Sanjay Kirpalani/DieHards
Florida State coach Willie Taggart has five players committed in his Class of 2019.

Florida State recruiting: Seminoles land 3-star ATH Travis Jay

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Seminoles land fifth commitment in 2019 class

Tuesday was far from a normal weekday on Florida State’s campus.

Coach Willie Taggart and the Seminoles hosted a handful of targets in the 2019 cycle, including a trio of prospects from the state of Georgia in 4-star St. Simons Island (Ga.) Frederica Academy receiver Jashawn Sheffield, 4-star Saint Simons Island (Ga.) Frederica Academy athlete Jaylin Simpson and 3-star Savannah (Ga.) Memorial athlete Winston Wright.

Two additional visitors were added to the list in 4-star Auburn (Ala.) linebacker Mohamoud Diabate and 3-star Madison (Fla.) Madison County athlete Travis Jay.

With that much talent on campus, the chances were good that the Seminoles’ 2019 class could grow.

And that’s what happened, as Jay pledged to the Seminoles before leaving campus, according to 247Sports’ Chris Nee.

The 6-foot, 175-pound in-state standout rates as the nation’s No. 40 athlete and the No. 427 player overall in the 2019 cycle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Jay selected Florida State over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami and Louisville among others.

The announcement sent a jolt throughout the Seminoles staff, as offensive line coach Greg Frey and Seminoles director of player development Mario Edwards seemed to hint that good news was on the way earlier in the afternoon. Taggart confirmed the news later on in the evening via his Twitter account.

Jay is a versatile playmaker who could play on offense or defense in college, but his future is likely in the secondary. According to MaxPreps, Jay has recorded 8 interceptions in each of the last two seasons.

Jay represents the first commitment in the 2019 cycle that was given to Taggart and his staff. His addition could represent the start of a big run on the recruiting trail as the Seminoles prepare for what should be a pivotal period in the current class over the next few months.

Another QB prospect to visit this month

It’s no secret that finding a quarterback is among the chief priorities for Florida State coach Willie Taggart and his staff in the 2019 cycle.

Over the last few months, a handful of elite passers have emerged as primary options for Taggart and offensive coordinator Walt Bell.

One of those options is 4-star Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley quarterback Sam Howell.

The 6-foot-1, 217-pound Tar Heel State standout rates as the nation’s No. 4 pro-style quarterback and the No. 154 player overall in the 2019 cycle.

Over the last three seasons, Howell has thrown for 10,175 yards with 109 touchdowns and 33 interceptions, according to MaxPreps. Over that same span, he’s added 2,229 yards rushing and 43 touchdowns on the ground.

As a junior, he threw for 3,372 yards with 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while running for another 1,594 yards and 24 touchdowns.

The Seminoles offered Howell on National Signing Day last month, and there’s been some anticipation on when he could make it to campus.

It appears as if that time is now known.

Howell plans to visit Florida State on March 31, according to Nee. On the same weekend, Howell also will check out fellow Sunshine State power Florida.

Howell is the second primary quarterback target to confirm his plans to visit in March. Four-star Bridgeport (Conn.) Avon Old Farms quarterback Taisun Phommachanh plans to visit Florida State next week.

Getting Howell on campus early is a good sign for the Seminoles. Given his relationship with Bell and an appealing depth chart, the Seminoles have an opportunity to become a major player in his recruitment if his visit goes well.

Top OL target also scheduled to visit

Howell will not be the only prospect visiting on that day who represents a top option at a position of need.

Nee reported that 4-star Tampa (Fla.) Plant guard William Putnam also will make it to Florida State on March 31.

The 6-4, 280-pound Sunshine State lineman earned an offer from the Seminoles in February. He rates as the nation’s No. 5 guard and the No. 116 player overall in the 2019 cycle.

Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami and Ohio State are among the schools involved with Putnam, with the Hurricanes and Buckeyes appearing to be in front.

The Seminoles have a need for offensive linemen, and new offensive line coach Greg Frey is familiar with Putnam dating to his tenure at Michigan.

Putnam figures to be an important target since he’s one of the state’s top offensive line prospects.

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