Florida State recruiting: Analyzing commitment impact of 5-star CB Akeem Dent
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Elite programs trying to flip longtime Seminoles commit
From the moment he stepped onto campus as Florida State’s new coach, Willie Taggart has been working on rebuilding the Seminoles reputation with recruits in current and future cycles.
He was quickly able to get things turned around with the 2018 cycle and hit the ground running with the 2019 class.
He inherited four 2019 commits who had pledged to previous coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff, and keeping them in the fold was among Taggart’s top priorities.
The Seminoles top commitment in the 2019 cycle is from 5-star West Palm Beach (Fla.) Palm Beach Central corner Akeem Dent.
The Seminoles have a big need to restock the secondary, and Dent is the perfect prospect to build a defensive back class around.
However, despite his commitment, a host of schools around the country continue to recruit him, trying to get him to change his mind about Florida State.
— MaxPreps Football (@MaxPrepsHSFB) July 21, 2017
How have the Seminoles managed to hold onto him, and what will it take to make sure he lands in Tallahassee?
In this edition of our series looking into each of Florida State’s current commitments, we put Dent under the microscope and analyze his skill set and what his commitment means for the Seminoles class.
Commit date: July 21, 2017
Position/overall ranking: Nation’s No. 3 cornerback, No. 31 player overall
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 176 pounds
Other schools considered: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami and LSU
After an early offer from Florida Atlantic in May 2016, Dent picked up an offer from Miami a month later. In July, he attended the Hurricanes summer camp and made a commitment to coach Mark Richt and his staff.
Less than a week after making that pledge, he camped at Florida State and earned an offer from the Seminoles.
Dent’s profile continued to rise, and he continued to pick up offers. He made a handful of visits to Miami and other schools, but he de-committed from the Hurricanes in March 2017.
Exactly a year after he that camp visit to Florida State, he returned to the Seminoles summer camp and left Tallahassee as a member of the 2019 class.
Through the transition from Fisher to Taggart, Dent has remained solid with his pledge. However, schools such as Alabama and Miami are continuing to push hard for Dent.
He’s made unofficial visits to both schools, but Taggart also was able to get him on FSU’s campus during the spring twice.
Another thing working in the Seminoles favor is that Dent’s older brother, Adarius Dent, is on the Seminoles roster as a walk-on receiver.
For now, the Seminoles are doing everything possible to keep him firmly committed. But his recruitment is one that likely won’t be finalized until he signs that letter of intent.
Impact of commitment for Florida State
Florida State has a need for cornerbacks, and Dent is one of the elite talents at the position in the 2019 cycle.
He’s a physical press corner who can fit defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett’s aggressive approach that often leaves corners on an island.
Akeem Dent v. Frank Ladson. So far Dent has been winning. Fire v. Miami Immortals. pic.twitter.com/s1n6sX3Fp6
— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) January 28, 2018
Dent doesn’t have the height and length that bigger corners possess, but what he lacks in those attributes, he makes up for it with his athleticism, instincts and ball skills.
He’s the highest-rated recruit in the Seminoles class, which means it would be a big blow should he to elect to head elsewhere.
In terms of talent and need, Dent figures to be a player that has the full attention of the staff moving forward.
Current recruitment status: Soft commitment
Dent is one of the hardest recruitments to define in terms of the strength of his commitment.
There don’t appear to be any signs of him wavering from his pledge to the Seminoles. The two visits in the spring to Florida State were crucial in terms of getting him to interact and feel comfortable with the new staff.
— Sleeper Athletes (@SleeperAthletes) May 19, 2018
However, he’s also been on the campuses of Alabama and Miami for visits, and both of those schools have enticing sales pitches to throw at Dent.
Miami is the hometown school that he initially committed to; Alabama is undoubtedly the sport’s premier juggernaut with a coach known to develop defensive backs.
Regardless of how it plays out, keeping Dent in the fold will continue to be one of the biggest storylines of the Seminoles 2019 class.
Miss a previous edition? Find every daily Florida State DieHards recruiting notebooks right here.