The Florida panhandle often produces top talent, but it has a recent history of being neglected by Florida State coaching staffs. This has even happened in FSU’s own back yard at times, but Mike Norvell and his staff plan to make local talent a top priority. There are multiple prospects in the area that have been to Florida State since Norvell has arrived and another is making his way to campus for an unofficial visit.
Tomahawk Nation’s Jeremiah Zanders has confirmed 2021 defensive back recruit De’Shawn Rucker will be on campus:
Local DB De'Shawn Rucker (@d_rucker22) will be on campus today, he tells me. Plays for Godby and has been a big riser this spring.— Jeremiah Zanders (@JustCallMeNOLE) March 2, 2020
Rucker with his grandmother at FSU:
Rucker with his 7-on-7 coach:
Early rankings often don’t tell the full story, but looking at offers can help fill in the blanks. Rucker is an unranked prospect on 247, but holds offers from Alabama, Clemson, and Florida State, among others. He will spend the afternoon at FSU, getting valuable one-on-one time with the coaching staff and players. This is an important visit for the Seminole staff coming out of the dead period and shows a priority for bringing local talent to campus.
Rucker plays at Godby High School. Measuring in at 5’11 and 170 pounds, he projects as a safety at the college level. This visit will be about developing stronger relationships with the new staff and learning about where he fits in the future for FSU. Linked below are Rucker’s HUDL highlights.
UPDATE: After his visit, Rucker answered some questions on his recruitment.
According to Rucker the best moments from the visit included meeting the coaching staff: “They brought me in like family...as soon as i walked in, they greeted me with a warm welcome.”
He says his two main recruiters, Coach Fuller and Woodson, are genuine and that you can get “really comfortable around them.”
2021 DB De’Shawn Rucker on his unofficial visit to @fsufootball !#APG ⚪️ #BuildingChampions #GoNoles❤️— Godby (APG) Cougars (@GodbyFootball) March 3, 2020
@action2348 @CoachColsonAPG @MichaelWarchant @Teej_19 @r81dugans @fbcoachfuller @Coach_MWoodson pic.twitter.com/kSy9dGuNHM
Rucker went on to say that putting on the uniforms felt “great” and that everyone said he looked liked he belonged in the jersey. He was also impressed by the top-notch facilities, and the locker room, among other things.
The staff sees Rucker as an versatile prospect who can impact the game at many levels. He said they like him at safety for now, but they could potentially try him at corner, as well.
Rucker is already planning a return trip after an “eye-opening” visit. This will occur March 27-28th during the Florida State Relays where he’ll participate.
Besides FSU it seems Clemson is the main contender as of now for Rucker, and he visits them on March 7th.