QB Parson leads charge for 2023 FSU class; WR Williams raves about visit
Leadership can come in the form of actions or words, and 2023 quarterback commit Chris Parson is using a mixture of both as he helps Florida State put together a strong class for the next recruiting cycle.
Parson, who was on the FSU campus this weekend, doesn't need to learn more about the Seminoles' coaches or facilities. He has known Florida State was his future destination since he committed this past summer.
But he still made sure to be in Tallahassee on Saturday when a number of 2023 and 2024 prospects made unofficial visits for the first open recruiting weekend of this year.
"It feels great," Parson said. "Like I said when I tweeted earlier, I'm back home. Today was a great day. I talked to a lot of recruits, building even better relationships with the coaches. In all, it was a great day and I enjoyed every minute of it."
Parson also shared his message to some of the uncommitted prospects who took part in the weekend visits.
"I told them this program is going in the right direction and I believe in Coach [Mike] Norvell, believe in the system," Parson said. "And throughout the years, it's going to keep getting better and better, and I want that player to join me and be a part of it. And that part of the dynasty is going to start when we get here."
The weekend wasn't only about recruiting other players. It also gave Parson a chance to spend more time with new FSU quarterbacks coach Tony Tokarz, who got promoted from an off-field role when Kenny Dillingham left for Oregon.
"Coach Tokarz, when he got the job, he immediately got in contact with me and has been recruiting me hard," the talented quarterback said. "We talk every single day, whether that's FaceTime or texts or calls. And when we met today, we hit it off right away. We went to get some food, things like that, and we even got on the board (to break down schemes) and watch football. He's a great guy and certainly coach."
The QB commit also got a chance to be around new offensive coordinator Alex Atkins, who has been the Seminoles' offensive line coach the past two seasons.
"He's a great guy and funny guy," Parson said. "I love being around him. I remember back to when I visited [last year], the presence he brings to the room was always big and fun. Being back over here and seeing it in person was even better. It's a family here.
"I was really impressed with his knowledge on offense, and that's saying something that Coach Norvell wanted him for the job. He's really smart, so I can't wait to get started."
Another cool moment during the visit was getting to link up with 2022 QB signee and new Seminole freshman A.J. Duffy.
"A.J. is good people," Parson said. "I met him at the Notre Dame game, and I didn't get a chance to talk with him at the Miami game, but today I got to talk with him. I also got to go to his dorm, and he gave me a lot of advice. How things have been since he moved down here, the difference between California and Florida. It was great talking to AJ.."
Much like Duffy did with his class, Parson wants to help build the Seminoles' 2023 class. That started this weekend, and one particular recruit who garnered a lot of his time was four-star receiver Tyler Williams out of Lakeland.
"That's my guy," Parson said. "Today, we had the campus tour. At first, we were riding in two different [golf] carts. Then we ended up stopping in a certain spot, and I told the coaches to let me get on the same cart as him. At first it was chill, but then I started asking questions and he started opening up, and the relationship just got better throughout the day.
"We went to this presentation and we were learning more about FSU football, and it was Charlie Ward throwing a pass. And I just told him that could be us. We also took photo shoots at the same time. He's good people."
Parson noted that he talked to some of the offensive linemen who visited as well.
While some young college prospects might be shy around new people, that is no problem at all for the three-star quarterback.
"For me, I'm just myself," he said. "And once they see how I am, they open up. I pride myself on being able to talk with anyone or bridge that relationship with anyone. I just try and want to be the best representation for Florida State that I can be."
Not surprisingly, Parson was one of the players who got to take part in a one-on-one meeting with head coach Mike Norvell. The two have had a close relationship for quite some time, and Parson said this chat was once again special.
"Coach Norvell just expressed how proud he was of me and that I'm his guy, and he told me personally he would not want anyone else to lead this class at quarterback," Parson said. "So that means a lot coming from someone like him. My family also loves Coach Norvell. They are all excited to be a part of the family."
Even though Florida State didn't have quite the season the Seminoles hoped for this past fall, the quarterback said he never second-guessed his decision.
"No, not at all. First game of the season, FSU lost to Notre Dame and put up a good fight," he said. "They ended up losing three more. But it didn't change my mind at all. I believe in Coach Norvell. I've built great relationships with the players here, and even the 2022 class. I believe in it, and I want to be a part of the change and do something special."
Parson said he is so locked in with Florida State that he has told other schools they are wasting their time by trying to recruit him.
"Pretty much. Schools have still been trying to call my school," he said. "I keep it respectful, they know I'm committed to Florida State. I knew once I committed that was going to be it. There wasn't going to be any flipping or anything like that. I'm very confident in my decision. I'm locked in all the way with Florida State."
So will he be taking any other visits?
"I won't be visiting any other schools. But I will be back here next month," Parson said. "Then I will be back for the spring game. So that's two more times before summer, so there's no telling how many times I'll be here in the summer either."
FOUR-STAR WR TYLER WILLIAMS LOVES FSU VISIT
This was the third time four-star Lakeland wide receiver Tyler Williams visited the FSU campus, and this one was more special because he got a closer look at the entire program. His earlier visits were for games.
"Today was a great day," Williams said. "What stood out was the relationships I can build with the coaches in Coach [Ron] Dugans and Coach Norvell. Being able to talk with the coaches and having sit-down conversations was the difference. I talked with Coach Norvell. He told me that if I come here I have to be ready to compete because he's going to push me hard."
Like most recruits, Williams quickly noticed the high level of energy Norvell brings: "He's very energetic. He's someone that you can relate too."
When he spoke with Dugans, FSU's receivers coach, he learned more about how he would fit in the Seminoles' offense.
"Mainly at the X spot," Williams said. "I'm versatile though, and I feel he can put me anywhere on the field if I'm needed there."
The 6-foot, 5-inch wideout also got to link up with FSU QB commit Chris Parson and reflected on that experience.
"We have been talking for a couple of weeks," Williams said. "He's recruiting me hard. I would say he's recruiting even harder than the coaches. He tells me it's home and it's family here."
That's not to say Dugans isn't pushing hard as well.
"It's great. We talk at least three or four times a week," Williams said. "If I have any questions, he always gets back to me."
Williams grew up a big fan of Florida State and is cousins with former Seminole standouts Karlos and Vince Williams. Karlos even came along on Saturday to show his support.
So did the trip measure up to what he expected?
"Yes sir, it did," Williams said. "It's home when you are here. It was great having him (Karlos) here today, and I haven't seen him in a long time. I feel good about FSU. They are recruiting me the hardest."
Williams added that he hears from Notre Dame, Tennessee, USF, Miami and Florida as well. Next week, he's going to visit Miami but will be back at FSU for the first weekend of March.