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Where will Seminoles look to complete 2020 class?

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Florida State’s roster could continue to shake up in the coming weeks as players will declare their NFL intentions or contemplate entering the transfer portal.

Coach Mike Norvell has met glaring needs at quarterback, receiver and linebacker in the early signing period. But there is still work to be done and the Seminoles will be active over the next six weeks. We take a look at four positions that could use some help through high school signees in February, junior college prospects or graduate transfers.

Running back: The roster is thin regardless of whether Khalan Laborn (injury and suspension) and Anthony Grant (did not play in 2019) are with the Seminoles next fall. FSU was able to hold on to the commitment of four-star Lawrance Toafili, who signed in December and will land on campus in the summer. Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County four-star tailback Daijun Edwards holds an offer from FSU. Ellisville (Miss.) Jones College tailback La’Damian Webb, who was a Mississippi State signee in Dec. 2017 before going to junior college, has received an offer from coaches, too. Landing Webb or Edwards are high priorities.

Wide receiver: FSU signed three wideouts in December but, given the injuries and inconsistent play at the position, the coaching staff will be looking to secure the signature of Malachi Wideman (a longtime commitment) as well as evaluate any other potential prospects. In a best-case scenario: Tamorrion Terry and D.J. Matthews return in 2020, Warren Thompson re-joins the team and Keyshawn Helton and Ontaria Wilson come back from injury. But if coaches see Terry or Matthews depart, or if Wideman looks elsewhere, this position becomes a high priority. FSU is also reportedly pursuing New Orleans (La.) John Curtis three-star athlete Corey Wren, who may be undersized at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds but could be an option at receiver.

Offensive tackle: FSU has stocked up on interior linemen in the 2020 class and grabbed tackle Lloyd Willis of Miami Killian. But as FSU fans have seen for years, there is a desperate need for landing tackles via the high school ranks or grad transfer market. St. Louis Trinity Catholic three-star tackle Jalen St. John II recently received an FSU offer and is evaluating his options ahead of signing day in February.

Defensive line: FSU could use more numbers at defensive tackle. Two NFL decisions will have an impact on the group as neither Marvin Wilson and Cory Durden have announced their intentions. If we presume Wilson, a potential first-rounder, goes to the NFL and Durden stays at FSU for his redshirt junior season, then there are five returning tackles with college experience (Durden, Robert Cooper, Cedric Wood, Tru Thompson, Malcolm Ray). And the Seminoles signed Emanuel Rogers in December, a player who assistant coach Odell Haggins considers the top interior lineman in Florida in the 2020 class. But the Seminoles could use another one or two interior linemen, through prep signings, junior college or grad transfer. FSU appears set at defensive end from a numbers standpoint with the knowledge that Janarius Robinson will return for his senior season as well as signings of Josh Griffis and Louisville transfer Jarrett Jackson. It remains to be seen if or when Joshua Kaindoh will be able to return from his leg injury. Adding another end wouldn’t be a surprise, though.

The Osceola’s Patrick Burnham and and Charles Fishbein discussed FSU’s signing class and needs to round out the 2020 group in a podcast last week. If you missed it, listen here.

Comments

  1. Doug MannheimerReply

    I would think that one or two Junior College offensive tackles would be a priority. We need two folks who are ready to play Offensive Tackle in Atlanta vs. West Virginia.

    • Bob FerranteReply

      Yes. Could see FSU hit the transfer portal or junior college for an OT. JUCO is always a roll of the dice but FSU needs immediate help. Lloyd Willis is talented but has only played two years of HS football and can’t be expected to start day 1.

  2. Jerry KutzReply

    17 of the players on Norvell’s roster at Memphis came from the junior college ranks, so its entirely possible he has more “placed” in jucos who could help FSU.

    I say “placed” and what I mean is this: when evaluating high school kids, college coaches often will find kids who either aren’t going to qualify academically or may lack something they can work on at the junior college (perhaps size or experience). During the Bowden years, it wasn’t uncommon for an FSU coach to place a kid at a junior college and make sure the kid was enrolled in all the right classes so that he would qualify. They had coaches they knew would keep an eye on them and help them develop.

    While the kid would be recruited by lots of other colleges, the bond formed between FSU and the juco coach and the kid would almost always prevail. You can believe Norvell has those relationships too.
    Gosh I can think of dozens of kids who FSU placed who went on to great success over the years and I’m sure our old timers can name even more. I’ll get the list started from the early 80s and see if you guys can add more.

    I’m working on a Juco column and you will be surprised by the findings, I think. While we Seminoles think FSU hasn’t relied on Juco players, we’ve had a number of years where there were seven or eight on the roster — even in the Dynasty Years — and the percentage who started may surprise you.

    • Craig GilmanReply

      Looking forward to the Juco article, Jerry. Should be very interesting. I do remember a number of those players that had an impact for FSU.

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