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Recruiting: FSU’s official visit weekend heavy on offensive linemen

FSU head coach Mike Norvell and his staff have been very busy through the first three and a half weeks of June. They have hosted no fewer than 10 high school football camps since June 5 and have seen dozens of high-profile prospects visit campus unofficially. However, this weekend may be the most important weekend of the month with eight recruits headed to campus for their official visits with FSU including five offensive linemen.

The roster will feature just 15 scholarship offensive linemen in 2021 with at least two of those players, Baveon Johnson and Devontay Love-Taylor, exhausting their eligibility at season’s end. Another, Brady Scott, will have to make a decision along with Norvell about coming back for a sixth season in 2022. With FSU looking at the potential of having 12 scholarship offensive linemen next spring, it’s vitally important the Seminoles’ 2022 OL class not only feature talent but also quantity. And if the last weekend before the recruiting calendar goes back to a Dead Period until late July is any indication Norvell and offensive line coach Alex Atkins are doing just that. At least four highly sought after lineman are scheduled to be in Tallahassee for their official visits this weekend.

Here is a closer look at who will making trips to campus this weekend with quotes from Osceola Recruiting Analyst and President of Elite Scouting Services Charles Fishbein:

OG Kanaya Charlton (6-5, 340) – Brunswick (Ga.) High School

FSU looks to be in good position to land a commitment from Charlton at some point in the near future. The three-star prospect has been on-campus several times already in June to participate in at least two of FSU’s summer camps. Charlton took an official visit to Georgia Tech this past weekend and holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Miami and many other of the top programs in college football.

Fishbein: “Charlton is another prospect we had the chance to watch at the Elite Camp in June. He is a big man. FSU needs to add size up front and this is the type of player that will solve that problem. He does not move as well as Qae’shon Sapp or FSU OT commit Aliou Bah so it will be interesting to see if Norvell takes his commitment if Sapp pulls the trigger. I am of the belief they should take as many quality offensive lineman that want to come. They need to add quality bodies to the offensive line room and Charlton fits the criteria.”

OG Jaylen Early (6-4, 290) – Duncanville (Texas) High School

Early is a four-star recruit who is ranked as the 10th-best interior offensive lineman (guard or center) in the country for 2022. This will be Early’s first time on the FSU campus. He has already taken official visits to Ohio State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech this summer. Several schools like Oklahoma and Penn State are also reported to be heavily involved in Early’s recruitment.

Fishbein: “It will be interesting to see how the guard position works itself out. Early can play some tackle but we project him as a guard. He moves well. You will see him pull block and Early can get into space and get onto a backer or defensive back. He is a little stiff so playing him at tackle may be more of a necessity than anything else. He is more athletic than Sapp or Charlton but not as strong and powerful as the two Georgia stars.”

OG Emery Jones (6-4, 330) – Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic High School

This is believed to be Jones’ first visit to Tallahassee but his third official visit of the summer. The four-star prospect has already taken trips to both Arkansas and Tennessee this month. LSU is also heavily involved and the Bayou Bengals are likely the team the Seminoles will have to beat for Jones’ signature later this winter.

Fishbein: “Turn on one clip and you realize why you like Jones. He understands what he is supposed to do on the football field. He can block one guy off him and go make another block. He is very physical. You will see him finish. He has a powerful base and is tough to move off the ball. He is versatile enough to play guard or tackle in college. He has decent length so playing on the outside is a possibility. We like how quickly he comes out of his stance.”

OT Qae’shon Sapp (6-5, 320) – Lee County (Ga.) High School

This weekend’s trip to Tallahassee will be at least the second one for Sapp in the last three weeks. He was on campus for Norvell’s Elite Camp, where he was very impressive going through drills with Atkins. The four-star prospect has already taken official visits to Cincinnati and Florida this summer in addition to visiting Auburn unofficially. Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina are also involved. This would be a great get for Norvell and Atkins with FSU needing to sign multiple prospects that can play at either of the tackle positions.

Fishbein: “Sapp is a prospect that has grown on me. He is a big-bodied kid and that is what FSU needs. When guys his size show up to camps you want to make sure they can move. Sapp showed his lateral quickness in pass rush drills. He can play some tackle but his best position in college will be guard. He would be a nice addition to an offensive line class that has gotten off to a good start with Bah.”

OT Antavious Woody (6-5, 270) – Lafayette (AL) High School

Woody is a four-star prospect who is ranked as the 11th-best interior offensive lineman in the country for 2022 although he could play either guard or tackle in college. His list offers includes Auburn, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Texas A&M among others. This will be Woody’s first official visit of the summer.

Fishbein: “Woody is a true tackle prospect. FSU is in major need of true tackles. They landed a good one in Rod Orr last year. You want to solve the problem at tackle. This is the type of kid that helps solve the problem. He is a big, long, athletic lineman. You will see him get out in space and move. He has good feet. He is athletic and can bend well. He has all the tools to be a very good player at the next level.”

The other four prospects scheduled to visit FSU this weekend include two defensive linemen, a tight end and linebacker. Here is a closer look at each of them:

LB Jarron Willis (6-2, 220) – Lee County (Ga.) High School

The old saying in football is that if you can get a kid on-campus you have a shot to get him. And that is just what FSU is hoping for with Willis, who committed to Georgia Tech in May. While he has been committed to the Yellow Jackets for the last two months his recruitment isn’t quite over based on Willis’ travels this summer. He has already taken official visits to Georgia Tech and Arkansas and is scheduled to take an official visit to Florida in the fall. It looks as if this one may come down to the wire in December. Willis rated as a four-star prospect and ranked as the 17th-best LB prospect in the class of 2022. FSU is low on numbers at linebacker, and flipping Willis would he huge as it pertains to the talent and depth at the linebacker position heading into 2022 and beyond. Sapp being Willis’ teammate could help FSU with the linebacker if they can land the big tackle prospect.

Fishbein: “There are three linebackers on FSU’s board that would be great additions to the class. Willis who committed to Georgia Tech earlier this year, EJ Lightsey and Wesley Bissainte. All three should be on campus this month. Willis is a big, physical backer that can play both the run and pass. If they can switch his commitment, Willis would end up being one of the top linebackers they have signed in the past 10 years. He would bring some stability to a position that so badly needs it.”

TE Jerrale Powers (6-4, 225) – Duncanville (Texas) High School

Powers is one of the many tight ends that FSU is recruiting at a position that already features seven scholarship players, with six having eligibility to return in 2022 and one commit for the 2022 class, Brian Courtney, who could end up at tight end or linebacker once he gets on campus next year. Powers has built a strong relationship with tight ends coach Chris Thomsen, which has FSU positioned well in a recruiting battle that features Oregon State and Colorado. Powers has already taken official visits to both of those schools this summer and still has offers from Arkansas, Kansas and Utah to consider.

Fishbein: “Since he is from Texas, I have not gotten a chance to see him in person. On film he looks good. He is another guy who is not a traditional tight end. He is used out wide as a receiver. He uses his size to win most of the battles in high school. He runs well for a big guy. Can he line up and drive a guy off the ball? That is a question that will need to be answered. He has above average speed and quickness. He is more of a possession receiver then a deep threat.”

DL Bishop Thomas (6-2, 285) – Orlando (Fla.) Bishop Moore High School

This will be at least the second trip to Tallahassee for Thomas this month. He has already taken official visits to Tennessee and Texas this summer but FSU looks to be in good standing with the three-star prospect, who also holds offers from Louisville, Oregon, Penn State and Pitt among others.

Fishbein: “Outside of offensive line and defensive end there may not be a more crucial position for FSU to recruit than defensive tackle. Thomas is a big, wide-bodied kid. He may end up a nose guard in college. He can take on blocks and allow his backers to clean up and make plays. He is able to use his strength to collapse the pocket. He does get off the ball well. The only question is his competition level. Will he continue to dominate when the guy in front of him is just as big and strong?”

Update

DT Trevion Williams (6-4, 250) – Crystal Springs (Miss.) High School

Williams was a late addition to this weekend’s official visits, the Osceola has confirmed. The four-star prospect arrived on-campus Thursday. This will be his second trip to Tallahassee this month. Williams participated in Norvell’s Elite Camp and was offered by the Seminoles that evening. He took an official visit to Auburn last week and is also considering Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Prospect ratings and position rankings courtesy of 247Sports. Official visit sources include individual prospects, prospects social media accounts and 247Sports.