football Edit

Michael's Mailbag: On FSU Football Recruiting, Transfer Portal (part 2)

As Mike Norvell’s attention shifts toward fall camp, he and his staff will host one final recruiting event -- the "Seminole Showcase" cookout -- on July 30. The 'Noles have won some key recruiting battles this month and are among the finalists for several more high-level targets.

In this mailbag, our Michael Langston takes questions from Warchant members on where things stand with the transfer portal and the 2023 and 2024 high school recruiting classes.

(Note: This is part two of two. You can find part one of Michael's mailbag here.)

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Will FSU keep an eye on Milton quarterback and Miami commitment Emory WIlliams?
Will FSU keep an eye on Milton quarterback and Miami commitment Emory WIlliams?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Some questions have been lightly edited for clarity.)

It appears that Mike Norvell and his staff are trying to run the program the right way. I was impressed with Coach Norvell’s public response to the Hunter situation. In your opinion, how much of this is making a strong enough impression that recruits are listing it as a reason to commit and stay committed to FSU? -MarkECannon

I think most of the recruits believe in the vision of Florida State. A good portion of the others that I have covered in the Hot Board want to see a product on the field that is consistent. There's no way of getting around that with several prospects, like William Fowles, Santana Fleming and Jordan Hall.

I think Norvell is doing everything right in terms of preparation, being detailed about what works for each recruit and being honest about what FSU actually is on the field going into the season. That's important. It's key to be straight up about the things that had to be corrected and developed within the program. But recruits need to see progress to get the full effect that FSU is looking for on the recruiting trail.


Would Emory Williams be the top quarterback Norvell goes after in the high school ranks if he strikes out on Brock Glenn? -Yophillip1010

I believe Williams would be one of the options that FSU seriously considers. I don't want to say they will for sure pursue him, but I think there is a good chance they will if something went wrong with Glenn (for the record, I don't expect an issue with Glenn).

Whether Glenn commits or not, I still see FSU still keeping an eye on Williams, who has family has ties to the Seminoles.


I'm curious about preferred walk-ons. I noticed that this year's roster had quite a few names that weren't on scholarship list. Reading the bios, some of the kids have talent. Is it FCS or FBS talent? Last year CJ Campbell was a sleeper I noticed and he ended up Offensive Scout Team MVP.

One kid this year is AJ Cottrill. He had over 500 tackles at LB in high school mostly over 3 years and I couldn't find a Rivals ranking! He had some FCS offers from what I found as well as the Military Academies and Harvard.

Do you have any thoughts on any of the PWO's as another source for recruitment to fill needs like the Portal? Has FSU ever had a PWO that became a solid contributor? -knoxs007

Here is the bottom line on preferred walk-ons. Norvell heavily values these players and he treats them the same way as he does the scholarship guys. So yes, I do believe a few of those will turn into scholarship guys like what we are seeing with CJ Campbell. While I think you can't expect a large number of these guys to contribute that way, I'd say around 2-3 would be under serious consideration to contribute.

I can also tell you FSU puts a ton of evaluations into the PWO's that they sign or don't sign.


Michael, who do you think is the most underrated prospect FSU is pursuing in this 2023 recruiting class and why? -OcoeeNole

That's hard to answer in the "pursuing" category, so I will keep it my answer to the guys committed. I'm going to go with Quindarrius Jones as one of the biggest sleepers. This kid really jumped out to me and I could really sense FSU sources lighting up when talking about Jones. I also love Vandrevius Jacobs who I think should be a four star prospect at this stage.


Are we leading for Charles Lester, the cornerback in the 2024 class? I think he is elite and a definite five star. What about any other 2024 guys you think we lead for? -FSUFanChris

I believe Lester's top two are FSU and Alabama. I also believe that while 'Bama usually has the advantage for defensive backs, FSU holds that distinction. It's not about Lester growing up a 'Noles fan, either. He is big on loyalty and who was there from the start. He really loves the chemistry within the FSU program and has a genuine connection to Norvell.

Remember what I said about relationships: Be unique. I think FSU just has to show they are growing as a program and not give Lester a reason to feel they aren't. The other 2024 guys I will discuss down the line, but Lester is my focus on the secondary at this stage.

What can you tell us about Quincy 2024 DT Keishawn Mashburn? The kid is supposed to announce his commitment on July 23 but according to Rivals, FSU has not offered. -OleNole69

Mashburn is a guy that has visited FSU at least three or four times and really liked the 'Noles growing up. He's very athletic and has some very strong hands in getting off the line of scrimmage. He can play offensive or defensive line but I'm told FSU likes him the most at defensive tackle. FSU has offered. It wasn't reflected in the database but that has been fixed. I like where FSU sits going into that decision in late July.


Where do you believe the class lands from size and ranking perspective? - Mike2255

The finish is impossible for me to predict, not knowing what the season record is going to look like for FSU. I think top 15 is attainable for FSU and I actually like this class so far. From a class size perceptive, I would say 23 for now. But that probably changes during the season.

Who do you expect to be the top rated recruit in our class? -Mike2255

I think that's going to be Keldric Faulk. Faulk's game can grow so much more beyond what he's already doing on the field. Lucas Simmons is going to rise up a lot during the year too, but I'm going to go with Faulk at this stage.

Are there coaches on the current staff that are underperforming from a recruiting perspective? Is the lack of deep rooted FL ties the cause? -Mike2255

I think there are positions that are underperforming. I would like to see more from running back, receiver and even some with defensive backs for this year (though FSU is currently stacked with some good talent at DB compared to the other two positions).

Do we go heavy in the portal again? -Mike2255

I think there will be a solid push in the portal but not as heavy as it was the last few years for the 'Noles. Remember, FSU has a lot of transfers that have multiple years remaining, so being more selective for the portal this year is likely. I would say around six is the possible number for right now.


Is there any interest in JJ Kohl who is committed to Iowa State? He blew up in Elite 11 and Future 50 events. Ryan Fitzgerald won his father's kicking award twice. -c691027

There is interest from FSU but he's not budging off of that Iowa State commitment. I agree with you he's been sensational at all the events so far. But he's pretty locked in with the Cyclones. He did camp at FSU last summer and was offered but nothing came about after the offer. I think he prefers to stay closer to home.


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