Florida State finished strong on the recruiting trail in 2018, and now fans want to see that same magic created in Tallahassee that was present in Oregon, which at one time boasted the top-ranked class in 2018.
National Signing Day was last week, but the next one is right around the corner and work already is being done on the trail. FSU already has four commitments, including three from in-state players.
There are numerous recruiting services and plenty of players to look at. But my thought is “simplicity,” so I’ve put together the “Big Game 36” list. The list will be fluid and updated, but for now, here are 36 prospects FSU fans should watch for in 2019. If FSU lands 25 of these guys, it’s a top-five class, easy.
Things change in recruiting and I’m just now getting adjusted to the 2019 board, so this current list is a combination of what I feel FSU needs, the players I’ve heard they are after and, frankly, guys I think are “war daddies and bad asses” from my knowledge as a former player and developer of talent.
The biggest needs to be addressed are quarterback, center, offensive tackle, tight end, inside linebacker, outside linebacker and – until I see more playmakers on the field – wide receiver.
Defensive tackle, cornerback, safety, defensive end and guard are depth and quality needs. Running backs? I like running backs, and there are some in this class I just want.
Here are the 36; current FSU commitments are denoted with an asterisk. The players are listed alphabetically by position.
Jayden Daniels (6 feet 3, 170 pounds), San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon
Sam Howell (6-1, 217), Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley
Michael Johnson Jr. (6-4, 190), Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon
Taisun Phommachanh (6-3, 186), Avon (Conn.) Avon Old Farms School
Running back (1-2)
Peter Hayes-Patrick (5-10, 180), Orlando Timber Creek
Trey Sanders (5-11, 216), Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
Wide receiver (3-4)
Kenyon Jackson (6-5, 200), Loganville (Ga.) Grayson
Frank Ladson (6-4, 170), Homestead (Fla.) South Dade
Jashawn Sheffield (6-1, 178), Saint Simons Island (Ga.) Frederica Academy
Jeremiah Payton (6-3, 180), Jacksonville Beach Fletcher
Tight end (2)
Hudson Henry (6-5, 225), Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy
Keon Zipperer (6-2, 240), Lakeland (Fla.) High
G Deyavie Hammond (6-4, 320), Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
G Dontae Lucas (6-3, 323), Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
T Adrian Medley (6-4, 305), Pensacola (Fla.) High
T Harry Miller (6-4, 310), Buford (Ga.) High
T William Putnam (6-4, 280), Tampa Plant
Ishmael Sopsher (6-5, 279), Amite (La.) High
Tru Thompson* (6-0, 338), Loganville (Ga.) Grayson
Khris Bogle (6-4, 207), Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons
Quashon Fuller* (6-3, 240), Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh
Derick Hunter (6-6, 281), Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar
Mike Morris* (6-5, 250), Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage
Jaquaze Sorrells (6-3, 270), Largo (Fla.) High (some schools recruiting as a DT)
Lloyd Summerall (6-6, 218), Auburndale (Fla.) High
Inside linebacker (2)
Nakobe Dean (6-0, 215), Horn Lake (Miss.) High
Shane Lee (6-1, 240), Baltimore St. Frances Academy
Outside linebacker (1-2)
Ge’mon Eaford (6-1, 220), Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High
Owen Pappoe (6-0, 211), Loganville (Ga.) Grayson)
Anthony Solomon (6-0, 200), Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Jaden Davis (5-10, 165), Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Akeem Dent* (6-0, 175), from West Palm Beach (Fla.) Palm Beach Central
Cortez Andrews (6-2, 205), Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby
Daxton Hill (6-1, 190), Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington
Tyrique Stevenson (6-2, 195), Homestead (Fla.) South Dade
Raymond Woodie III (6-1, 185), Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida High
I think FSU takes 25-plus in the 2019 cycle.
In 2018, because of a late start and an already-developed board from Oregon, Willie Taggart took a more nationwide approach. I still think the ability to recruit nationwide is a strong suit, but there’s a ton of talent in Florida. Go out of state and pull in top talent like Dean, Sopsher, Phommachanh and/or Howell, but lock up the state of Florida. It’s a different breed of football here.
One thing Jimbo Fisher didn’t do consistently was sign talent from FSU’s backyard – the “big bend” area of Florida. Andrews and Woodie, who is the son of FSU linebacker coach Raymond Woodie, should be ’Noles. There are some names that I wanted to include and who may be added, such as ATH Travis Jay from Madison (Fla.) Madison County, but it’s a challenge making the board short.
There’s a ton of talent around the state that will make the “Big Game 36” list as others fall off because of commitments elsewhere, better fits and/or a mutual lack of interest.
If you have your own 36, feel free to hit me up or share yours.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/36-player-checklist-willie-taggart-fsu-2019-recruiting/