As we formally turn the page to the Class of 2022, we’re ramping up our Florida State of Recruiting series once again. As a reminder, this is meant to be a snapshot in time of the current prospects committed to, trending with, or known to have mutual interest in the Florida State Seminoles football program. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive list, so expect to see names added/removed (as needed) throughout the ’22 cycle, including any transfer portal options that may become available. Uncommitted targets aren’t presented in any specific order.
Tribe ‘22 OL State of Recruiting: Offensive Linemen
Julian Armella: 6’6”, 300lbs (Miami, FL)
Armella holds a rating of 94 (4-star) in the 247 Sports composite ranking and is considered the 137th best player in the nation (14th best OT and 16th best player in Florida). A Seminole legacy, Armella holds nearly 40 scholarship offers from a who’s who in college football. He is currently believed to have a top four consisting of the Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, Miami (FL) Hurricanes, and Florida State in no particular order.
Armella projects as a strong option at OT with the potential to slide inside, if needed. I said this about Armella last year and haven’t budged:
“How can you not love and root for a kid on the OL who models himself after Anthony freakin’ Munoz? Armella is a starter the second he sets foot on campus. He’s the anchor on the OL for 3 years with potential to be a team captain, after which he is a first round draft pick. He leaves FSU as one of the best OL ever to put on the uniform, in the discussion as THE best. (This is all assuming health isn’t negatively impacted, obviously).
I try not to use hyperbole when I talk about kids because there’s way too much of it in recruiting already, but that’s how highly I think of Armella. I’ve planted my flag and will not move off this hill. Julian Armella is the most important recruit that FSU needs to land in the last decade.”
Please enjoy my favorite Armella highlight:
Qae’shon Sapp: 6’5”, 320 lbs (Leesburg, GA)
Sapp holds a rating of 90 (4-star) and is considered the 349th best player (41st best OT and 33rd best player in Georgia). Sapp holds over 25 offers, including Alabama, the Arkansas Razorbacks, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, LSU, Miami (FL), North Carolina Tar Heels, Penn State Nittany Lions, USC Trojans, and Texas Longhorns.
As a starting RT, Sapp helped lead his team to the Georgia 6A title game. Sapp has consistently raved about his relationship with FSU offensive line coach Alex Atkins and loves what he sees from Florida State. He noted Atkins plays a father-figure role for him, which makes his relationship with FSU unique compared to other schools. I really like FSU’s chances with Sapp and a month ago, he included FSU in his top 8 schools.
Kanaya Charlton: 6’5”, 350 lbs (Brunswick, GA)
Charlton holds a rating of 83 (3-star) and is considered the 1021st best player (43rd best OG and 86th best player in Georgia). This ranking is certain to move up due to Charlton’s performances in camp settings this spring and his offer list, most of which are committable. He holds over 20 offers including Alabama, the Arizona State Sun Devils, Arkansas, Auburn Tigers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, LSU, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Oklahoma Sooners, and Texas A&M Aggies.
Charlton will need to lose some bad weight and reshape his body, but his nimble footwork is still evident. He plays with good leverage and has plenty of power. Although he probably won’t start immediately in college, Charlton has sneaky good upside and could turn out far better than his current ranking. I love FSU’s chances here almost as much as Charlton seems to love FSU:
Emery Jones: 6’4”, 330 lbs (Baton Rouge, LA)
Jones holds a rating of 92 (4-star) and is considered the 209th best player (5th best OG and 11th best player in Louisiana). He holds offers from LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, the Ole Miss Rebels, Tennessee Volunteers, and Texas A&M, with the hometown Bayou Bengals holding the lead for his services.
Jones is a massive human being with high upside on the offensive interior. His strength is run-blocking, but he’s no slouch in pass-protection, either, often mauling linemen and blitzing linebackers. He’s also a standout basketball player and more nimble on his feet than you’d think considering his size. He has legitimate interest in FSU, but the ‘Noles will have their work cut out for them to try and steal him from the Tigers.
Daughtry Richardson: 6’5”, 285 lbs (Miami, FL)
Richardson holds a rating of 87 (3-star) and is considered the 457th best player (47th best OT and 61st best player in Florida). A former Tallahassee resident who spent time at Godby High School, Richardson holds nearly 20 offers and is currently thought to be favoring Arizona State, Georgia Tech, the Kentucky Wildcats, Oregon Ducks, West Virginia Mountaineers, and the beloved ‘Noles. He finished last year as a starter at left tackle for Miami Edison.
Richardson is a developmental prospect who has nice upside with a strong reputation for being coachable and working hard. He had a very strong showing at the recent Miami Under Armour Camp despite playing with a sore hamstring. If FSU pushes hard for Richardson, I believe he’ll be a Seminole.
Jaylen Early: 6’4”, 290 lbs (Duncanville, TX)
Early holds a rating of 93 (4-star) and is considered the 163rd best prospect (21st best OT and 27th best player in Texas). He boasts 30 offers including Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Miami (FL), the Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma, USC, and every major program in Texas. He named FSU, Ohio State, and Penn State as schools currently standing out, with Texas A&M coming on strong, although the Seminole staff is pitching Early and Duncanville tight end Jerrale Powers as a potential package:
Early is an anchor at OT for his high school, earning first team all-district as a sophomore in an extremely competitive division in Texas. He’s a total beast and his quickness and versatility could easily allow him to slide inside at the next level. He’s expected to visit FSU where Coach Atkins will sell him on playing time, as Early is likely to see the field...early.
Aliou Bah: 6’6”, 325 lbs (Bradenton, FL)
Bah holds a rating of 87 (3-star) and is considered the 527th best player (53rd best OT and 68th best player in Florida). Now at IMG by way of Memphis, Bah holds 36 offers from many major programs in the nation. Bah recently dropped a top 6, which included FSU (but surprisingly not Ohio State):
Bah has prototypical size for an OT and has strong relationships with the FSU staff developed over several years when Norvell was at Memphis. He’ll need to continue working on his leverage and reshape his core a bit, but the tools are present for a player who could become a multi-year Power 5 starter.
Dayne Shor: 6’6”, 295 lbs (Bradenton, FL)
Shor holds a rating of 92 (4-star) and is considered the 176th best player (23rd best OT and 21st best player in Georgia). Shor transferred to IMG from Alpharetta, GA, before transferring back home to King’s Ridge Christian School. He missed the 2020 season with an injury so his rankings come from his early playing days in Georgia. He holds nearly three dozen offers from a who’s-who of P5 programs across the country.
Shor will need to show he’s back to full strength following his shoulder surgery. When healthy, he’s an aggressive mauler who seeks out contact. He can also get to the second level quickly and shows a good understanding of the game.
Antavious “Tae” Woody: 6’5”, 270 lbs (Lafayette, AL)
Woody holds a rating of 86 (3-star) and is considered the 719th best player (27th best OG and 28th best player in Alabama). He holds offers from the likes of Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, the Indiana Hoosiers, Kentucky, Ole Miss Rebels, South Carolina Gamecocks, Texas A&M Aggies, UCF Knights, USC, and West Virginia.
Woody is versatile and could project as a right tackle or an interior lineman. He also plays on the defensive line for his high school, as well as standing out in track and field, competing in discus and shotput. He’s quick on his feet and his athleticism pops when he pulls. He also has no problem driving defenders into the sidelines, channeling his inner Michael Oher (The Blind Side). My favorite highlight of his comes as a DE, though—I’m a sucker for seeing big dudes ragdoll QBs!
Austin Firestone: 6’5”, 260 lbs (Niceville, FL)
Firestone holds a rating of 88 (3-star) and is considered the 424th best player (44th best OT and 55th best player in Florida). A teammate of FSU target Azareyeh Thomas, Firestone’s recruitment has seen an accumulation of 25 offers. He’s looking hard at in-state schools, along with the Northwestern Wildcats, Penn State, and Virginia Cavaliers (academics are obviously a big deal to the Firestone family).
Firestone uses leverage well and has a quick get-off when he pulls, often finishing his blocks by driving defenders to the ground. He can get to the second level quickly and arrives with bad intentions. As he adds strength, he should develop into a P5 starter. He could play right tackle or slide inside at the next level.
Elijah Pritchett: 6’6”, 280 lbs (Columbus, GA)
Pritchett holds a rating of 93 (4-star) and is considered the 165th best player (22nd best OT and 19th best player in Georgia). He’s scheduled to announce his college decision in early July and holds offers from 20+ schools including Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Georgia, UNC, Ole Miss, Oregon, and Southern Cal.
Pritchett’s brute strength is the first thing that jumps out during his highlights. He routinely blasts defenders into the ground and shows good athleticism when reaching the second level. He’s a great-looking prospect with a frame that could hold more weight and his athleticism is readily apparent. I love his bulldozing style in run-blocking. Pritchett rewarded the hard work Coach Atkins has put into his recruitment by visiting FSU recently for a scrimmage. Alabama and the in-state Bulldogs will be tough to beat, but Pritchett would see the field more quickly at FSU.
Bryson Hurst: 6’6”, 320 lbs (Gauthier, MS)
Hurst holds a rating of 90 (4-star) and is considered the 310th best prospect (38th best OT and 7th best player in Mississippi). He holds a dozen offers and is thought to currently favor both in-state programs.
Hurst is mammoth with good strength, although he tends to rely on his size to win matchups more often than you’d like. I think he projects best as an interior lineman because he isn’t the fastest off the ball, but he shows the tools you like to see, and as he reshapes his body, he should become a P5 starter. I’ll be curious to see his film this coming season to see where he’s improved.
Eston Harris, Jr.: 6’6”, 275 lbs (Opelika, AL)
Harris holds a rating of 88 (3-star) and is considered the 429th best prospect (45th best OT and 17th best player in Alabama). Harris boasts over 30 offers from the likes of Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia, the Iowa Hawkeyes, Miami (FL), Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. Auburn has prioritized Harris and has seemingly made the strongest impression to date, but he also likes FSU and Oregon.
Harris looks to have all the tools you want in an offensive tackle. He’s absolutely relentless and he almost always win once he gets his hands on his opponent. He shows good athleticism and has quick feet, although his footwork needs more coaching. He can slide, shows good bend, and carries his weight well on a frame that can add more mass in a college S&C program.
Tyler Gibson: 6’5”, 290 lbs (Alpharetta, GA)
Gibson holds a rating of 88 (3-star) and is considered the 446th best player (46th best OT and 41st best player in Georgia). He holds over a dozen offers with FSU, Indiana, the Mississippi State Bulldogs, and Virginia currently standing out.
Another developmental prospect, Gibson needs to reshape his body, but has a nice frame. He also needs work on leverage (tends to stand up) and footwork, but he’s got the tools needed to develop into a strong option at tackle or guard. It should also be noted that Gibson comes from a family with lots of love for and ties to FSU. Personal opinion—I’d love to see him at FSU. While he may not be the best in his class or at his position, he’s going to work his rear end off and give his all for the school his family loves.
Leyton Nelson: 6’6”, 272 lbs (Orlando, FL)
Nelson holds a rating of 87 (3-star) and is considered the 529th best player (54th best OT and 69th best player in Florida). A teammate of Tribe ‘21 signee Shambre Jackson and current Florida State target JaCorey Thomas at Boone High School, Nelson holds 20+ offers with Miami, the Pittsburgh Panthers, and Tennessee currently standing out (Nelson has very strong ties to Josh Heupel’s staff from the coach’s time at UCF).
Nelson’s athleticism really sticks out in his highlights, as he displays nice bend and footwork. He’s an aggressive blocker who won’t stop until the echo of the whistle, and he possesses good strength. Nelson projects as a tackle and has a nice frame to add more weight.
Steven Nahmias: 6’3, 269 lbs (Atlanta, GA)
Nahmias holds a rating of 87 (3-star) and is considered the 533rd best player (15th best OG and 49th best player in Georgia). Nahmias holds offers from the likes of Auburn, Duke Blue Devils, Georgia Tech, the Michigan State Spartans, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Purdue Boliermakers, South Carolina, and UCF.
Nahmias projects as an interior lineman and is an advanced run-blocker. He’s relentless, athletic, and extremely intelligent on and off the field (boasts a reported 33 ACT). A strong leader in the locker room, Nahmias was also selected first team all-state. He seemingly has all the makings of a future team captain.