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Florida State football State of Recruiting: Defensive tackles

Can the Seminoles replace their current talented group?

Lee Hunter

Following the announcement that all sporting events have been suspended, the next big decision was that all recruiting activity was also placed on hold until April 15th (it’s now been extended until the end of May). We’ll use this newly enacted dead period to evaluate Florida State’s recruiting position by position. This isn’t meant to be an all-inclusive list; rather, it’s a snapshot of which players we believe are trending with FSU. TimScribble and NoleThruandThru break it down for you here:

In this series, we’ve covered the entire offense with quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, interior offensive line and offensive tackle articles. In this article, we’ll start our review of the defense, stopping first to look at defensive tackle. The Florida State Seminoles signed one defensive tackle in the 2020 class: Emanuel Rogers. Earlier this month, the Seminoles picked up defensive tackle transfer Fabien Lovett. The expectation is that FSU will sign two defensive tackles with a possible third if they can bring in a JUCO or another transfer.

Current commit(s): None

Trending target(s):

Marquis Robinson. 6’3, 300 pound 4-star from Milton High School (Milton, FL). Robinson received an offer from Florida State in 2019. He has visited the campus twice, with his most recent visit taking place in January for FSU’s Junior Day. Robinson stays low out of his stance which allows him to gain leverage with a powerful first move when offensive linemen engage him. His highlights demonstrate good strength in his upper and lower body, as he drives linemen backwards, while also shedding them, on occasion. And every so often, he’ll catch a pass on offense for good measure. He’s accurately ranked as a 4 star. FSU’s the presumed leader and in good shape to land Robinson, although it’s tough to tell for sure, as he keeps things very close to the vest:

Victory Vaka. 6’3, 325 pound 4-star from Westlake High School (Westlake Village, CA). Vaka received his offer from Florida State in February, but wasn’t able to visit Tallahassee before the Dead Period. However, Vaka listed Florida State in his top-5. Vaka is a brick wall on the defensive line. When offensive lineman attempt to push Vaka, they’re unable to move him. He keeps his head up and follows the ball well, while shedding blockers, allowing him to pursue offensive play makers. Vaka seems to love the ‘Noles—if FSU gets him on campus, it’ll be in the hunt until the very end and may just be able to notch a Victory:

Lee Hunter. 6’5, 295 pound 4-star from Blount High School (Eight Mile, AL). The most talented prospect on the DT board, Hunter was offered by FSU last April. He visited FSU this March for Florida State’s Junior Day. Hunter’s everything you want in a defensive tackle. He’s thick and broad, shedding blockers easily, while penetrating the backfield. Hunter can play all along the defensive line due to his athleticism. He has an excellent bull-rush technique, and a wicked first punch coming out of his stance—simply put, he has future NFL’er written all over him. Hunter would be an enormous win, figuratively and literally, for Florida State if the Seminoles can flip the Auburn commit:

Cameron Ball. 6’5, 290 pound 3-star from Tri-Cities High School (Atlanta, GA). Ball was offered by Florida State in March, but wasn’t able to visit before the Dead Period. Ball had hinted to Tomahawk Nation of FSU making his top schools before making it official this past week. Ball plays on both sides of the ball for his high school team. He’s quick for his size and does a great job reading the offensive backfield. He uses his upper body strength to pancake opponents on offense and defense. Ball’s still somewhat raw, but he possesses the tools to develop into a starter:

Luther McCoy. 6’4, 280 pound 3-star from Creekside High School (St. Augustine, FL). McCoy visited Florida State in March for FSU’s Junior Day. While on the visit, McCoy received an offer from the Seminoles. McCoy already has a grasp of several rushing techniques. His highlights show an ability to get skinny and slice through offensive holes, how to push-pull engaged linemen, and how to rip through blocks or shed his blocker. He also has great length, using his long arms to gain an advantage against blockers. Still somewhat under-the-radar as a prospect, FSU is considered one of the favorites for McCoy should the ‘Noles turn up the heat:

Jalen Williams. 6’3, 310 pound unranked JUCO defensive tackle from Jones College (Tylertown, MS). Williams was offered this month by Florida State. Williams is a big man and can be a wrecking-ball against offensive lines. He can be slow coming out of his stance, but once he gets going, he’s difficult to stop. Williams possesses a pretty good swim-move and can penetrate the backfield fairly consistently. The recruiting team would not be surprised to see FSU sign a JUCO DT in this cycle, and Williams could very well be that guy:

It’s still relatively early in the process, but FSU finds itself in good position with these recruits. Other names will pop up once the season commences and senior film starts to drop.