Florida State recruiting: Breaking down impact of Sam Howell’s commitment
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4-star QB Sam Howell likely to turn recruiter beginning this weekend
On Monday, Florida State did more than just land a potential quarterback of the future in 4-star Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley prospect Sam Howell.
It’s entirely possible that Seminoles coach Willie Taggart, offensive coordinator Walt Bell and the rest of the Seminoles staff landed the future bell cow of the 2019 class.
— Sam Howell (@Sam_Howell2) April 9, 2018
Through the coaching transition from Jimbo Fisher to Taggart, the Seminoles held things together thanks to the efforts of 2018 class members such as linebacker Amari Gainer.
However, having the nation’s No. 4 pro-style quarterback and the No. 152 player overall in the 2019 cycle according to the 247Sports composite rankings as a player recruiter will be a major boost to a class that has the potential to finish among the nation’s top 5 when the dust settles on National Signing Day in February.
As things stand, Florida State has six current commitments and a 2019 class that ranks No. 10 nationally. Howell committed five days ahead of the Seminoles spring game — an event he plans on attending.
There figures to be plenty of talent joining him in Tallahassee this weekend as players such as 5-star Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Oaks Christian defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux have already confirmed their plans to be on campus this weekend.
The final list of attendees is still being sorted out, but with Howell on board, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Seminoles’ class grow even more by week’s end.
Before Howell’s commitment, the Seminoles had gained buzz among the nation’s elite recruits because of the work put in by Taggart and his staff. That buzz was reflected by the amount of talented prospects they were able to get in for unofficial visits the last few weeks.
With one of the top arms in the 2019 class now spearheading their efforts, the Seminoles appear poised to exit spring and enter summer as one of the nation’s hottest programs on the recruiting trail.
Seminoles still in it for other top QB targets?
Before Howell committed to the Seminoles, he was among three prospects viewed as the top group of passers coveted by Taggart and his staff.
With Howell now on board, the natural follow-up question would how does his pledge affect the recruitments of both Daniels and Phommachanh. Both players visited Florida State in March, and both gave glowing remarks about their time on campus to the point where the Seminoles appear to be on the short list of both prospects.
With Florida State’s lack of depth at quarterback, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Seminoles continue their efforts to land another touted passer in this class.
Still, it’s clear that the dynamic for the Seminoles and their remaining quarterback targets has somewhat changed now that Howell is on board.
According to Greg Biggins of 247Sports, Daniels was planning on using one of five official visits to Florida State before this news came out. Now, he is taking a more wait-and-see approach with the Seminoles (although he did appear to be open to the possibility of choosing the Seminoles if they continue to aggressively recruit him.)
Meanwhile, Phommachanh was more direct and open to the idea of joining a class that already has another touted passer on board, as detailed by Noles247’s Chris Nee.
— Taisun P⚡️🏈 (@tydollaz3) March 27, 2018
While the staff hasn’t definitively stated their plans on whether they will take one or two quarterbacks, the aforementioned lack of depth likely dictates that they will continue to be aggressive in getting another passer to join Howell in this class.
If that is the case, their preference would likely be either Daniels or Phommachanh. Regardless, the quarterback dominoes are unlikely to be settled anytime soon for the Seminoles.
Seminoles offer new TE target
Among the positions where Taggart and his staff are changing things up a bit is tight end.
The new staff prefers rangy, athletic targets who can provide mismatches in the passing game.
Heading into the week, the Seminoles had offered just three tight ends in the 2019 cycle.
That changed on Tuesday as the Seminoles offered 3-star Jefferson (Ga.) tight end Garmon Randolph.
Blessed to receive an offer from Florida state University!!!! pic.twitter.com/IbIvYGd6h7
— Garmon Randolph (@garmonrandolph5) April 10, 2018
The 6-6, 215-pound Peach State standout rates as the nation’s No. 26 tight end and the No. 682 player overall in the 2019 cycle.
Penn State also offered Tuesday, bringing his offer list to 14 suitors.
Among the other programs that have already offered him include Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan and Wisconsin.
According to MaxPreps, Randolph caught 12 passes for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns in 7 games during his junior season. While those numbers are somewhat modest, Randolph’s offer list is a reflection of the potential he possesses to grow into a matchup nightmare on the college level.
The next step with Randolph will be to get him on campus for a visit in the coming weeks or months ahead. With the Seminoles having little traction with other top tight end targets, Randolph could be a legitimate option should he make it to campus soon.
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