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Signing Day updates: Warley, Butler sign with FSU

Jalen Warley, a five-star point guard who is ranked as the 23rd best overall player in the 2021 recruiting class and as the No. 3 point guard in the nation by 247 Sports, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Florida State. He averaged 13.5 points, 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds as a junior at Westtown High School.

“My excitement to get down to Tallahassee is through the roof,” said Warley. “I can’t wait to be around Coach Hamilton and the whole coaching staff on a daily basis. I felt an instant connection with the Florida State staff. Their proven ability to help players get better every day is one of the many things I am excited about in becoming a Seminole.”

Warley has a great feel for the game, has the size to play off the ball, is an accurate passer and makes good decisions on both offense and defense. Warley (6-5, 175) will fit well in Florida State’s system as a good transition player who goes hard to the defensive glass and who is an effective help defender. He led Westtown to the Pennsylvania Independent Schools State Championship as a junior in 2020 and as a sophomore in 2019. Warley selected Florida State over Clemson, Creighton, Louisville and Marquette.

“I really love what Jalen brings to our team,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “The thing that separates Jalen from many players is his high basketball IQ and his incredible ability to get his teammates involved on every play. He has played with really good players throughout his career and always makes his teammates better. That is one of the many aspects of his game that is going to make him very successful at Florida State and throughout his career.”

Warley (Aston, Pa.) has enjoyed an outstanding career at Westtown High School in Pennsylvania.

“Jalen is a future NBA guard without a doubt,” said Westtown Head Coach Seth Berger. “He’s got the talent, the size, the IQ and the drive to help Florida State challenge for a national title. Jalen is a fantastic kid and he comes from an amazing family. Jalen will be a great addition to the Florida State community.”

John Butler inks with FSU

John Butler, the nation’s No. 11 ranked center, signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to attend Florida State and play basketball for coach Leonard Hamilton and his staff beginning in the fall of 2021.

Butler (7-foot-1, 190) has earned a four-star rating and is projected as the nation’s number 57 overall prep prospect according to 247 sports. He averaged 17.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game as a junior at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, S.C. 

“I am so blessed and so confident with my college choice of Florida State University,” said Butler. “I am looking forward to playing for Coach Hamilton and his staff and beginning my college education at Florida State University. It’s a program and a university that I know I will be welcomed into by the staff and all of the players. I am so impressed with Coach Hamilton and his history of working with players who always show improvement during their careers. I am looking forward to playing at Florida State because their style fits me the best and will help achieve my basketball goals.”

Butler is disruptive on the defense as a shot blocker and in the passing lanes. He possesses tremendous size and length, has mobility, is able to run the floor, protects the rim, has great hands and rebounds well. Butler selected Florida State over Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. 

“John is an exceptionally skilled player for a big guy,” said Hamilton. “We are excited to add John to our roster because his versatility fits out style of play so well. He is smart, has basketball in his blood with his father as a long-time, successful high school coach, is a rim protector and a defender. 

Butler plays for his dad, John Butler, Sr., at Christ Church Episcopal.

“John is an unusual and special talent,” said John Butler Sr. “He moves and runs like no other 6-9 or taller person I have ever seen. He is also a super friendly person who will make time for anyone. He is very approachable, polite, always has a smile on his face and is willing to answer every question and take every picture he is asked to take.” 

Butler is the first player to sign with the Seminoles on the first day of the early signing period which runs through Nov. 18. With the recruiting class expected to rank among the nation’s best, Hamilton and his staff have now attracted seven top-20 recruiting classes since becoming the head coach at Florida State in 2002. The Seminoles’ recruiting success has helped Hamilton and his staff build the fourth-winningest program in the ACC since the start of the 2005-2006 season.

Five-star forward Matthew Cleveland, five-star guard Jalen Warley and junior-college center Naheem McLeod are also expected to sign on Wednesday.