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FSU officially welcomes Turnetine, Tifase

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell announced the addition of two more linemen Tuesday, with redshirt senior offensive lineman Jazston Turnetine and freshman defensive lineman Ayobami Tifase joining the Seminoles for the 2022 season.

“Jazston has tremendous size with great power and athleticism,” Norvell said. “His starting experience in big games and his skillset immediately increases the competition among our offensive line group.

“Ayobami brings incredible length, explosiveness and playmaking ability. His upcoming redshirt season will allow him to focus on growing his fundamentals and technique, and the sky is the limit for him as he develops within our program. We are enthusiastic about the addition of these two and believe they will both have a great impact.”

Jazston Turnetine 

Redshirt Senior, OL,  6-7, 335, Ellenwood, Ga., Stockbridge High / South Carolina

Transfer from South Carolina who appeared in 18 games (10 starts) in two seasons with the Gamecocks, all at left tackle. Started seven games in 2021 and helped South Carolina reach the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Gamecocks averaged 27.0 points per game and 392.7 yards of total offense per game in his seven starts. Started in five consecutive games against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Florida and Missouri.

Played in six games with three starts during 2020 season, all at left tackle. His first start was a 30-22 win vs. No. 15 Auburn. Also started at LSU and vs. No. 7 Texas A&M. 

“I watched Jazston vs UF and the two-minute drill vs Vanderbilt. First impression is that he is a MASSIVE human. Long too. He must be a load because when pass rushers try to bull rush him their feet stop and have to restart and that is the goal of any pass protector vs a bull rush,” said theosceola.com analyst Mark Salva, who played offensive line at FSU from 1984-1987 and coached offensive line at Florida State and South Carolina. “If he takes away the inside of a pass rush, his length is such that at times he is able to press the rush around the edge of the pocket to the outside and set some good width for the QB to step up and redirect to the outside if need be. In the running game he gets a good push and works 1st level combo blocks well.”

That’s the good news, Salva said. Now for the areas he sees offensive line coach Alex Atkins will need to help him in his development.

“The areas he needs to improve on centers around his ability to redirect on an outside-to-in move or an inside-to-out pass rush move,” Salva noticed. “He doesn’t move his feet well enough and when he over commits one way he struggles to recover on the redirect and allows too much pressure. His length bails him out at times and can wallpaper over this deficiency. His inability to redirect can manifest in the running game vs the second level on combo blocks. I saw a few instances where the second level defender ran over the top and he either didn’t anticipate the angle or wasn’t able to recover enough to even make contact and at least push the defender past the hole.”

Salva noted he’s not a natural, agile athlete but has a chance to be effective if he learns to play with a lower center of gravity and better footwork. 

“If he was a sophomore or junior, I would be more excited but as a senior with one year to play I think he will be more of a squad depth guy,” Salva said. “A guy who will get playing time, spell starters, fill in for injuries. His size, length and experience definitely will add depth to our tackles, but he is not a ready-made starter by any stretch.”    

Turnetine began his collegiate career at Hutchinson Community College. Earned second-team All-America honors after helping Blue Dragons compile a 10-2 record, including a Salt City Bowl victory, his sophomore year. Started as a true freshman for a Hutchinson team that won nine games, including the Salt City Bowl.

Turnetine was rated as the No. 6 JUCO offensive tackle and 47th best JUCO player in the nation by 247 Composite. Rated the No. 4 JUCO offensive tackle by JC Gridiron. Rivals listed him as the 35th best JUCO prospect in the nation. 

Played at Stockbridge High School, in Ellenwood, Ga. (near Macon), which is about 250 miles north of Tallahassee. The Tigers went 11-3 and made it to the third round of AAAAA state playoffs his senior year. 247Sports had him rated a 3 star prospect coming out of high school, the 6th best offensive lineman and ranked No. 729 at all positions.

FSU sports information contributed