With turnover at LSU, FSU in better shape to land Armella and other prospects

With the coaching transition at LSU, Florida State could be in position to grab three LSU commitments as well as three uncommitted prospects. We take a look at each of those prospects, followed by Osceola recruiting analyst Charles Fishbein’s thoughts.

Uncommitted prospects

Julian Armella

A four-star offensive tackle from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, his dad, Enzo, played at Florida State. FSU was one of the three schools that Armella visited over the summer, alongside Miami and LSU. He unofficially visited FSU on June 1 for the Midnight Madness event and again on Sept. 5 for the season opener versus Notre Dame. Mike Norvell and Alex Atkins attended Armella’s game on Friday night. After the firing of Orgeron, Florida State is the likely favorite to land Armella.

Fishbein’s analysis: Someone I spoke with at LSU told me he thinks FSU is in the lead to land Armella’s commitment. Even with LSU being involved with the kid and they are supposed to be one of his leaders … LSU was not buying it. They feel the kid will end up at FSU. 

Kendrick Law

A four-star defensive back from Shreveport, La. Captain Shreve, Law has been a final piece for FSU defensive backs coach Marcus  Woodson.. LSU, Alabama and Florida State have stood out most in Law’s recruitment. Law unofficially visited Florida State on June 1 before officially visiting for the season opener against Notre Dame. LSU should not be completely out of his recruitment moving forward, as Law is from Louisiana and LSU was considered the favorite by most, but this gives Alabama and Florida State an edge over the Tigers for now.

Fishbein’s analysis: Law is another kid FSU is very interested in. LSU does not have the same strong hold on that area of Louisiana. It is on the opposite end of the state. 

Nyjalik Kelly

A four-star defensive end from Fort Lauderdale Dillard, who was once committed to Florida State before seeing a boom in his recruitment and deciding to open it back up on April 20. Kelly is considering a range of schools including LSU, FSU, Alabama, Florida, Miami, Oregon, Clemson and Indiana. Kelly officially visited Florida State for the season opener against Notre Dame. LSU was a top choice for Kelly and the coaching changes there will benefit the other schools in his recruitment, but this is probably a long shot for the ‘Noles after their disappointing start to the year. 

Fishbein’s analysis: I have not heard much from FSU’s side in the chances of landing Kelly. He is a very good player, one of the top 10 in Florida. It will be interesting to see if FSU has a shot. Clemson started to get some traction. His family loves FSU so it would not shock me to see him end up back in the class. Miami had the best shot at pulling the kid but with coach Manny Diaz potentially being dismissed they are probably out. Kelly was impressed by Orgeron.

LSU Commits

Demario Tolan

A four-star linebacker from Orlando Dr. Phillips narrowed his recruitment to five schools before committing to LSU on July 8. Among those programs were LSU, Miami, Clemson, Tennessee and Florida State. Tolan unofficially visited Florida State over the summer (June 14) among other top programs around the country. Tolan has taken official visits to LSU, Miami and Tennessee, leaving two spots available for other schools to get him on campus for 48 hours if he wishes to utilize them. FSU linebackers coach Chris Marve still communicates with Tolan and the two have a “brotherly” relationship, according to Tolan.

Fishbein’s analysis: FSU was one of his first offers. Tolan seemed to have an interest for programs that were having success. He was very interested early on with Clemson and then turned his attention to LSU. Both schools have faltered this year. You would think FSU could come back around on him and have a shot. It seems like FSU has focused more on Jaron Willis and Wesley Bissainthe. FSU hired Kenyatta Watson as director of player relations in part because of his relationship with Georgia prospects and that state’s high school coaches. Willis is from Leesburg, Ga. Bissainthe. His recruitment is being spearheaded by FSU analysts Randy Shannon and Sabbath Joseph.

Laterrance Welch

A four-star defensive back from Lafayette (La.) Acadiana HS committed to LSU on Jan. 24 during the 15-month long dead period but has taken multiple official and unofficial visits since to other schools. He made an unofficial visit to Florida State on June 6 for the elite camp. FSU defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson has been swinging for the fences in the 2022 cycle, where he is looking to add  one or two more elite pieces to a recruiting class that includes Travis Hunter and Sam McCall. Welch has been a focus for Woodson throughout the time Welch has been committed to LSU.

Fishbein’s analysis: FSU has a legit shot at Laterrance. Recruiting coordinator David Johnson recruits that state very well and he has been on campus at FSU multiple times. Even though he committed to LSU he has stayed in contact with the FSU coaches. 

Emery Jones

A four-star offensive lineman from Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic who committed to LSU on July 30 after officially visiting Florida State the previous weekend. Jones narrowed his options to FSU, Arkansas and LSU before pledging to the hometown team. Florida State is in a good spot if Jones decides to reopen his recruitment, as FSU offensive line coach Alex Atkins has a particularly good relationship with Jones. 

Fishbein’s analysis: Jones is from Baton Rouge. Good luck pulling that kid. Whoever the new coach is will still be able to land him.