FSU true freshman OL Julian Armella meets with local media for first time as Seminole
football Edit

Highly touted freshman OL Julian Armella ready to earn his spot

Before he even made his way to campus to join the Florida State football team, true freshman offensive lineman Julian Armella couldn't wait to tell FSU fans his intentions to help spark the program.

On May 31, as he and his mother were driving from South Florida to Tallahassee, Armella posted a lengthy message on social media saying that he and his teammates are going to “change the culture” at FSU. He added that when he arrived, the ’Noles would be getting, “someone who doesn’t stop grinding until the job is finished.”

On Friday, during his first interview with local media, Armella explained the motivation behind that message.

“I wasn’t just coming up here to play football ... I wanted everyone to know that I was coming up here to become a student-athlete, emphasis on the athlete, and also I am a 'dog,'” Armella said. “I am one of those cats that I feel like, I am going to give you everything I got. I am going to give you 110 percent, and I know with that, there’s nothing but success that can happen.”

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Now enrolled for the summer semester and taking part in FSU's offseason workout program, Armella discussed the work he has done with his body in recent months and shared his passion to help turn around the Seminoles' program.

Measuring in at 6-foot-6 and between 310 to 315 pounds, Armella said he, “feels like his body is transforming” as he prepares to begin his college career.

“I’ve just been maintaining and making sure I gain a lot of muscle. The transition has been very, very smooth,” Armella said. “Coming from a big program like St. Thomas [Aquinas], some of the same workouts that I was doing over there are the same ones that I am doing today. And the next one, and the next one.”

*ALSO SEE: More interviews with FSU Football summer enrollees

The Rivals100 lineman already saw major progress in that area during his senior year of high school, which allowed him to hit the ground running when he arrived in Tallahassee.

“To be honest, I had a lot of baby fat when I was 330 my sophomore or junior year at St. Thomas,” Armella said. “I mean, I kind of just trimmed down my whole body and I rebuilt it back up. Throughout this whole summer, I got down to like 275 and I just kept working and going up and up. … I’m just putting a lot of muscle on, and I do feel a lot stronger.”

When asked about his expectations for his true freshman season, Armella didn't make any bold predictions about winning a starting job or grabbing a lot of playing time. He said he plans to simply put his head down and work.

“My main mindset throughout this whole entire process, recruiting and once I got up here, was to make sure and play it as if I were a walk-on,” he said. "My mentality has been, ‘All right, I am going to come here and act like I gained a spot, and just work my butt off until I actually solidify one.’”

As one of the highest-rated prospects in FSU's 2022 signing class, the South Florida product said he is eager to gain the trust and respect of his new teammates and coaches while also pushing the program to a higher level.

“I would say it is a little bit of both. I am not going to sit here and walk in the first day and think that I can just talk to people the way that I want to,” Armella said. “I have to earn everybody’s respect. I feel that my work ethic has honestly been the main thing that got all these guys’ respect.”

Armella also discussed why he decided to attend Florida State over national powers like Alabama, who also were recruiting him heavily.

“The coaching staff that is here, the players that are here, and the environment that is here. Going back to that whole recruiting aspect of it, Coach [Mike] Norvell and Coach [Alex] Atkins, those are my guys,” Armella said. “Something just stood out about Florida State in that it was real people here and that it wasn’t all about the whole recruiting spiel.”

Now that he is officially part of the program, Armella aspires to help lead a major turnaround for the Seminoles.

“I wasn’t just trying to be a part of some bandwagon team, not trying to diss schools like Alabama or whatever you call it. I wanted to be a part of something that could change the culture. I wanted to come here, and I wanted to be with a bunch of guys who knew it wasn’t just going to be handed to you,” Armella said. “And you have to put in the work. Everybody has to kind of come together as a unit to get those goals and aspirations.”

And with just about a month remaining before preseason camp begins, the four-star lineman said he has observed that mindset in the locker room and during workouts.

“You see that with all the guys. We all kind of hang out with each other. From what I have been told, it wasn’t really like that in the past couple of years. I just feel like we are changing the environment,” Armella said. “Coach Norvell is doing a great job of maintaining that energy that he always has. I would say that the biggest thing about everything is just everybody is kind of on board. Everybody wants the same goal.”

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