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Florida State of Recruiting: June 23 official visitor breakdown

The Seminoles host key visitors prior to the dead period.

The month of June has been an eventful month for the Florida State Seminoles. Mike Norvell and his staff have prioritized June and July in each recruiting cycle and hope that 2023 will be the most productive yet as the Seminoles look to add to their #Tribe24 recruiting class.

Here is a link to the NCAA’s 2022-2023 recruiting calendar. Recruiting is in a “Quiet Period” from June 1-25, meaning “it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution’s campus. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period.” Notably, however, FSU now has all of its 2023 summer enrollees on campus to help recruit.

The Three Stars are here to break down FSU’s anticipated official visitors each June weekend. We’ll analyze each visitor for the upcoming weekend and provide our confidence level for an eventual commitment from each prospect. FSU hosted six official visitors the first weekend of June, two more the second weekend, and seven others last weekend and earlier this week.

The weekend of June 23 is what the staff has targeted as its biggest recruiting weekend this summer. While the strategy has backfired for several anticipated visitors who have since committed elsewhere (more on those at the end of this article), FSU will still host several high priority targets along with some other key prospects and current commitments. The end of June and the month of July should be eventful for Florida State. 14 prep targets are expected to be in Tallahassee this weekend, so let’s take a look at the visitors.

June 23 official visitors

5-star TE Landen Thomas (FSU commit)

Landen Thomas has had a unique journey to this point, originally committing to FSU before flipping to UGA, then becoming a rare “recommit” by flipping back to FSU in April. Thomas appears locked in with the Seminoles and has his recruiting hat on ahead of his official visit. Thomas has been talking with fellow blue-chip tight end Kylan Fox, and I would imagine the two will spend plenty of time together this weekend. Not only is Thomas among the highest-ranked commitments under Mike Norvell to date, he is the best prep tight end in a recruiting class for FSU since Brandon Warren back in the Lost Decade.

Confidence level: High. I don’t see Thomas flipping his commitment again. Mike Norvell and Chris Thomsen have done an incredible job here, and Thomas could finish as one of the best TEs ever to do it at FSU by the time he is finished.

4-star OL Jonathan Daniels

Daniels already occupied the top spot on FSU’s offensive lineman board, but with Southern Cal snatching two other priority targets in Manasse Itete and Jason Zandamela, Daniels has never been more important to the Seminoles’ recruiting efforts. Daniels is a guy who could play multiple positions along the line, primarily seeing time at both right and left tackle for his high school team but with the ability to slide inside if needed.

When evaluating Daniels, think of a guy like current Seminole Darius Washington, but more polished and further along at this stage with fundamentals and quicker feet. Daniels is around 6’4” but has very long arms and huge hands, allowing him to play bigger than he is at times. He will need time in the strength and conditioning program wherever he goes and could be a good redshirt candidate. Daniels would be a crucial addition for OC Alex Atkins’ unit, someone who can easily cross-train and fill in at numerous spots without a severe drop-off in talent.

Confidence level: High. With the (extremely frustrating) recent miss on Zandamela, the urgency to land Daniels is greater than ever. FSU has done well positioning itself as the leader and never falling out of Daniel’s top two, and I think it will pay off. I have long expected Daniels to join Tribe 24 before the season begins and nothing has happened to change my mind.

4-star QB Luke Kromenhoek (FSU commit)

Kromenhoek, fresh off a great performance at the Elite 11 camp, has been to FSU’s campus plenty of times prior to this weekend, and will be back plenty of times during the season. He and his family will officially visit Tallahassee and while Kromenhoek plans to enjoy himself, he’ll also be doing some major recruiting. Kromenhoek deserves to be ranked much higher than he currently is, and I hope to see him begin to rise in the next release of ranking updates. He is a top-75 player nationally in my eyes.

Confidence level: High. Kromenhoek is a bellcow for this class and he’s going to do great things for FSU in the next several years. He’ll have his recruiting hat on this weekend and I’m excited to see how he does (spoiler alert: I think he’s going to do well).

4-star WR Zion Ragins

A name many FSU fans may not be familiar with, Ragins was a late addition to the official visitors list for this weekend. The major thing to know about Ragins? He has elite speed. As both a freshman and sophomore, Ragins was the Georgia 5A state champion in the 100 meter dash. He routinely posts sub-11 second times, with a personal best of 10.37 (which is flying).

Ragins is only about 5’9” and around 150 pounds, so he will absolutely need to add weight and strength to his frame before meaningfully contributing on offense. He plays WR and RB for his high school and has been productive at both positions, earning the “gadget” player moniker. However, he could instantly factor into the kick/punt return rotation with his elite speed. He has officially visited Oklahoma and Georgia this summer and holds 30 offers.

Confidence level: Medium. Oklahoma leads and I’m not sure how high a priority he is for Georgia, but FSU gets the last shot in June to impress him. I think FSU has two motivations for bringing Ragins in this weekend. First, the staff legitimately wants Ragins in the class and intends to bring him in as a bona fide early contributor in the return game while allowing him to add strength and good weight so he can also be used as a gadget player. Second, I believe this is also a message to Tawaski Abrams (who we’ll discuss below) to show him that if he continues to be wishy-washy with his commitment, FSU could replace him with someone who is even faster than Abrams.

4-star ATH Jalewis Solomon

Solomon is one of the more intriguing targets in this recruiting cycle for FSU, as I believe he could legitimately contribute at wide receiver or as a defensive back at the P5 level. As a junior, the 6’1”, 185 pound athlete from Georgia caught 86 passes for 1,210 yards and 10 TD, accumulated 29 tackles, 4 pass breakups and 3 interceptions on defense, and returned a kickoff for a TD. During his sophomore campaign, he caught 61 passes for 989 yards and 13 touchdowns and totaled 22 tackles, 8 pass deflections and 5 interceptions. Needless to say, he’s a very productive football player who shines under the Friday night lights.

Solomon has previously visited South Carolina and Kentucky this month, with Auburn also pushing hard for him. A key aspect with Solomon is that his younger brother, stud 2025 linebacker Zayden Walker, accompanies him on nearly every visit. Landing Solomon will go a long way toward landing Walker, a 2025 high priority recruit for the Seminoles. Since FSU likes Solomon on defense, they will undoubtedly try to sell the brothers on playing together in Tallahassee.

Confidence level: Medium. This is a battle between South Carolina and FSU right now, with Auburn lurking and still likely to get an official visit. I think the Gamecocks hold a slight edge coming into this weekend, but FSU can take the lead with a strong visit experience. With a good visit, I would put FSU’s chances at around 60/40 over South Carolina. But hey, with the pipeline flowing from Columbia to Tallahassee, maybe FSU will just need to wait a couple of years before seeing Solomon don the garnet and gold.

4-star TE Kylan Fox

I’ll go on record as saying that I absolutely love Kylan Fox’s potential at the next level, and I think he would be a class headliner at many schools outside of FSU. He plays both tight end and edge rusher, but FSU sees him on offense. At 6’4” and 208 pounds, Fox has the athleticism to split out wide to form mismatches on nickel corners and an ideal frame on which to add weight and strength, allowing him to stay inside as an inline blocker when needed. Fox has a big catch radius and uses his long arms well, though he needs to continue working on catching with his hands and not his body. I can see Fox developing into a strong threat against zone coverages, forming a great security blanket as QBs go through their progressions.

With Landen Thomas committed, Fox may not be given the amount of credit he deserves from the fan base. Thomas and Fox are very close friends and the coaching staff is using that relationship to its advantage, as they would form a devastating duo at the tight end position in a couple of years. Very importantly, Fox’s mother absolutely loves FSU as well. Pair her with Kam Davis’ mother, and I’d argue that FSU should officially place them on the payroll as recruiting coordinators.

Confidence level: High. Fox really enjoyed his visit to UCF and they can’t be dismissed because they’re selling him on being THE guy, but I think FSU can lock this one up over the weekend. FSU fans couldn’t ask for a better 1-2 punch of Thomas and Fox at TE this cycle. FSU is one of very few schools in the nation at which Fox would be the secondary tight end commitment during this cycle, which is really saying something. It all depends on if he’s ok being second fiddle, for now.

4-star ATH Micahi Danzy

Danzy is a local blue-chip who (stop me if you’ve heard this before) is a standout in track, boasting a recent 46.02 personal record in the 400m dash at a national competition to go alongside his district championship in the long jump (21-2) as a sophomore. He was offered track scholarships by LSU and Auburn and will likely play football and compete in track in college. Last season, he racked up 1,809 yards (averaging 9.5 yards per carry!) and 17 touchdowns as the primary run game option for the Florida State University School. He is also an experienced kick and punt returner for his school.

FSU is very high on Danzy and views him as an ideal complement to stud RB commitment Kam Davis. He will need to add more weight and strength but has the frame to do so. Danzy has been on campus plenty but during his official visit this weekend, I believe FSU will push hard to get his commitment. Keeping Danzy home would also help with FSU’s chances with his good friend and fellow Tallahassee target Ashton Hampton, who plans to officially visit FSU in December.

Confidence level: High. FSU loves Danzy’s versatility and has made him a top priority, especially with fellow RB target Christian Clark recently pledging to Texas. I expect them to get it done with Danzy and keep him home.

4-star DL DD Holmes

The most enigmatic prospect visiting this weekend, Holmes is a 6’6”, 240 pound defensive end prospect from Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC. He has already visited Maryland, Rutgers, and South Carolina this month and will be back on campus for the first time since he swung through in early April. I would think that Mike Locksley has prioritized him for the Terrapins.

Holmes says very little publicly about his recruitment and is also looking hard at UF and Michigan. He is a powerful edge rusher and uses his long stride and understanding of angles in pursuit of ball carriers, though he dives and tackles running backs by the legs a bit too often. His film shows that he has some solid technique already and can shed blocks fairly well, able to get pressure whether standing or keeping his hand on the ground pre-snap.

Confidence level: Medium, only because he says so little publicly and I can’t get a great read on him. I have to think that FSU’s recent whiffs on defensive linemen targets will have them prioritizing Holmes this weekend. I’m not sure how comfortable he is leaving home and coming down to the Sunshine State, but if distance isn’t a factor I have to believe FSU has a fighting chance with him.

4-star WR Tawaski “TJ” Abrams (FSU commit…ish)

Abrams is a speedster learning to become a competent wide receiver, and has made good strides from his junior season into this summer. He has a high ceiling if he can become a more complete wideout, but he should be able to make an impact in the return game wherever he goes. Though Abrams committed to FSU back in January, he has openly flirted with and visited numerous other programs. I have never felt confident in Abrams sticking in this class, and I sincerely hope this weekend’s visit will be an opportunity to honestly gauge whether to move on from him or lock him down.

Confidence level: Low. I’ve said numerous times that I don’t expect Abrams in FSU’s class and I’m sticking to it. Quite frankly, I’m fine with him landing elsewhere- FSU is going to bring in an excellent WR class this cycle regardless.

4-star WR Camdon Frier (FSU commit)

The flip side of what we said about Abrams is Camdon Frier. A Seminole legacy, Frier has been courted by numerous other programs (including Bama) but has remained steadfast in his pledge. I think he can become a solid and dependable weapon in the slot or on the outside for FSU, and it will be fun to see another “Frier” stitched on the back of a FSU jersey. Frier will certainly enjoy his official visit but will likely be right there with Luke Kromenhoek and Landen Thomas, recruiting others to join the Tribe.

Confidence level: High. Frier isn’t going anywhere, and good thing, too. He’s a stud in his own right on the field and on the baseball diamond. If you bring in a WR class of 4-5 guys and Frier doesn’t even crack the top 3, you have one hell of a WR class.

4-star WR James Madison II

James Madison II has great size at a legit 6’3” and 190 pounds with a wingspan approaching 6’8”, giving him an excellent catch radius. Playing for powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, Madison emerged as a possession WR with deep threat ability, finishing with 19 catches for 407 yards (good for an average of 21.4 yards per catch) and 6 touchdowns. He played alongside Tribe 23 signee Conrad Hussey, who will undoubtedly be spending plenty of time with Madison this weekend.

Madison is still scratching the surface of a very high ceiling and FSU loves his projectability. If he can add some more good muscle weight to his frame and continue developing his hands, Madison has NFL upside. I believe he is a willing blocker and after a couple years in the strength and conditioning program, he could be a menace on the field.

Confidence level: Medium. This is a FSU/Mizzou battle that will depend on where Madison falls on FSU’s priority list. If FSU pushes hard and prioritizes him, I think they will be in prime position for his services when he announces on July 4th. If not, he will choose Missouri.

4-star WR Elijah Moore

Moore is a wide receiver with great size at 6’4”, 190 pounds and a penchant for making tough catches look easy. He uses his long frame to fight for the ball in the air, and should develop into a good weapon along the sidelines as he adds strength and weight. Moore definitely likes FSU, but Ohio State has prioritized him as well, so I won’t waste too much space here.

Confidence level: Low. I think it’s just a matter of time until he commits to Ohio State. Perhaps FSU is positioning itself as a future transfer destination for Moore, but I think this will just be a quick vacation to the Sunshine State for him and his family.

3-star DB CJ Heard (FSU commit)

CJ Heard is pushing hard for my favorite committed member in Tribe 24, as he is just as confident in his trash talk as he is on the football field. Underrated as a 3-star, Heard should be able to contribute on special teams quickly at FSU as he works his way into the safety rotation. Another commitment I expect to be wearing his recruiting hat, Heard has a swag about him that other recruits tend to gravitate towards.

Confidence level: High. This one is a done deal and Heard will look great in garnet and gold.

3-star OL Tye Hylton

I view Hylton in a similar way as I viewed Andre’ Otto last cycle: a developmental, under-the-radar lineman who won’t wow you in the same way a guy like Jonathan Daniels will, but a prospect with solid fundamentals, a good frame, and an attitude to improve and soak up coaching. He could play a couple different positions along the offensive line. OC Alex Atkins tends to target a guy like this every recruiting cycle, and it will be interesting to see how high FSU prioritizes Hylton after missing out on a couple of wanted prospects.

Confidence level: Medium. If FSU pushes for him and gives him the green light, this will be a true in-state battle with Florida and I’d put it around 50/50. If not, he’ll be a Gator unless someone else can sneak him away.

Quick notes on targets who are no longer visiting this weekend

  • Offensive lineman Jason Zandamela was supposed to close out his official visits this weekend in Tallahassee, but Southern Cal was able to lock him down following his visit to Los Angeles. SC has become a significant player in the NIL game (they also snagged OT Manasse Itete) and isn’t afraid to flaunt their advantages on social media. This is the first major disappointment on the recruiting trail for me, as FSU was a strong leader for Zandamela in the spring and Alex Atkins should have been able to lock him down this summer. I’m sure FSU will continue to recruit Zandamela, but it would be a hard mountain to climb to get him into Tallahassee now.
  • On the flip side, defensive end Dylan Stephenson committed to Stanford following a great official visit to Palo Alto. I am very confident that this recruitment isn’t over, and I believe FSU (with a strong season) will be able to get Stephenson to take an OV during the season or in December. If that happens, I believe Stephenson will flip to Florida State.
  • Safety Ricardo Jones was expected to visit but has cancelled those plans. We’ve long felt that Clemson was the strong leader and while FSU would have had a nice chance to pull the upset after this weekend, I am glad they are cutting their losses now and not wasting the resources. We should have a much better feel for how FSU’s defensive backs board shakes out once this weekend is completed.
  • Defensive lineman Nasir Johnson was scheduled to visit FSU but committed to UF. FSU is wise not to have him visit coming off the heels of that commitment. If he is still truly interested as months go by, better to bring him in for an OV during the season or in December, closer to or after the Gators finish another disappointing season and begin hemorrhaging commitments.