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#NicevilleNoles: FSU trying to establish roots in the Panhandle

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The Seminoles are looking to bring in a trio of Niceville Eagles

Murphy Jones/Tomahawk Nation

Getting established with schools in the immediate proximity of Tallahassee has been an effort of Mike Norvell and his staff early on, with one of the big focuses for the next two classes being Niceville High School.

The Eagles, currently represented on FSU’s roster by running back Deonte Sheffield, have three main FSU targets: offensive linemen Kimo Makaneole (2021) and Austin Firestone (2022), as well as defensive back Azaryeh Thomas (2022). Makaneole is currently committed, with Thomas and Firestone in the crosshairs.

We’ve compiled some analysis and highlights of the names FSU is looking to bring aboard.

Offensive lineman Kimo Makaneole

Analysis, by CoachAB (Jul. 2020)

The first thing any coach is going to like about this play is the athleticism and purpose that Kimo moves with. A little tight in the hip, but still quick footed and able to get around on a counter trey. Makaneole runs inside the framework of his body which allows for more fluid motion.

The second thing everyone will enjoy is the way he arrives at the point of contact. Kimo is able to lower his pad level with good knee and ankle flexibility and deliver a rising blow to obliterate the defender. At the point of contact Makaneole is in good position with his hands loaded and you can see the rest.

Makaneole is very heavy handed and delivers some knee buckling punches. Some players just have that raw power and he is one of them. This power gets developed from the ground up and is on display quite often.

Makaneole shows quick feet that he’s able to get in and out of the ground, tight elbows and quick, powerful hands, and the ability to stay down in his set. All of these traits suggest he can be a good interior OL at the next level after developing.

Defensive back Azaryeh Thomas

Offensive lineman Austin Firestone

Austin Firestone is a 6’5 260 pound offensive tackle prospect from Niceville, FL. He has a 4.0 GPA, scored a 31 on the ACT, and runs a 4.86 40-yard dash.

The Class of 2022 prospect attends Niceville High School and has an 86 rating (3-star) from the 247 Sports Composite List. The sites consider him the 494th best player in America (51st best OT and 57th best player in Florida).

Firestone has offers from the Arizona State Sun Devils, Cincinnati Bearcats, Duke Blue Devils, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, Mississippi State Bulldogs, N.C. State Wolfpack, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers, Virginia Cavaliers, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and West Virginia Mountaineers, among others.