FSU head coach Mike Norvell and assistant coach Alex Atkins have made the offensive line a priority in building their 2022 recruiting class. And with as few as 12 scholarship players across the line set to return next season it’s vital for the long-term future of the program that the Seminoles not only bring in talented players but also quantity. And that seems to be exactly what they are doing.
Norvell and Atkins have secured commitments from three offensive linemen who were on campus this past weekend: Kanaya Charlton, Antavious Woody and Qae’shon Sapp. They also strengthened their position with offensive tackle prospect Jaylen Early from Duncanville (Texas) High.
Early, who is 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds, is a four-star prospect and has a higher recruiting ranking that any of the committed linemen in FSU’s 2022 recruiting class, which also includes OT prospect Aliou Bah.
“It was fun,” Early said of his official visit. “I had a great team time. I really got to meet all the coaches, interact with the players. I got to see the facilities. I got to see how the environment is here, so I really enjoyed it.”
Of course what FSU coaches and fans want to know is did Early’s official visit improve the Seminoles’ chances of landing the big lineman? The answer to that seems to be yes.
“I feel a lot better, you always feel better after your visit,” said Early, who now plans to announce his commitment in early August after he takes his last official visit to Penn State. “FSU, you know, they are definitely up there.”
“I am going to just sit back and analyze what I like the most, what I think is going to be the best fit for me, which place can bring out the best in me, which place can put me in the most successful position,” said Early, who is being recruited to play offensive tackle at FSU. “All the coaches, the staff, the players, they came at a high level. They set the standard pretty high. I think coming on this visit really did help me out with my decisions.”
Early’s relationship with Norvell and Atkins was only fortified with his trip to Tallahassee.
“Well, I’ve been talking to Coach Atkins for about a year, so I already had a good idea but meeting him in person, it was much more genuine, so I think that was the biggest thing,” Early said. “Coming to meet him in-person was a really cool thing. I am glad I came.
“He was real genuine, he was real honest,” said Early of Norvell. “He looked me in the eyes, he told me what his plan was for me.”
And honesty seems to be the best policy when building a relationship with Early, who has already taken official visits to Ohio State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.
“They were honest, that was the main thing,” continued Early. “They were honest, they didn’t lie to me. You know they gave it to me straight, they gave it to me real. So I think that’s the biggest thing … I think that right there set the bar high. Because not every coach can tell you what you need to work on (during the recruiting process).”
What stood out about FSU compared to his other visits?
“The people, the relationships, the culture, the environment, the brotherhood,” Early said. “That’s probably the biggest thing too.”
When it comes to landing a commitment from Early it will have be better late, relatively speaking, than never for FSU.