Mike Norvell and the Florida State Seminoles football coaching staff are hosting some significant official visitors for #Tribe 23 this weekend.
Eight prospects are making their way to Tallahassee for what is shaping up to be among the most important summer recruiting events for the Seminoles.
Below is a breakdown of who will be on campus and why you should know their names:
4 star OT Lucas Simmons
Simmons is a 6’7 300 pound offensive tackle from Clearwater, FL (via Sweden). Put bluntly, I believe he’s the most important recruit for Florida State this cycle. The Seminoles are getting his final OV, with Simmons having already visited the Oklahoma State Cowboys, USC Trojans, Tennessee Volunteers, and Florida Gators.
OC Alex Atkins has led the charge, put in significant time, and managed to develop an excellent relationship with the Simmons family. The talented tackle plans to announce his college choice this summer and could potentially be on commit-watch as soon as this weekend.
Simmons, who has nearly 40 offers, is everything coaches look for in a left tackle prospect, with excellent size and reach (he has an 82 inch wingspan), an ideal frame for adding good weight, and good bend in his long legs. He’s still raw in some facets of his game, as he didn’t grow up playing football, but he showed marked improvement over the course of his junior season, along with a willingness to be coached. Although he might need a season or two of development, he projects as a multi-year starter.
4 star RB Daylan Smothers
“Hollywood” Smothers is a 5’11 190 pound running back from Charlotte, NC. He holds 30+ offers, but has long had an affinity for the FSU coaching staff, leaving glowing reviews after prior visits. Smothers has checked out the Oklahoma Sooners and NC State Wolfpack this month, but all eyes will be on him this weekend.
Smothers has been on the national radar for several years and was named as the North Carolina High School Player of the Year by the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer. Smothers scored 30 touchdowns last season, has game-breaking potential, and is at the top of the RB board for Florida State.
4 star RB Samuel Singleton
Singleton is a 5’11 180 pound running back from Orange Park, FL, and is one of my favorites among FSU targets. Singleton also holds 30+ offers, but FSU will be his first official visit. The Seminoles are thought to have a strong edge for Singleton, and will look to secure both Smothers and Singleton this weekend to form a very nice 1-2 punch.
Singleton is a tough runner and doesn’t shy away from contact. He’s a track and field star with nice speed, as evidenced by his 10.86 100-meter dash last spring. He’s a threat to break off a huge play every time he touches the ball, and averaged 6.4 yards/carry last season. Singleton would be a welcome addition to the running back room.
4 star DL Keldric Faulk
The highest-ranked visitor of the weekend, Faulk is a 6’5 240 pound defensive lineman from Highland Home, AL. He, too, holds 30+ offers and has already officially visited the Auburn Tigers, Clemson Tigers, and Florida Gators prior to arriving in Tallahassee this weekend. He lines up at defensive end, but the insanely-athletic Faulk also succeeds at tight end and wide receiver. Yep, you read that right, wide receiver (peep the highlights). He also plays basketball for his high school.
Faulk is, quite simply, a beast. He’s extremely disruptive and has the frame to add additional muscle without losing athleticism. He has a bright future as a pass-rusher and should become sturdier in the run game as he progresses. Faulk has a very quick first step and can frequently overwhelm linemen with his combination of control and power. He’s planning to announce his commitment on July 5.
4 star S Avery Stuart
Stuart is a 6’2 175 pound safety from Montgomery, AL. He holds 20 offers and has already checked out the Kentucky Wildcats, where Mark Stoops covets him. Stuart hasn’t been shy of his fondness for FSU in the past, and this weekend could go a long way for the Seminoles.
Stuart has great size and isn’t afraid to thump, routinely flying up to disrupt the run game and make tackles. He also plays wide receiver for his high school and is a playmaker on both sides of the ball. Stuart has a natural instinct for high-pointing the ball and has the tools to be a successful defensive back at the next level.
4 star QB Chris Parson
Perhaps you’ve heard of him? The only FSU commitment on an official visit this weekend, Parson checks in at 6’0 200 pounds and plays high school ball in Brentwood, TN (was formerly at Texas powerhouse Duncanville). He holds 20+ offers and has been committed to the Seminoles for nearly a year.
Parson has been at the center of the will he or won’t he discussions since FSU started showing interest in other quarterbacks. Although he says the right things publicly, Parson’s social media habits and increased communication with other schools has belied his words. Having officially visited SMU last weekend and likely to visit Mississippi State in the future (family ties), Parson’s commitment is on shaky ground. It’ll be interesting to see what impact this weekend has on the relationship between Parson and FSU, as both sides undoubtedly have unanswered questions.
3 star DL Tavion Gadson
Gadson is a 6’4”, 270 pound defensive lineman from Savannah, GA. He holds 20+ offers and has seen his recruitment take off in the past few months. Gadson claims a current top four of FSU, Georgia, Tennessee, and Minnesota. He’s already visited the Golden Gophers (but in the summertime- don’t buy it, Tavion!) and there are questions about whether he’s currently a take for the Dawgs. He plays basketball for his high school as well.
Gadson has a very strong bond with DT coach Odell Haggins and is certainly among Haggins’ favorites in this cycle. What sticks out about Gadson is his relentless motor and will to dominate. He doesn’t take plays off and plays to the echo of the whistle, a trademark of ’Nole defensive line legends of yore. His stock will likely continue to rise, so ’Dell & Co. will look to assert themselves as the leader this weekend.
LB DeMarco Ward
Very little is known about the unranked, 6’2 205 pound Ward from Duluth, GA. He plays linebacker and wide receiver for his high school and claims to run a 4.5 40 yard dash. His highlights show an affinity for contact, an ability to diagnose plays, and some athleticism. Perhaps this is Free Scouting U striking yet again, or perhaps this is commentary on the current state of FSU’s linebacker recruiting. I’m giving the young man the benefit of the doubt for now, but we’ll see what transpires this weekend.