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 State of Recruiting: Defensive Tackles
Daniel Lyons: 6’4”, 270 lbs (Homestead, FL)
Lyons holds a rating of 88 (3-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 381st best player in the nation (33rd best DT and 49th best player in Florida). Approaching 30 offers including the likes of Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Penn State, Lyons is thought to currently favor Florida State, Florida, Miami, and Ole Miss.
Lyons was a Miami Herald 8A-6A All-Dade first-team selection in 2020, totaling 33 tackles (10 tackles for loss), 5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles in only six games for a 7A state playoff team. He shows good power and once he gets into the backfield, the running back is toast. While not an immediate contributor, Lyons projects as a multi-year solid contributor at the minimum after a year or two in the strength program. Lyons is teammates with Tribe ‘22 DE target Dante Anderson, and the ‘Noles have clearly prioritized both prospects. Lyons was among the visitors at the spring game and often speaks highly of FSU. It is extremely likely that FSU will land an official visit from him and I feel this will be an in-state battle for both him and Anderson.
Kaleb Artis: 6’5”, 270 lbs (Fresh Meadows, NY)
Artis holds a rating of 88 (3-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 415th best player in the nation (37th best DT and 2nd best player in New York). He holds 20 offers, with Auburn, Indiana, Penn State, and Virginia joining FSU among his current favorites.
Artis is one of the biggest guys on the field in each game he plays. While the competition is suspect, he lives in the backfield (as evidenced by the 19 TFLs and 5 sacks he accumulated in 2019). He has quick get-off, often overpowers the man opposite him, shows good pursuit, and cannot be contained with chip or cut blocks. He is raw but has a great motor and never gives up on plays. Artis has the makings of a disruptive presence at the P5 level and FSU will work to get him on an official visit.
Bishop Thomas: 6’2”, 285 lbs (Orlando, FL)
Thomas holds a rating of 87 (3-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 551st best player in the nation (47th best DT and 74th best player in Florida). A transplant from Louisiana, where he was teammates with Tribe ‘21 signee Byron “Boogeyman” Turner Jr., Thomas also holds offers from the likes of Louisville, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Texas.
Thomas is an under the radar prospect FSU is high on, and I believe the ‘Noles are in the driver’s seat and will land him if they want him. The existing relationship with Turner, Jr. is playing a key role in this recruitment and Thomas loves the coaching staff. His highlights are fun to watch as Thomas flies off the ball and has the build to be an athletic interior defensive lineman. After a year or two in the S&C program, we could see the Turner/Thomas duo start to flourish in Tallahassee.
Brandon Cleveland: 6’2.5”, 265 lbs (Tampa, FL)
Cleveland holds a rating of 89 (4-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 335th best player in the nation (27th best DT and 38th best player in Florida). Cleveland decommitted from Miami earlier this spring and holds nearly 20 offers including Arizona State, Auburn, LSU, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Cleveland is an extremely productive player for Seffner High, totaling 76 tackles (18 TFL), 9.5 sacks, and a blocked punt as a sophomore. He has great burst off the line and anticipation of the snap count, often finding himself in the backfield and either disrupting or ending the offensive play quickly. He shows productivity all along the defensive line and as an edge rusher. It isn’t clear how hard FSU is recruiting Cleveland right now, but it will be interesting to see if the ‘Noles get him back on campus in the coming months. He is related to former UF WR Tyrie Cleveland.
Hero Kanu: 6’5”, 295 lbs (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)
Kanu holds a rating of 94 (4-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 143rd best player in the nation (12th best DT and 12th best player in California). Among the most recent ‘22 prospects to earn an offer from FSU, Kanu also holds offers from Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, and Washington. He’s blown up with many of the big offers coming in the last two months.
Kanu grew up in Germany and owes part of his athleticism to playing soccer. His speed and power immediately jump off his highlights- check out the second play on this highlight reel to see pure destruction of both OL and RB:
Kanu’s recruitment has changed drastically over the past months so it will be interesting to see how he is prioritized among the biggest programs to offer him, and which other programs may throw their names in the hat. FSU will try to get him across country to visit campus, but I’m not holding my breath on this one.
Domonique Orange: 6’4”, 300 lbs (Kansas City, MO)
Orange holds a rating of 88 (3-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 395th best player in the nation (34th best DT and 10th best player in Missouri). Orange has nearly 20 offers including Georgia, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Texas, and Texas A&M.
Orange is extremely athletic for his size and plays basketball for his high school. He’s often stronger than the man opposite him on the line of scrimmage and routinely needs only one arm to bring down a QB or ball carrier. He relies on bull rushing most often but shows a swim move every once in a while, has good bend. He hasn’t tipped his hat on where he might visit or who he might favor, but has consistently spoken highly of FSU and Coach Haggins. I wouldn’t be surprised to see FSU land an official visit from him.
Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy: 6’3”, 275 lbs (Lakeland, FL)
Brownlow-Dindy holds a rating of 98 (5-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 16th best player in the nation (3rd best DT and 3rd best player in Florida). He holds over two dozen offers from many of the big names around the country and is a wanted man coast to coast. Both of his parents went to OU so the Sooners are perceived to be a strong player in his recruitment along with Clemson, Texas A&M, and Florida.
Brownlow-Dindy is an absolute mauler with great athleticism thanks to a background in mixed martial arts. You can see from the first couple plays in his highlights that he’s the stuff nightmares are made of for quarterbacks and running backs. I would be absolutely shocked if FSU landed Brownlow-Dindy, but he’s shown some increased interest in the ‘Noles of late. If FSU can get a coveted official visit from him, perhaps they’ll be able to swing some momentum, but don’t get your hopes up- instead, hope that FSU doesn’t have to face him. This will come down to OU and Clemson imo, with Texas A&M as a dark horse.
Anthony Lucas: 6’4.5”, 284 lbs (Scottsdale, AZ)
Lucas holds a rating of 95 (4-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 119th best player in the nation (10th best DT and the best player in Arizona). He holds nearly two dozen offers with a current top 10 of Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, and USC.
Lucas is a missile off the edge and has proven he can be successful on the interior of the line as well. He is a mountain with deceptive speed, annihilating QBs and RBs in his highlight reels with ease. He finished his junior season with 46 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and a forced fumble. FSU will work to get him on a campus visit but I don’t think FSU has a great shot at landing Lucas, despite Coach Dillingham’s Arizona connections.
Maxie Baudoin IV: 6’3”, 290 lbs (Youngsville, LA)
Baudoin IV holds a rating of 88 (3-star) in the 247 Sports Composite ranking and is considered the 430th best player in the nation (38th best DT and 22nd best player in Louisiana). He just narrowed his offers to a Top 10 of Arizona State, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC, and Virginia. Auburn and FSU are thought to be his current top two.
Baudoin was First Team All-District and makes it look easy on the field due to his strength and athleticism. He has a tendency to rely on arm tackling a bit too often but once he gets his full body into the tackle, it’s all over for the ball carrier. He has the tools needed to become a difference maker at the P5 level. FSU should secure an official visit from Baudoin and we’ll see whether Coach YAC can work his magic again.
** Keep in mind that several targets listed under defensive end could grow into interior defensive linemen, such as Richard Thomas and/or Quency Wiggins.
As always, feel free to head on over to the ‘crootin thread to talk about these and other prospects.