Part II: Previewing FSU’s ‘SNL’ recruiting camp

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Florida State has met some of its 2020 needs with 16 commitments. But the Seminoles need to sign 1 quarterback, 2-3 running backs, 4-5 offensive linemen, 2 defensive ends, 2 defensive tackles, 3-4 linebackers, 2 safeties and 2 cornerbacks.

They have met their needs at quarterback, linebacker, safety and cornerback at this time.

The FSU staff will turn up the heat at “Saturday Night Live” to get close to meeting their needs at the other positions. If FSU can close this camp with 4-5 commitments, they can focus on some of the top recruits during the season.

Let’s take a look at FSU’s defensive needs and some of the top prospects who are coming to SNL:

DT – This past month FSU got a commitment from Manny Rogers (Jensen Beach). The talented lineman is a versatile athlete who could play on either side of the football. There are certain things you can’t teach – size is one of them. Rogers is one of the bigger defensive tackles in the country. Another prospect on the verge of making a commitment at defensive tackle is Jerzhan Newton. Here is a kid who checks all the boxes. He is a good athlete (played RB, DE and LB) in high school. Newton also carries a 3.0 GPA. He is also a good kid and should fit well in the locker room. While undersized (6-2, 265 pounds), Newton has the frame to develop into a 285- or 290-pound interior lineman. If Newton commits this weekend, FSU can hold a spot for one elite DT. While the 2020 class is close to wrapped up FSU is bringing in some underclassmen who are heavy hitters. Leonard Taylor, Savion Collins and Christopher Thomas are all elite DT for the class of 2021. Taylor may end up one of the top DT in Florida and a five-star recruit. Thomas was at Tallahassee Rickards and recently transferred to Fort Myers Dunbar. He has now attended camp in June and July. He is on the commit radar this weekend.

DE – FSU needs to sign some pass rushers. They have plenty of defensive ends on their roster who are good against the run. Finding a guy who can get up the field and put pressure on the quarterback is key. One guy that fits the mold is Morvean Joseph. Here is a player who is in the mold of Reinard Wilson/Peter Boulware, who were linebackers in high school that developed into defensive ends in college. Joseph has the same type of build. He is 6-3, 220 pounds and with some time to develop will end up 250-255 pounds in college. Joseph has a quick first step off the football and can get pressure on the quarterback. The one time University of Florida commit heads to Tallahassee for the second time in the past couple of months. With a major need at defensive end we expect the Seminole coaches to push for his commitment at SNL. Chris Jones of Coconut Creek High School is another kid who is attending the camp. After performing well at their June camp, Jones comes back for SNL. He is a raw prospect that you recruit based on upside. He has size and length off the edge. The headliner of SNL is Sa’Vell Smalls. He is the former teammate of FSU receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison. Smalls would be the biggest recruit landed by Taggart and would make others take notice. Smalls likes FSU and is coming on his own dime to attend SNL. This is the second unofficial visit for a prospect that lives in Seattle. Bradyn Swinson from North Carolina is on the commit watch list. The North Carolina native has quickly moved up their board. The biggest named recruit for the class of 2021 is Bryce Langston. He may end up the No. 1 defensive end in Florida next year.

LB – If there was one position that FSU needed to upgrade when Taggart took over FSU it was the linebacker position. Jaleel McRae was signed in the class of 2019 and he made a big impact during spring football. He could potentially start for the Seminoles in 2019. They also added Kalen DeLoach. The class of 2020 already has three commitments from Stephen Dix (Cousin of Ha-Ha Clinton Dix), Jayion McCluster (Largo) and Keyshawn Greene. These three may be as good as any linebackers in the country. With three players committed FSU does not have to settle for any other prospects at this position. They will have some impressive names like Desmond Tisdol, Phillip Webb and Jaylen Harrell. All three would really need to put on an impressive performance at SNL for FSU to take their commitments.

DB – If there is one area of FSU team Taggart and Co. have done a great job recruiting it would be defensive back. Last year they landed Travis Jay, Akeem Dent, Brendan Gant, Raymond Woodie III, Renardo Green and Jarvis Brownlee. This year they add Demorie Tate, who may be the No. 1 cornerback in Florida. Jalen Harrell, Jadarius Green-McKnight and Derek Bermuduez, who are already committed, will attend SNL. They all have the traits that FSU coaches are looking for in defensive backs: size, length and can run. FSU may be done or close to it at defensive back but that does not mean they won’t try and get a head start on the class of 2021-2022. Corey Collier is one of the headliners. If the name sounds familiar to Seminole fans it should as his father Corey signed with FSU back in the 90’s. His teammate Jason Marshall is also attending the event and will be one of the top defensive backs in the country. Ahmari Harvey, an FSU fan who plays at Tallahassee Florida High, is one of the top safety prospects in the class of 2021. Look for him to potentially commit at SNL.

Final comments: While FSU comes off a 5-7 season in year 1 under Taggart, it has not stopped the coaching staff from putting together a top-15 class in 2020. They are on the verge of landing some players who will put them on the cusp of a top-10 class. Win and recruiting will become that much easier for this staff to put together a top rated recruited class.

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Offensive players to watch at ‘SNL’

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