ready to come in and get to work immediately.