Have Florida State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. You can tweet @Sanjay Kirpalani or @NolesDieHards with your questions. Join us every Friday for the Florida State DieHards recruiting mailbag to discuss Seminoles recruiting. This week, we discuss how the Seminoles board at receiver might look, the impact of the commitment earlier this week from 4-star quarterback Sam Howell, and whether or not his commitment affects the recruitment of another touted passer.
First up this week, we have Brent Deitrick asking about which 2019 receivers the Seminoles currently have the best chances with?
Ladson is one of the top receiver prospects in this cycle. The 6-foot-4, 170-pound standout rates as the nation’s No. 3 receiver and the No. 14 player overall in the 2019 cycle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. At this stage, Clemson, Georgia and Miami all appear to be ahead of the Seminoles in his recruitment. Of that group, the Tigers appear to be in the best position with him at this time.
However, the former Florida pledge doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make a decision. Plus, the Seminoles were able to get him on campus recently and that trip went well enough that dialogue between the two parties should increase moving forward. Let’s see if coach Willie Taggart, tight ends coach Telly Lockette and the rest of the staff can make up more ground in the coming months.
With Dunmore, I think the Seminoles sit at the head of the pack for the one-time Gators pledge. He’s spoken often about how Florida State is his dream school. Once he visited in February and received an offer from Taggart and the new staff, the Seminoles have been trending with him since that point. At this point, he would be the top receiver on Florida State’s board that I feel the Seminoles have the best chance at landing.
Still, there’s work to be done there in sorting through a number of intriguing and talented options. Some other names to watch at this stage include 4-star Dunnellon (Fla.) receiver Maurice Goolsby and 4-star Nashville (Tenn.) Franklin Road Academy receiver Lance Wilhoite.
Next, Gary Simonson asks about how the commitment of 4-star quarterback Sam Howell can affect Florida State’s 2019 class moving forward?
Gary, I think it will have a positive effect in a few ways.
For starters, I think Howell became the face of the Seminoles’ 2019 class the moment he committed. Sure, the Seminoles have other touted commitments such as 5-star West Palm Beach (Fla.) Palm Beach Central corner Akeem Dent and a few others. But Howell, who is the first passer to commit to Taggart and the new staff since their arrival in Tallahassee, figures to fill the role of recruiter. That’s something that the Seminoles haven’t had to this point.
Additionally, the Elite 11 finalist represents one of the nation’s top talents at the quarterback position in this class. That’s something that will likely get the attention of his peers if and when he reaches out to them about joining him in Tallahassee. If you think of it in just the short-term and look at it from an offensive standpoint, Florida State wants to sign big classes at receiver and offensive line. Both positions are likely to benefit from having an elite talent at quarterback who is on board to come in with them in the same class. It’s also likely that recruits at those positions look at programs on their lists to survey the talent around them at those positions.
If you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, Howell’s pledge is the first major wave of positive news after months of buzz surrounding the program from a recruiting standpoint. Most people felt Taggart and the Seminoles would go on a run at some point. Maybe this commitment could be the start of a march toward a top 5 overall class.
Finally, Nicholas Saccoccio asks about the Seminoles’ chances to land another 4-star quarterback in Jayden Daniels?
After the high of Howell’s commitment wore off, most Seminoles fans wanted to know how his pledge affected the other two quarterbacks that have garnered a lot of attention from Taggart and his staff: 4-star San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon quarterback Jayden Daniels and 4-star Bridgeport (Conn.) Avon Old Farms quarterback Taisun Phommachanh.
Since Nicholas wants to focus on Daniels, we’ll stick with just analyzing where things may stand with him. One thing to note before we jump in here is that he was the first passer offered by Taggart when he got to Florida State in December.
He visited Florida State last week, and by most accounts, he seemed to be blown away by his visit to Tallahassee. His mother accompanied him on the trip. As he told 247Sports’ Greg Biggins, a return trip to Florida State for an official visit was a strong possibility. That was before Howell’s pledge.
After that news broke, as Biggins detailed, he seemed uncertain about how hard the Seminoles would recruit him from that point forward. Assuming that Florida State seems intent on taking two quarterbacks, it’s my opinion that the staff will continue to aggressively pursue both Daniels and Phommachanh and would take a commitment from either player. A scenario could unfold where there may be a race to claim that second spot, but I don’t think they take a commitment from anyone other than those two until they are off the board.