FSU camp reflections: QBs, TEs emerging

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During the summer months football fans count down the days until the start of the season. One way to fill the void of the dog days of summer is to follow what is happening on the camp circuit.

Over the past few weeks Florida State has held its annual Willie Taggart football camps. During these camps coaches are looking to find prospects that may or may have not been on their recruiter radar.

The Osceola will take a look at some of those prospects and tell you what we think:

Quarterbacks:

Cam’Ron Ransom – Seffner Armwood: Our first look at Ransom was last year in the state title game where Ransom led his Armwood football team to a state title appearance against Miami Northwestern. We had the opportunity to see him two more times in person, once at the Miami Nike Camp and this past weekend at FSU Summer Camp. Ransom has the raw tools to be a very good quarterback. Consistency will be the key for him.

Walter Simmons – Orange Park Oakleaf: This year Duval and St John Counties may have some of the best quarterbacks in Florida. Simmons, whose Father, Walter Sr., also played quarterback and went to Bethune-Cookman is also a star on the gridiron. He displays a nice arm. He does need to continue to work on his accuracy and footwork. Simmons is a prospect that the FSU coaches will continue to evaluate as he is in the class of 2021.

Neither Ransom nor Simmons landed offers at FSU camp, Class of 2022 Holden Geriner did. The quarterback came to FSU camp and put on a show. The talented signal caller showed off not only a strong arm but also the ability to lead a receiver down the field. He understands where to put the football. Look for Holden to be one of FSU’s primary targets in 2022.

Tight End:

With the recent commitment of Louis Dorsey to Memphis and Sage Ennis leaning heavily to Clemson, the Seminoles are still looking for options here. Collin Sutherland of Flower Mound, Texas, attended the camp and showed out. He displayed great hands and the ability to run routes. He is a player that came to the camp with one goal in mind: to put on a good performance. That is exactly what he did.

Another tight end that performed very well at the FSU camp was Miles Campbell of Douglasville (Ga.) South Paulding HS. He is not a traditional tight end as Campbell is around 6-foot-3 and may only weigh 215 pounds. He will need to put on size and will be more of an H-Back than a tight end. He did show very good athletic ability and caught pretty much every pass thrown his way. He holds offers from Maryland and Michigan so it will be interesting to see if FSU throws its hat in the ring. He is only entering his junior season in 2019.

Maleak Bryant, who is a junior college prospect, also worked out. Physically he stands out but that is usually the case when you put a prospect who is already in college and have him go against high school players. Bryant is a player who will probably get put on the recruiting board but we don’t expect him to get an offer right now.

Nick Elksnis/ Gage Wilcox: We were unable watch these two at FSU summer camp this year. (Elksnis is a 6-5, 220-pound prospect from Jacksonville Episcopal and Wilcox is a 6-4, 215-pound prospect from Tampa Jefferson.) We have seen both in person in the past and there may not be two better tight ends in the country. We expect both to receive interest from FSU throughout the next two years.

Wide Receiver:

Two seasons ago FSU signed five receivers and of those three redshirted in 2018. Last recruiting cycle receiver was not that big of a priority for the Seminoles, and the lone signee, Maurice Goolsby, opted to take the junior-college baseball route.

Heading into the 2020 class we expect FSU to sign anywhere from 3-5 receivers. They stand in good position as one of the top receivers in Florida, Malachi Wideman, has already committed. You turn on his film and the first thing that stands out is his athletic ability. The Sarasota Riverview prospect is 6-4, 180 pounds and is also very explosive. He did not work out at the camp but 2021 receiver Agiye Hall of Armwood did. Physically Hall is quite impressive. He does need to learn better hand placement when catching the football. He runs good routes and is tough for smaller defensive backs to guard. Look for Hall to be a target FSU recruits hard.

Defensive Line:

If there is one area of recruiting FSU is behind right now it up front on the defensive line. There were some prospects that showed up that the Seminoles are recruiting. One of them is Johnnie Brown of Tampa Middleton. The rising senior is committed to Florida.

One player who is also high on FSU’s radar is Chris Jones of Coconut Creek High. Jones is a raw prospect who is getting recruited because of his upside. He has the size and length to be really disruptive on the defensive line. He still needs to get bigger and stronger to play at the next level. Jones is a player you recruit, redshirt for a year, develop and turn him loose.

Christopher Thomas-Rickards – The Tallahassee native came to the camp already with an offer in hand. He showed some nice power and burst off the line of scrimmage. Thomas is a raw prospect that you recruit because of his upside. He has the size and length to play at the next level. It would not surprise us to see Thomas move to the offensive line in college.

Athlete

Charles Brantley – Sarasota Riverview: Brantley is one of those players who comes to the camp and stands out. His performance was very similar to Keyshawn Helton, who also attended FSU summer camp only to come away with a surprise offer. He will only be a junior this fall so we will continue to monitor his recruitment.

ALSO:

Fishbein’s top interior OL prospects in Florida in 2020

Fishbein’s top offensive tackle prospects in Florida in 2020

Comments

  1. Jerry Kutz Reply

    I watched the camp with Fish and he does a nice job in this article describing some of the players we saw. It is interesting to me how certain kids really stand out from the crowd. The tight end from Texas – Collin Sutherland – made a couple of plays that had me asking, “Who is that kid?”

    Big buzz about others as Fish noted.

    Good to visit with Taggart, Briles, Clements and Odell. Y’all know Taggart and Odell are friendly and will hear about how approachable Briles is. Believe it. Clements is personable as well.

    Former FSU defensive lineman Henry Ostaszewski’s son Ben participated in the camp as a tight end. Ben, who is a rising senior, is only 16 but at least 6-3 and 230. He’s big and young and raw (as this will be his first year of football) and still trying to figure it all out.

    Neither Henry nor I know if Ben will even want to play college football but it lead me to consider one of the hardest parts of evaluation. Some kids have already played six years of organized football and may have peaked. Who has hit their sealing and who still have it in front of them?

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