Florida State recruiting: Nation’s top DE cuts list to 12

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Stay tuned as Florida State marches on the warpath to the top of the recruiting rankings. Don’t miss the coverage from Sanjay Kirpalani and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 8:30 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Seminoles recruiting news.

Seminoles among short list for Kayvon Thibodeaux

Among the primary needs for Florida State on defense this year is to find long, rangy and athletic pass-rushers at the defensive end position.

Considering Willie Taggart and his staff loaded up on thicker, edge-setting ends in the 2018 cycle, the Seminoles focus in the 2019 class is to complement the group.

One player Taggart and the staff have their eyes on in particular is 5-star Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Oaks Christian defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Golden State standout also happens to be rated as the nation’s top overall prospect in the 2019 cycle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Over the weekend, Thibodeaux announced he was cutting his long list of suitors to 12 schools.

Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington are the schools that will battle it out for his services.

According to Greg Biggins of 247Sports, his plan is to cut his list down even further by the end of March or early April before figuring out which schools will receive official visits. He wants to make a commitment in the summer before his senior season begins.

As a junior, Thibodeaux recorded 99 tackles—including 28 tackles for loss with 20 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal, according to MaxPreps.

Taggart has had success recruiting in the state of California dating back to his year spent at Oregon and in his brief time in Tallahassee.

If he and his staff are able to get Thibodeaux on campus in the next few months, the Seminoles could emerge as a serious candidate in his recruitment.

Florida State offers in-state DB

While defensive end is a position that Florida State wants to attack in the 2019 cycle, the Seminoles also want to reestablish their presence in the talent-rich territory of South Florida.

Teams around the country recruit Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties because of the volume of prospects that those areas produce each year.

The Seminoles have a number of South Florida targets on their board in the 2019 class, and they extended an offer to another standout in 4-star North Palm Beach (Fla.) Benjamin School corner Kaiir Elam.

The 6-0 1/2, 182-pound defender rates as the nation’s No. 11 corner and the No. 115 player overall in the 2019 class per 247Sports.

As Chris Nee of Noles247 detailed, defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett explained the delay in offering Elam is because the staff is focusing on finishing out the 2018 cycle.

Elam, who visited Florida State last year for the N.C. State game, plans on returning to Tallahassee during the spring or summer.

Florida is considered the early team to beat for his services, but Auburn and Clemson are among the other teams in the mix for him at this stage.

Now that Florida State has officially entered the chase for Elam, it will be interesting to see his next moves in the coming weeks and months.

Seminoles offer West Coast LB

Even though Taggart and his staff were busy last weekend with junior day, the Seminoles staff remained active despite not having dozens of prospects on campus to entertain.

In addition to Elam, the staff handed out another offer to 4-star Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei linebacker Mase Funa.

The 6-3, 240-pound defender rates as the nation’s No. 5 outside linebacker and the No. 84 player overall in the 2019 cycle per 247Sports.

Linebacker is among the main priorities for the Seminoles in this cycle considering they return just six scholarship players at the position on their roster this fall.

BYU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, UCLA and USC are among the other schools that have offered Funa.

As a junior, Funa recorded 52 tackles — including 18 tackles for loss with 6 1/2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery, according to MaxPreps.

Any chances the Seminoles would have to land him would begin with getting him on campus in the coming months.

At this stage of his recruitment, BYU, UCLA and USC seem to be the programs out in front.

Miss a previous edition? Find every daily Florida State DieHards recruiting notebooks right here.

The post Florida State recruiting: Nation’s top DE cuts list to 12 appeared first on Diehards.

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