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Florida State defensive end recruiting rundown

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In a year without many great ends nationally, FSU had better scout well.

NCAA Football: Florida State-Willie Taggart Press Conference Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State has a history of great defensive ends. It led the nation in sacks in 2016 on a per-game basis. Unfortunately, the crop of defensive end recruits across the country is not that strong in the 2018 class, so it’s a good thing FSU brought in an elite group last year.

With the Seminoles losing Jacob Pugh to graduation after 2017, and potentially Josh Sweat to early NFL entry, the Seminoles need to sign two true defensive ends.

Commitments

FSU currently has one commitment, and we’ll see if it sticks.

Chaz Neal, Wesley Chapel (Fla.)

Neal is all about potential. Florida State offered and accepted the 6’7, 250-pounder’s commitment after seeing him at the July session of the Jimbo Fisher camp. According to the Tampa Bay Times, a broken leg sidelined Neal in 2016, so all eyes were on his performance this fall. He was not a beast in 2017, so it’ll be interesting to see if he stays in the class.

Recent developments

FSU had a decommitment from Patrick Joyner during the Jimbo Fisher saga. He flipped back to Miami. This is what we wrote about Joyner at the time.

Patrick Joyner, Homestead (Fla.) South Dade

Joyner is a prototypical “Jack” type linebacker, with the ability to bend and rush off the edge, with some coverage ability as well. Joyner is rated a three-star, but the 6’2.5, 215-pounder is being pursued by Alabama, Miami, Florida, etc., which suggests that perhaps his rating is not accurate. Florida State wants to keep him in the class. Joyner will also be discussed in the linebacker section of this series.

And another decommitment, this time from Stacy Kirby. As you can see by what we wrote at the time, Kirby’s commitment in the class was always up for debate. Per Kirby on social media, the new staff informed him he is not in the plans.

Stacy Kirby, Orlando (Fla.) Jones

Kirby is a thickly-built defensive end at 6’3 and 248 pounds. His commitment to Florida State came as a bit of a surprise, but not as big of a surprise as his decision not to work out with his future coaches at the July session of the Jimbo Fisher camp. We’ll be watching to see if he ends up in the class when all is said and done.

Targets

Jarett Jackson, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.)

Jackson is a big-bodied defensive end at 6’5 and 260 pounds. Florida State offered him after the July session of Jimbo Fisher camp, and he has some talent, also playing tight end. The primary competition is Louisville, where he committed in August, and Tennessee. Jackson will be visiting FSU soon.

Malcolm Lamar, Armwood HS (Tampa)

Lamar is an Oregon commitment, but plays for Armwood HS, where FSU WR Target and former Oregon commitment Warren Thompson also plays. If FSU pursues, flipping Lamar would not be a surprise. Lamar has good size at 250 pounds. Expect things to heat up with Lamar, including a visit this week.

Dennis Briggs, Gateway HS (Kissimmee)

Briggs is a hybrid player capable of playing the 5-technique. He is high on Nebraska and Miami as well as a few others, but remains in contact with FSU.

FSU may expand its board more, of pursue a junior college player later in the cycle.

2019

FSU is in great shape for several top 2019 stars who grew up big FSU fans. For that reason, reaching for bodies won’t be a priority if top target don’t hit in 2018.