Florida State recruiting: Catching up with QB target amid flurry of visits
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James Foster will visit Alabama this weekend
Florida State has a few priorities down the stretch in the 2018 recruiting cycle, and perhaps chief among them is locking up a quarterback commitment.
Right now, the sole focus at that position is 4-star Montgomery (Ala.) Lanier passer James Foster.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound field general rates as the nation’s No. 13 dual threat quarterback and the No. 288 player overall in the 2018 class, according to the 247Sports composite.
As a senior, Foster racked up 3,010 yards of total offense while tossing 30 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions and adding another 11 touchdowns on the ground.
His recruitment is down to four schools: Alabama, Florida State, LSU and Texas A&M. Last weekend, he made his first official visit to the see the Tigers.
Really Enjoyed The Boot 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/VQXHEN6Klo
— James Foster II (@YungSimba4) January 14, 2018
According to SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman, the Tigers visit set a high standard that the other schools on his list will have to exceed if they hope to land the talented signal caller.
As far as the pitch from coach Ed Orgeron and his staff, it was a simple one: For other programs, Foster represents a want; for LSU, he represents a need.
“They stressed [the depth chart] to me a lot,” Foster told Spiegelman. “They said other schools want you, but we literally need you. I know what opportunities I have and at LSU, they really stressed it to me. I told them that I wanted to see what other schools have to offer me during my official visits at those schools. They respected that, but they hope that they get me. They need a quarterback and I’m the only quarterback on their board … and they want me bad.”
Foster will check out Alabama this weekend and Texas A&M the following weekend before making his way to Tallahassee for his official visit the final weekend before National Signing Day on Feb. 7 — which is when he’s expected to make his decision.
As for the Seminoles, coach Willie Taggart is expected to do an in-home visit with Foster on Thursday, as detailed by John Garcia Jr. of 247Sports.
It’s clear that LSU made a great impression on Foster and has an appealing depth chart. However, the Seminoles still appear to be in decent shape with Foster heading into his final three visits.
Seminoles offer 2019 receiver
In addition to trying to fill out the 2018 class, Florida State has also started to get busy evaluating heavily for the 2019 class.
In recent weeks, the receiver position has been a focus — which makes sense given the low numbers currently on the Seminoles roster.
On Tuesday, the Seminoles offered 4-star Saint Louis Cardinal Ritter College Prep receiver Jameson Williams.
— JUICE 🤟🏾 (@juicedupjameson) January 16, 2018
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound pass catcher rates as the nation’s No. 48 receiver and the No. 312 player overall in the 2019 cycle.
Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon and Penn State are among the other schools that have already offered Williams. Alabama, Ohio State and TCU were among the programs that have gotten Williams on campus within the last three months.
The Seminoles are hoping to join that list by getting him to visit Tallahassee in the spring or summer. The last time Florida State pulled a player from the Show Me State was when punter Logan Tyler selected the Seminoles in the 2016 cycle.
Williams represents one of the nation’s top receiver prospects and the Seminoles figure to gauge his interest level in the program moving forward.
Willie Taggart completes staff
Since arriving in Tallahassee last month, Taggart has been working with limited resources with respect to the staff available to assist in recruiting.
This weekend, however, that will no longer an issue. Taggart reportedly made the final two hires of his staff late Tuesday evening.
According to Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, Taggart tabbed Maryland assistant Walt Bell to be the Seminoles’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach while David Kelly will coach Florida State receivers.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 17, 2018
Also on Tuesday, we broke down the strength of Taggart’s staff as a whole from a recruiting perspective. But the latest two hires solidify the offensive side of the ball for the Seminoles moving forward.
In Bell, who at age 33 is the youngest member of the new Florida State staff, Taggart brings in an innovative young mind regarded as a rising star in the profession.
He’s spent the last two years as the offensive coordinator at Maryland. Prior to that, he held the same post at Arkansas State. He also brings experience coaching in the ACC as he was North Carolina’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator from 2012-13.
Kelly, now the oldest member of the staff at 61, initially was going to fulfill an off-field role that would assist Taggart in recruiting — similar to the roles he held at Oregon and South Florida in recent years. But, instead, he returns to the field and to a position that he’s had a large deal of experience coaching at previous stops at UCF, Georgia Tech, Duke and LSU.
Now that Taggart’s staff is full, the Seminoles will be at full strength as they try to complete a strong close for the 2018 cycle the next few weeks.
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