Sanjay Kirpalani/DieHards
Willie Taggart's Class of 2019 stands at 10 players.

Florida State recruiting: Analyzing commitment impact of 4-star QB Sam Howell

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QB pledge has had major impact on Seminoles class

April turned out to be a huge month for Florida State coach Willie Taggart and the Seminoles on the recruiting trail.

Half of the Seminoles’ 10 commitments came in April, as months of hard work by Taggart and his staff paid off with results that pushed their class to a No. 1 ranking by the time the spring game concluded. The class currently rates as the nation’s No. 6 class and the No. 3 class in the ACC just behind Clemson and Miami, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

The first pledge that started Florida State’s run came from 4-star Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley quarterback Sam Howell.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Tar Heel State passer became the first quarterback to commit to Florida State since Taggart took over.

How did Florida State earn his commitment, and what does his pledge mean to the Seminoles?

We examine those questions in the first installment of a series that breaks down each of Florida State’s 2019 current commitments.

Commit date: April 9, 2018

Position/overall ranking: No. 4 pro-style quarterback, No. 99 player overall

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 225 pounds

Other schools considered: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State, Tennessee

Recruitment Overview

Howell was one of three 2019 quarterbacks identified by Taggart and new Seminoles offensive coordinator Walt Bell as top targets.

In particular, his relationship with Bell was another factor that helped the Seminoles win out. As 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong detailed, Bell was the first coach to offer Howell when the assistant was at Maryland.

The Seminoles got Howell on campus for an unofficial visit on March 31. His commitment was sealed days later and he returned for the Seminoles spring game on April 14 with the intention of helping build the class into one of the nation’s best.

Impact of commitment for Florida State

Considering that former coach Jimbo Fisher established himself as one of the premier developers of quarterback talent in Tallahassee, it’s important that Taggart and the new staff keep Florida State on the minds of top quarterbacks as a potential destination.

Over the last three seasons, Howell has thrown for 10,175 yards and 109 touchdowns with 33 interceptions. He’s added another 2,229 yards and 43 scores on the ground. He has above average arm strength with a quick release and the ability to make plays with his legs when things break down in the pocket. Those attributes appear to make him a great fit in Taggart’s up-tempo, spread attack.

Additionally, Howell has instantly become the face of the Seminoles 2019 class and has become one of its more vocal and active recruiters. Given his status as one of the premier quarterbacks in the 2019 cycle, the Elite 11 finalist figures to be an asset in helping the Seminoles land one of the nation’s top classes.

Current recruitment status: Solid commitment

Howell has not visited other schools since making his commitment, and he appears to be firm in his pledge.

Miss a previous edition? Find every daily Florida State DieHards recruiting notebooks right here.