Florida State offensive tackle signee Julian Armella capped off a very memorable week by winning his second state Championship with Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas in dominating fashion, beating Tampa Bay Tech 42-14 on Saturday night.
Armella signed with FSU on Wednesday, announcing his decision publicly at 10:06 p.m. After a disconcerting start to the early signing period that saw FSU DT target Tyre West choose Tennessee, FSU WR commit Devaughn Mortimer flip to Louisville, and the historic flip of the nation’s top ranked player and longtime FSU commit, Travis Hunter, to Jackson State, this addition was a much-needed sign of optimism and helped the Seminoles secure a top-15 class in the Early Signing Period.
The Osceola spoke with the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Armella after the game about his decision to sign with the Seminoles.
“Honestly, just the development that is going to be built into this program with the offensive line class that we got,” said Armella when asked why he chose FSU. “That class is just crazy. I really have a great relationship with Coach (Alex) Atkins and Coach (Mike) Norvell, and I’m really looking forward to what Coach Norvell is going to bring. That energy that he brings every single day is unmatched.”
Armella expanded on his thoughts on Norvell and the consistent impression he has of him.
“I’ve just seen him every day have the same exact energy no matter what happens,” said Armella. “He’s always yelling and screaming and trying to get everybody up. He’s very great at coaching and, honestly, besides all the football stuff, he’s helped me and talked to me about other things besides football.”
Armella has kept in consistent contact with Atkins as well, who has snagged five high school OL signees in the class (and two transfers).
“That’s my guy,” said Armella with a smile, regarding Atkins. “Ever since day 1, (Norvell and Atkins) were doing their job. They were always with me, like always texting me and always recruiting me. Coach Norvell, I think was down at St. Thomas the first week he got the job. So ever since day 1, just building that relationship and that’s probably what made me decide with FSU.”
Armella was conflicted about whether he should wait until February to sign his letter of intent, but ultimately decided to sign with the Seminoles on Wednesday night.
“I was contemplating it, but then I was like, ‘You know what, I want to get my mind right for the state championship game and just get this thing out of the way,” Armella said.
Armella chose Florida State over LSU and Florida, who have both experienced head coaching turnover. Armella said the decisions to fire these coaches ultimately propelled FSU into the clear lead in his recruitment.
“Honestly, it was after the whole coaching change happened at LSU and Florida,” said Armella. “I had to rebuild that relationship, and I just wasn’t feeling it that much.”
Armella will enroll at Florida State in June.