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UPDATED 1/5: Florida State of Recruiting: Analyzing January transfer portal visitors

The Portal King cometh…

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

Mike Norvell and the Florida State Seminoles have officially turned the page toward the 2024 season, and that can only mean one thing:

The Portal King cometh.

Having already welcomed 22 new #Tribe24 signees into the fold and secured two high-profile transfers in EDGE Marvin Jones Jr. and QB D.J. Uiagalalei, the Florida State staff is now laser-focused on filling needs through the transfer portal.

The final official visit window for transfers intending to be eligible for spring ball at their new destination is between January 3 and 7. Players must then enroll within the spring semester class add/drop window at their new school, which varies depending on that school’s academic calendar.

FSU’s spring semester begins on January 8 but the final day to add courses is January 11. Barring any strange waiver approval situations, spring portal additions will be complete by then.

Below is a breakdown of transfer portal players who intend to visit FSU this week, independently confirmed by Tomahawk Nation. Things can change quickly, so this article will be updated as needed. Be sure to check out the comments for more information.

LB Nikhai Hill-Green- Charlotte 49ers (OV 1/3)

Hill-Green has a history with FSU staffers, having been recruited by the ‘Noles out of high school before choosing the Michigan Wolverines. The 6’2”, 232 pounder played for former high school coach Biff Poggi in Charlotte this past season, having his best year to date by notching 73 tackles (nine TFL) and two sacks and earning all-conference honors.

Hill-Green is a grad transfer currently committed to the UCF Knights, whose linebackers are coached by former Seminole standout Ernie Sims, but there is strong mutual interest with FSU. He would immediately be in the mix for a starting role in Tallahassee.

UPDATE: The visit went extremely well and FSU is in the lead. If things work out with academics and timing, Hill-Green will be a Nole.

OL Pearson Toomey- Furman Paladins (OV 1/3)

Toomey, originally from Jacksonville, is a highly-regarded lineman with offers from the Texas A&M Aggies, South Carolina Gamecocks, Michigan State Spartans, Pittsburgh Panthers, and others. He played left tackle at Furman and started for three years, earning back-to-back all conference first team honors.

A stronger pass blocker than run blocker per PFF, Toomey is expected to play guard for his new destination and has one season of eligibility remaining.

UPDATE: Toomey just finished his multi-day visit to FSU. We feel the Noles are in good position if he gets the green-light but he will also visit South Carolina.

DE Nic Scourton- Purdue Boilermakers (expected 1/4)

Perhaps the most proven pass rusher to enter the portal this cycle, Scourton has no shortage of suitors. He’s planning on visiting the Texas A&M Aggies, Missouri Tigers, and Oklahoma Sooners in addition to FSU, and we feel A&M is the leader headed into the visit window (he’s originally from Bryan, Texas).

Scourton has three years of eligibility remaining but is projected as an early entrant into the NFL Draft with a strong junior campaign.

Scourton was easily Purdue’s best player on defense. In 2023, he had 50 total tackles and 10 sacks to lead the Big Ten conference. He would immediately be in the mix for a starting role at FSU, should the Seminoles win this recruitment.

UPDATE: Scourton committed to A&M:

LB Stefon Thompson- Syracuse Orange (OV 1/4)

FSU needs linebackers in a bad way, and I believe they need to bring in at least two through the portal. One of those could be the 6’1”, 248 pound Thompson, who has two years of eligibility remaining.

Thompson played more of an EDGE role at Syracuse but was productive, with 169 tackles (20 TFL), 10.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles during his career. He has started 21 of 36 career games for the Orange. Should he come to FSU, it will be interesting to see how he’s utilized.

WR Jaylin Lucas- Indiana Hoosiers (expected 1/5)

Lucas is the younger brother of current Seminole Ja’khi Douglas and was recruited by FSU a bit out of high school. Though he has some modest production as a running back, Lucas makes his impact in the return game.

In his true freshman season in 2022, Lucas earned first-team All-America kick returner honors from numerous outlets after returning 22 kicks for 591 yards and two touchdowns. This year, he returned another 22 kicks for 572 yards and a touchdown.

Lucas previously took official visits to the Louisville Cardinals, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Oklahoma State Cowboys, and Penn State Nittany Lions. FSU will get the last crack at him and should win out if the staff prioritizes him.

DT Grady Kelly- Colorado State Rams (expected 1/5)

Originally from the Panhandle area, Kelly was recently offered by DC Adam Fuller and will officially visit the Seminoles. He has two years of eligibility remaining. Kelly would be a nice addition to the defensive tackle rotation and would be a contributor quickly.

This past season, he made 35 tackles (25 solo), including 6.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Since entering the transfer portal, Kelly has received offers from the Arizona State Sun Devils, Boston College Eagles, Indiana Hoosiers, Kansas Jayhawks, Maryland Terrapins, Michigan State Spartans, Minnesota Golden Gophers, North Carolina Tar Heels, and Texas A&M Aggies, among others.

WR Jabre Barber- Troy Trojans (expected 1/6)

Barber finished 2023 with 75 catches for 999 yards and five touchdowns for the Trojans and entered the portal after the Troy head coach bolted for Tulane. For his career, the 5’10”, 175 pound receiver has 1,674 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns.

Barber has the ability to play outside or in the slot and has the speed to take the top off of the defense. He was also FAU’s primary punt returner and helped in kickoff returns, and would factor into the return game for FSU.

Barber will also visit the Texas A&M Aggies, South Carolina Gamecocks, and Kansas State Wildcats.

January 4 update

DB Earl Little, Jr. - Alabama Crimson Tide (OV 1/4)

FSU finished as the runner-up in the high school recruitment of Earl Little Jr. after he picked the Crimson Tide. Little, at 6’1” and 185 pounds, will visit FSU beginning either today or tomorrow. He primarily played on special teams for Alabama and did not play after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder against LSU. He previously told media that he expects to be ready for the spring. Little was considered a possible replacement for Malachi Moore, who started at STAR this season for Alabama.

A redshirt freshman with three years of eligibility remaining, Little has the ability to play either safety or cornerback and would be a welcome and talented addition to the defensive back room. With FSU being in much better shape as a program now, his former high school coach Patrick Surtain serving as DB coach, and his best friend Marvin Jones Jr. having signed on to become a Seminole, all signs point toward FSU finally getting Little in the fold, two years later.

January 5 update (9:00 am)

OL Terrence Ferguson - Alabama Crimson Tide (Expected 1/5)

FSU finished second for Ferguson during his high school recruitment. His love for Alex Atkins and Mike Norvell couldn’t overcome the poor state of the program, leading Ferguson to Alabama. The 6’4”, 322 pound interior offensive lineman can play at either guard or center. He’s seen action in 11 games in his time in Tuscaloosa and was expected to challenge for a starting role in 2024.

FSU has moved quickly and aggressively to get Ferguson in for an official visit and he is expected to arrive tonight or tomorrow morning. We expect the staff to do everything it can to wrap up both Earl Little, Jr. and Ferguson this weekend.

January 5 update (2:15 pm)

Terrence Ferguson has arrived on FSU’s campus for his official visit.

January 5 update (3:35 pm)

DE Sione Lolohea - Oregon State Beavers

FSU is working hard to get Lolohea on campus for an official visit this weekend and there is mutual interest. New FSU and former Oregon State QB D.J. Uiagalelei is actively assisting the staff in recruiting Lolohea to Tallahassee. Lolohea is 6’3” and 265 pounds and has one year of eligibility remaining. Last season he notched 46 tackles (8.5 TFL), two forced fumbles, one and a half sacks, and a fumble recovery. He would be an immediate rotational piece with starter upside.