Florida State Seminoles football is slated to return 12 defensive linemen in 2018, following graduation, though attrition of at least one should be expected. The team would like to carry 16-17. That means it needs to sign 5-6. Within this, FSU needs to take at least three defensive ends and a defensive tackle. Here is a general rundown of the position. We will update this throughout the recruiting season.
- Curtis Fann, Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County Institute: Fann recently visited Florida State and the ’Noles will look to see what he can do his senior season on the field.
- Quashon Fuller, Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh Senior: Fuller committed to the previous staff back in February of 2017. He could also easily grow into a defensive tackle. Fuller has wavered at times but has stayed committed. Florida State went in home with Fuller on 11/26.
- Derrick McLendon, Tucker (Ga.) Tucker: McLendon took a visit to FSU in early April and the staff decided to offer him at that time. McLendon plays defensive end and defensive tackle for his high school team and looks to profile well as a strong-side defensive end in FSU’s scheme.
Note: This list is relevant, realistic offers. For example: If FSU offers a California athlete who has already committed to USC and is a legacy of the Trojans, we won’t waste your time listing him unless the player shows a real interest. Early on in the year, more longshots will be included as we learn the new staff’s recruiting strengths and preferences.
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, Thousand Oaks (Ca.) Oaks Christian: Kayvon is considered by most to be the top overall prospect in the country. At 6’5, 235 pounds, he has the size, strength and athleticism to be a dominant defensive end. Thibodeaux visited FSU for the spring game and FSU seemed to knock that visit out of the park, and they did a good job on his official, considering the circumstances (Virginia Tech).
- Sam Williams, Montgomery (Al), Northeast Mississippi C.C. : Williams is an Ole Miss commit that recently received an offer from Florida State. Williams is a top 10 JUCO prospect, but opinions on his instant impact ability is questioned by some programs.
- Tru Thompson, Loganville (Ga.), Grayson: Thompson committed to FSU under the previous staff but has remained solid.
- Derick Hunter, Ft. Myers (Fla.) Dunbar: Hunter committed to FSU, but also claims he has no leaders. Florida, Miami, and Texas A&M are trying to flip him.
- Malcolm Ray, Opa Locka (Fla.) Miami Carol City: Ray is an undersized defensive tackle that is committed to South Florida. Scouts from the area speak highly of Ray. He has set up an official visit with Florida State on December 14th. He is a teammate of defensive back target, Jarvis Brownlee.
None at the moment.
5/2: As of early May, you’ll notice that there are a lot of targets remaining for what looks like few spots (a goal of five signees, with three current recruits committed). The way FSU is recruiting, it’s clear that it does not consider some of the current commitments who committed to the prior coaching staff to be solid.
5/21: I posted an update with commit Quashon Fuller. Fuller is committed in name only, but both the school and player are high on each other. His future position is in question.
5/31: Derrick McClendon is set to visit Florida State again this weekend. I would be surprised if this visit does not lead to a commitment in the very near future. FSU likes McClendon for its more traditional defensive end role. He would be a solid addition to the 2019 class.
6/27: Removed: George Karlaftis (no traction) ... Josh Harris (no traction), Denzell Daxon (doesn’t appear to be a priority target) ... Norell Pollard (not a priority) ... Faatui Tuitele (no traction) Notes: McLendon commits on 6/28, likely to FSU. ... Sources don’t expect Hunter and Fuller to end up in the same class.
6/28: As expected, McLendon committed publicly.
11/27: Removed: Diabate, Sopsher, and Sorrells. Added Williams and Ray.
12/12: If FSU can manage to hold on to one of Hunter/Fuller, it looks to be meeting its numerical needs at the position. But is it meeting it with elite talent? It appears not. None of the five commitments are rated in the top-200 nationally.