Florida State recruiting: 5-star running back plans visit
Stay tuned as Florida State sets its sights on the top of the recruiting rankings. Don’t miss the coverage from Sanjay Kirpalani and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Seminoles recruiting news.
Trey Sanders to visit FSU later this month
Florida State boasts one of the nation’s deepest roster of running back talent.
However, Seminoles coach Willie Taggart and running backs coach Donte’ Pimpleton have their sights set high when looking for talent to add to that group in the 2019 cycle.
Perhaps the top option for Florida State is 5-star Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy running back Trey Sanders.
The Seminoles were able to get the one-time Alabama commit on campus in March for an unofficial visit. Florida, Georgia and Miami are schools which have hosted Sanders in recent months.
It appears as if the Seminoles will get another chance to have quality time with Sanders on campus before the end of the month.
According to SB Nation’s Bud Elliott, Sanders will make his way to Tallahassee next weekend to check out the Seminoles.
RB @6sixGod_ won't visit anywhere this weekend (studying for finals). Visiting FSU next weekend.
— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) May 16, 2018
The 5-foot-11½, 216-pound in-state rusher rates as the nation’s top running back and the No. 7 player overall in the 2019 cycle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
As a junior, Sanders totaled 76 carries for 704 yards and 10 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. Those numbers came despite sharing a backfield with 2018 Oklahoma signee T.J. Pledger and fellow 2019 4-star and current teammate Noah Cain.
Adding Sanders to the Seminoles offensive class would give Taggart a potential replacement to current sophomore sensation Cam Akers after his career in Tallahassee concludes.
Regardless, getting Sanders on campus again is a good sign for the Seminoles in terms of having staying power throughout the remainder of his process.
4-star DE Mike Morris “getting to know” new staff
As the longest-tenured commit in Florida State’s 2019 class, 4-star Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage defensive end Mike Morris has experienced the full spectrum of emotions during the recruiting process.
The 6-5, 250-pound in-state pass rusher committed to the Seminoles in February 2016, but the departure of former Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher in December led to some anxious moments about his status.
During the spring, Morris took a few visits to schools such as Miami, Michigan and Tennessee. He also made it back to Tallahassee for a visit to meet with Taggart.
— Mike morris (@Mikemoris87) January 12, 2018
It appears as if he’s getting more comfortable with his future coaching staff.
According to the Palm Beach Post’s Adam Lichtenstein, Morris is building a bond with Taggart, receivers coach David Kelly and tight ends coach Telly Lockette. Perhaps more importantly, he still “plans on being a Seminole.”
Morris rates as the nation’s No. 19 strongside defensive end and the No. 254 player overall in the 2019 cycle.
Last season, he tallied 84 tackles with 4 sacks despite battling through a torn labrum.
Between Morris and fellow 4-star defensive end commit Quashon Fuller, the Seminoles have a pair of bigger edge-setting types to fit their scheme. The main focus for the defensive staff moving forward will be to add rangy, athletic ends who specialize in getting after the quarterback.
2020 5-star LB wants to visit FSU in summer
Florida State has a major need at linebacker in the 2019 class, but the position isn’t likely to be one the Seminoles place an emphasis on until the position is in a healthier space with talent and depth.
Taggart and his staff already have a pledge from 2020 Wakulla (Fla.) Crawfordville linebacker Keyshawn Greene, and the Seminoles have offered a handful of other prospects at the position.
One player who figures to be at the top of linebackers coach Raymond Woodie’s wish list in next year’s cycle is 5-star Seattle (Wa.) Garfield linebacker Sav’ell Smalls.
The 6-4, 235-pound defender rates as the nation’s top outside linebacker and the No. 3 player overall in the 2020 cycle, according to 247Sports.
He’s already close to 20 offers at this stage of his recruitment, including Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Stanford, USC and Washington.
According to 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman, Smalls is planning a visit to see ACC power Clemson at some point in the summer, potentially as soon as next month.
In addition to Clemson, Smalls mentioned Alabama, Florida State and Georgia as schools he could potentially see while he’s in the area.
There’s another connection the Seminoles have with Smalls. In February, Florida State signed his prep teammate, receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison.
While Pac-12 schools such as Stanford and Washington have a geographic advantage in their pursuit of Smalls, the Harrison connection is one that could help the Seminoles remain among his lead group of programs as his process moves forward.
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