As we find ourselves in the heat of early August, now’s a good time to reflect back on Florida State football’s 2023 recruiting class. As of this writing, FSU’s class ranks 32nd nationally on the 247 Sports Composite List, following the commitment of blue-chip RB Samuel Singleton, Jr.
The Seminoles currently hold commitments from 12 prospects and boast a 50% blue-chip ratio, placing some much-needed context on the aforementioned ranking. Six are 4-stars, five are 3-stars, and one is currently unranked (JUCO). #Tribe23 represents six states: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Kansas.
The Three Stars are here to break it down for you even further. We look back at how we got to this point and what needs to be done before pen hits paper in December.
Most important commitment so far
NoleThruandThru: I’ll go with DL Keldric Faulk here. True blue-chip defensive linemen are absolutely crucial when building class foundations. Faulk represents a significant win on the trail for the Seminoles, as the staff pulled him out of Alabama and beat some heavyweight programs for his commitment. Faulk has a good chance to see the field early and become a contributor sooner rather than later.
Tim Scribble: OT Lucas Simmons. A top-100 offensive tackle. I could stop my answer there and that would be enough in my opinion. But I’ll add that Simmons was a national recruit and a huge victory for FSU. He also has a bond with other commits (Kearney) that will help the class as a whole. He is raw in some areas but has the size and ceiling of being a multi-year starter who could play on Sundays in the future.
Josh Pick: I’ll go with Simmons, as well. If Alex Atkins stays at FSU for the OT’s entire career, he’ll end up a 1st round pick in the NFL Draft.
Biggest miss so far
Tim Scribble: QB Brock Glenn is the easy name. But as we discussed on the podcast, it is more a PR hit than anything. I would just say the wide receiver position as a whole. The state of Florida was loaded this year and the Seminoles have failed to gain any real traction… yet.
NoleThruandThru: Losing S Avery Stuart to the Kentucky Wildcats still sticks in my craw. Florida State made him a priority and was in the lead for his commitment for months, only to see Mark Stoops and company $lide into the frontrunner seat just before Stuart pledged to the Wildcats. FSU still has a shot to flip him with a strong season.
Josh Pick: Travis Hunter. Oh, we’re talking about this cycle? In that case, give me Darron Reed and Kelton Smith from Carver (GA). Last year, FSU invested plenty of resources pursuing OT Elijah Pritchett from Carver, but it all went for naught when he chose the Alabama Crimson Tide on Signing Day. This year, the ‘Noles whiffed on a pair of talented Tigers.
Most underrated commit
Josh Pick: DE Jaden Jones; pretty easy considering he’s not rated at all. Seriously, though, he has a college-ready body and with some solid coaching could play immediately in Tallahassee.
NoleThruandThru: WR Darren “Goldie” Lawrence racked up nearly 800 yards on 54 catches and 15 total touchdowns last season (and 16 successful 2-point conversions), leading his team to a state title in the highest classification in the state of Florida. Watch his film and tell me again how there are 540 prospects ranked higher than him. I just don’t see it.
Tim Scribble: DE Lamont “Boots” Green Jr. We tend to overlook long-time commits as we set our eyes on what’s next. Boots dominated his junior season with double-digit sacks. He’ll arrive in Tallahassee ready to play thanks to the rigid training from his father. He has the size and skills to contribute early at Florida State.
Position group most, least excited about
NoleThruandThru: I’m most excited about the offensive line group. Two studs are already in the fold, allowing OC and OL coach Alex Atkins to narrow his focus on a couple more big targets to round things out. I’m least excited about the tight end class, because there are no commits (to be clear, I am fine with FSU and Randy Pittman parting ways) and no names on the radar that are exciting. I’m guessing (and hoping) tight end will be a portal focus.
TimScribble: Not much to add here, David nailed it with the offensive line and tight end picks. I might add linebacker to least if FSU misses on Blake Nichelson.
Josh Pick: Per usual, the good doctor is all over it. The million dollar question remains, however: what will FSU do at QB for #Tribe23?
Most important realistic target for #Tribe23
Josh Pick: Do we consider WR Hykeem Williams a realistic target if he’s deciding in September without officially visiting FSU?
Tim Scribble: DL Jordan Hall. The versatile lineman could be the final piece to an already stacked trench class. While the offensive line will look to add another piece or two, Hall could be the biggest fish still available on the defensive line.
NoleThruandThru: I refuse to get my hopes up (yet) for my favorite recruit (Williams) in this entire cycle, though FSU is firmly in his top group. I’ll go with LB Blake Nichelson. FSU has put a ton of time and effort into his recruitment and doesn’t carry as many linebackers on its roster, so the staff simply HAS to land Nichelson. He would be a good fit for what this defense wants to do with its second-level defenders.
Biggest storyline from now until the Early Signing Period
NoleThruandThru: Flips. With a strong season, FSU could be the beneficiary of a few talented players changing commitments. The staff is certainly making waves with its family atmosphere and a few nice victories on the trail thus far, but finally showing proof on the field that the program is turning the corner will go a long way to signing a strong class and hitting on top portal targets. Conversely, if FSU struggles, keeping its own commitments from flipping will be a tough task.
Tim Scribble: Just the on-field play of the current Seminoles in general. Can FSU make a bowl and leave a positive mark on the minds of commits and recruits? Will any true freshman see the field and show that early playing time can be had at Florida State? This season will play a huge part of the future in Tallahassee.
Josh Pick: Just win, baby (the health of Jordan Travis).
There you have it! Agree with us? Think we’re crazy? Answer these questions yourselves! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section, and feel free to hit us up in the latest recruiting thread, as well.
Florida State of Recruiting: The Three Stars
David Stout, Tim Alumbaugh, Josh Pick
The only FSU recruiting-specific podcast on the beat, our recruiting team analyzes recruits, signees, and prospects from the current recruiting class to the years ahead.
(6/9/22): Breaking down the QB targets
Florida State Recruiting Class of 2023
(click on names for links to commitment articles)
Class of 2023 football commits
RUNNING BACK: 4 star Samuel Singleton Jr. (FL)
WIDE RECEIVER: 3 star Darren “Goldie” Lawrence (FL)
WIDE RECEIVER: 3 star Vandrevius Jacobs (FL)
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Lucas Simmons (FL)
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Roderick Kearney (FL)
DEFENSIVE END: 4 star Lamont “Boots” Green, Jr. (FL)
DEFENSIVE END: JUCO Jaden Jones (AL)
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Keldric Faulk (AL)
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Keith Sampson, Jr. (NC)
LINEBACKER: 3 star DeMarco Ward (GA)
DEFENSIVE BACK/ATHLETE: 3 star Quindarrius Jones (MS)
DEFENSIVE BACK: 3 star Ja’Bril Rawls (FL)