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As calendar flips to 2022, what’s next for FSU’s recruiting efforts?

Florida State signed 15 football prospects during the early National Signing Period for high school football players. They had one prospect, offensive lineman Antavious Woody, hold off on signing until February. The Seminoles have added five transfers this off-season: receivers Johnny Wilson (Arizona State) and Mycah Pittman (Oregon), offensive linemen Kayden Lyles (Wisconsin) and Bless Harris (Lamar) and defensive back Greedy Vance. The Seminoles can probably sign at least seven or eight more high school players and another three or four transfers before spring practice starts. They may try and save a few spots for the fall. 

What does FSU need heading into NSD? FSU is still looking for a quarterback, running back, receiver, offensive tackle, defensive end and possibly 1-2 linebackers. They still have needs to fill and could do so through the portal and high school ranks. We will break down some of the players they may look at. 

One of the top options on their board is Woody, who gives them another option at offensive tackle. With five high school players coming in, two transfers and possibly the addition of Woody, FSU would have eight newcomers coming in on the offensive line. They need to upgrade the offensive line and, with the additions of Lyles, Harris, Kanaya Charlton, Julian Armella, Daughtry Richardson, Qae’shon Sapp and possibly Woody no other program may have brought in a better OL class. For what has long been a sore spot on the football team the offensive line may finally become a strength. 

Where would FSU go next? With the loss of Chubba Purdy it put the coaching staff in a spot where it needs to bring in another quarterback. Jordan Travis will most likely be the starter heading into spring ball. Most of the top transfer quarterbacks have already made their decisions on where to go next.

What are the options? Cameron Ward (Incarnate Word). All Ward did this past season is throw for 4,648 yards, 47 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions? Last year Western Kentucky rolled the dice on an FCS QB and all Bailey Zappe did was throw for a school-record 5,967 yards, 62 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Those numbers are Madden-like. Other options in the portal are Zach Calzada (Texas A&M), Harrison Bailey (Tennessee) and Charlie Brewer (Utah). If you are going to take a flyer on one of these guys it would be Bailey, who was considered to be one of the top prep quarterbacks in the country in the class of 2020.

FSU has some options at receiver. One would be to take Mike Jackson, a dual-threat athlete from Miami Palmetto. He starred at receiver and cornerback last season. Jackson would bring a big-time playmaker to FSU’s offense, a guy who could stretch the field. FSU needs a guy who can make plays and that is what Jackson does. If they decide to go into the portal they will take only one more guy. They landed Pittman and Wilson this past week. Some of the options are Taj Harris (Syracuse) and Frank Ladson (Clemson). None of these guys are going to become stars but elevate the floor of a receiving corps that has been inconsistent. 

With the loss of Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas to the NFL Draft, and not signing a defensive end in the 2022 class, FSU needs some options here. One player they are trying to get to pull the trigger is Albany defensive end Jared Verse. He is a great athlete but is nowhere near the football player that FSU is losing with Johnson and Thomas. One player from the high school ranks they can take a look at is Francois Nolton of Miami Edison. Nolton was committed to UF until new coach Billy Napier was hired. Nolton has tremendous upside and would be a great addition to the 2022 recruiting class. 

At linebacker FSU signed Omar Graham but must keep pushing. They needed to bring in two more linebackers in this year’s class. There are options, including EJ Lightsey of Fitzgerald High School. He was committed to Florida and is now waiting until February to sign. He would give them a great athlete at the linebacker spot and another option next fall. 

Final thoughts

FSU is still recruiting players like Jovantae Barnes from Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines. He would be a big-time get at running back. Not only does he fill a need but brings an instant upgrade to a position that Norvell has had a ton of success. FSU is going to have a few scholarships available for high school players but we feel that they will most likely look for junior college and transfers to fill out the rest of their roster in 2022. The 2022 class is a very good class but land a Barnes at running back and you can improve your record next season by another win or two.