Knighton gives FSU first RB commitment of 2020 class

Florida State is continuing its hot streak on the recruiting front over the last four days with the commitment of Deerfield Beach (FL) High School running back Jaylan Knighton. The 5-9 and 194-pound senior was on the FSU campus this past weekend and was rumored to have given his pledge to Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart and staff before leaving Tallahassee.

Knighton was also reported to have considered offers from Miami and Ohio State before choosing to commit to FSU publicly tonight. He is also reported to have held offers at one time or another from Alabama, Oklahoma, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia among a host of others.

Knighton was ranked by Charles Fishbein, president of Elite Scouting and Osceola Recruiting Analyst, as the third best running back in the state of Florida heading into this season. 247Sports has Knighton ranked as a four-star recruit, the 94th ranked prospect in the nation overall, the third ranked all-purpose back in the country and the 14th best overall prospect in the state of Florida.

“Jaylan is an elite back,” said Fishbein. “He is a back that makes one cut and leaves a defender grasping for air. He can cut on either foot. His vision allows him to find the hole and exploit the defense. He is very effective at not only running the football but also being a receiver out of the backfield.”

Fishbein says he believes that Knighton has the talent to play right away in college.

“I definitely think Knighton is a guy that can play right away,” said Fishbein. “He is a versatile back. You can put him in the slot and run jet sweeps. He can play in a one-back or two-back system. I think he is the ideal fit for the Kendal Briles offense.”

Knighton’s pledge brings FSU’s total number of commitments to 20 with fall camp starting for the Seminoles in two days. It is also the first running back commitment for the Seminoles’ 2020 recruiting class.

Knighton joins Venice Beach (FL) High School offensive lineman Thomas Shrader, Miami (FL) Killian High School offensive lineman Lloyd Willis and Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson High School defensive end Morven Joseph as part of a group of prospects that committed to FSU since this past Saturday.

Fishbein also says that he expects that FSU will try to add two more running backs to the class of 2020.


  1. Jerry Kutz

    This is an encouraging commitment in my opinion. Good fit. Early contributor. Adds momentum heading into fall camp.
    Also a statement about Willie Taggart’s ability to recruit with the big boys now that he’s had time to develop his staff.


    Definite step in the right direction.

    I know we all wanted to see Taggart come in and kill it his first year, but you know what they say about hindsight.

    With what appear to be some major upgrades to the offensive staff, I refuse to believe we won’t add at least 3 wins that season. With that, I think these types of major recruiting wins will happen more and more frequently.

  3. joseph johnston

    at last an encourageing bit of news. keep stri
    veing W>T> maybr winning more might help too

  4. Patrick Burnham

    This is a big get for FSU. Knighton is an impressive back. He does a great job of making one cut and getting up field, he doesn’t dance around a lot but when he does get pinned in the backfield he shows great lateral movement and can redirect across the field. He also does a great job of setting up his next cut once he gets to the second level to make them miss. Impressed with his vision as well. Shows flashes of power and being able to run the ball between the tackles even though he is not what you would consider a big back, he is compact though.

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