Have Florida State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. You can tweet @Sanjay Kirpalani or @NolesDieHards with your questions. Join us every Friday for the Florida State DieHards recruiting mailbag to discuss Seminoles recruiting. This week, we discuss which 2019 quarterback the Seminoles should prioritize, is signing a top-5 class nationally within reach and will we see more offers to in-state prospects soon?
First up this week, we have Kasuan Bullard asking which Class of 2019 quarterback should Florida State go all-in on?
Well, Kasuan, I think the answer there depends on a few things. To be honest, we don’t know if a clear-cut No. 1 option has been identified by the staff. If they have a guy they really like above the others, obviously they should go for him.
Personally, my theory is that Florida State needs two passers in this cycle and there are three recruits I would categorize as top-tier options right now: 4-star San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon quarterback Jayden Daniels, 4-star Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley quarterback Sam Howell, and 4-star Bridgeport (Conn.) Avon Old Farms quarterback Taisun Phommachanh.
All three passers rate among the nation’s top 200 prospects in the Class of 2019, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
As of now, both Daniels and Phommachanh have mentioned plans on visiting Florida State next month or in April. And Howell is geographically the closest of the three.
I believe the staff will try to land one of these three quarterbacks early to help satisfy one of the biggest questions in the class. And even if the Seminoles do get one of those three, I would expect coach Willie Taggart to pursue another signal caller because of a current lack of depth.
Next, John Phillips asks whether a top-5 finish is possible this cycle?
John, let’s start with what we know.
Florida State hired Taggart in December and he rescued a class that dipped to No. 64 nationally in the 247Sports composite team rankings pushed it to No. 11 in just two months.
The Seminoles have four early commitments in the 2019 class that ranks No. 12 nationally thus far.
Taggart and his staff held their first junior day last weekend and were able to get a handful of touted 2019 prospects on campus. Among them were 4-star Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy guard Dontae Lucas, 4-star Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna receiver John Dunmore and 4-star Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar defensive end Derick Hunter.
The early returns from the event were overwhelmingly positive thanks to the energy and effort put forth by the Seminoles staff. It’s clear to recruits that it’s a new day in Tallahassee and thus far, recruits and parents are responding to the message that Florida State is selling.
Assuming that trend continues and the Seminoles are able to get more blue-chip targets on campus in the coming months, it looks signing a top-5 class is a reasonable and attainable goal.
Finally, Will Brookreson asks about the most recent offers Florida State’s staff has sent out and whether we will see a flurry of offers go out to in-state prospects.
Will, I think there’s a method to the madness here and I’ll do my best to explain why I think you are seeing more out-of-state offers in the early stages of this class.
Florida State has one of the most recognizable name brands in all of college football. As such, an offer from the Seminoles will undoubtedly hold weight with players from around the country. The Seminoles have proven through the years that they can cherry-pick top talent from around the nation if they put in a little effort.
But recruiting out-of-state prospects and in-state recruits are two very different animals.
In most cases, a school such as Florida State can and does offer talented out-of-state prospects simply to gauge interest and get a foot in the door in a player’s recruitment. More than likely, that offer was given either based on a film evaluation or on a recommendation from a trusted contact of a member of the coaching staff. What the offer means is a beginning to what the coach hopes is the start of a relationship. If a player is truly serious about his interest, that’s when a visit is set up and then the process can truly begin with that player in terms of him being considered a serious target.
With in-state recruits, it’s a little different. Most kids in the state of Florida dreamed of playing for one of the state’s big three schools — Florida, Florida State or Miami. An early offer could mean a kid would accept on the spot without a coach having a chance to evaluate them in person. That’s why often times you see kids offered either when they make a visit to campus or while the coaches are out during evaluation periods and see the recruits at their high schools. Regardless, you don’t want to burn any bridges with in-state programs if something happens where you take a commitment from a kid and then have a change of heart. In-state prospects are usually evaluated with a little more care before offers are handed out for that reason.
With that said, Florida State’s junior day event last weekend had a heavy in-state flavor to it and I’d expect the next one to have a lot of top Sunshine State targets, as well. I also expect the staff to hand out more offers to in-state prospects during the next evaluation period when they are out on the road.
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