Florida State recruiting: Seminoles likely to make next cut for top OL
Stay tuned as Florida State marches on the warpath to the top of the recruiting rankings. Don’t miss the coverage from Sanjay Kirpalani and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Seminoles recruiting news.
Elite OL Deyavie Hammond high on Seminoles
One position that Florida State likely will take a strong look at in the 2019 cycle is offensive line. Willie Taggart and new offensive line coach Greg Frey helped assemble a four-man class at the position in the 2018 cycle, and a similar class size is likely this time.
One name that figures to be a hot commodity in Tallahassee — and plenty of other places around the country — is 4-star Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy guard Deyavie Hammond.
The 6-foot-4, 320-pound former Alabama commit rates as the nation’s No. 3 guard and the No. 39 player overall in the 2019 cycle, according to the 247Sports composite.
Since Hammond’s de-commitment, the Seminoles were believed to be one of the schools that could capitalize on another opportunity to recruit him.
He somewhat confirmed that theory to 247Sports’ John Garcia Jr. as he noted that Alabama and Florida State are two teams that will “definitely” make the cut whenever he decides to shorten his list of suitors.
As Garcia detailed, Hammond likely will visit a handful of schools before cutting his list, and the Seminoles appear to be in good shape to get him on campus soon.
With those factors in mind, it appears as if the Seminoles are in a good position with Hammond heading into the summer.
Florida State pushing for Alabama commit
The Seminoles also have a need for defensive backs in the 2019 cycle. Florida State already has two corners committed, so safety is the likely focus as things move forward.
One target that the staff is keeping tabs on is 4-star Lakeland (Fla.) Kathleen safety Brendan Gant.
The 6-2, 187-pound Gant rates as the nation’s No. 5 safety and the No. 131 player in the 2019 cycle. He committed to Alabama in December.
However, the Seminoles were his other finalist, and the Florida State coaching transition from Jimbo Fisher to Taggart was still fresh then.
Now it appears as if Taggart and defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett are trying to get back into the picture with Gant.
As Garcia detailed, Florida State and Miami were singled out by Gant as the top threats to make him reconsider his original commitment.
While the coaching change may have hurt the Seminoles initially, Gant’s relationship with longtime Seminoles defensive line coach Odell Haggins — the only assistant retained from the previous staff — is one that dates back to his freshman season.
Getting Gant back on campus soon is pivotal for the Seminoles’ chances of stealing him away from the Crimson Tide. However, it appears as if Gant is leaving his options open — which could benefit the Seminoles as his recruitment plays out.
In-state 2020 DT earns offer
Florida State needs defensive tackles in the 2019 cycle, but finding quality big men in the trenches likely will be a focus for Taggart and his staff in every cycle.
Enter 4-star Sebastian (Fla.) Sebastian River defensive tackle Timothy Smith. Florida State got Smith on campus earlier in the week, and the trip turned out to be fruitful. The 6-4, 315-pound Smith received an offer while on campus.
— Timothy Smith (@Timothy_smith77) March 27, 2018
The Seminoles join Florida International, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Miami and Middle Tennessee State as the early programs that have tendered Smith. That list likely will grow as he continues to make visits and his film circulates.
Smith rates as the nation’s No. 9 defensive tackle and the No. 123 player in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports.
Haggins appears to have certain characteristics that he likes in D-linemen, and Smith more than fits the bill.
With that in mind, it appears as if Smith is one of the top early names to know on the Seminoles’ 2020 board.
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