Oakleaf stars Williams, Rivers highlight Spring Recruiting Tour stop No. 2
As we do every year, Warchant is traveling around the state of Florida -- and even surrounding states -- to get the latest updates on Florida State targets during the spring evaluation period.
After making our way over to Madison, Fla., late last week, we traveled further east this week to the Jacksonville area. Our first stop there was with a pair of talented teammates at Orange Park's Oakleaf High School -- defensive end Chantz Williams and offensive lineman Jalen Rivers. Both are rated four-star prospects.
We also talked with a rising star at quarterback to keep an eye on for the future. And in case you missed it, here was the first stop on our spring recruiting tour:
Spring Tour Stop 1 -- Madison County, Fla. (Travis Jay, Zane Herring, more)
OL Rivers has a strong bond with Florida State
The recruiting process has certainly been a trying one for Oakleaf standout OL Jalen Rivers, who has announced a top six of FSU, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Auburn and Alabama.
Of the six schools in the mix, it might seem as if the Seminoles are slightly behind on things because they are breaking in a new offensive line coach in Randy Clements. But Rivers said his connection with Clements was immediate from the first time they spoke.
"With Coach Clements, he's a great dude," Rivers said. "We connected so much when I met him in that one-on-one conversation we had. We have a lot in common, and he's trying to rebuild FSU's offensive line group. I love the fact he's making progress."
Rivers said he could even notice the changes when he visited FSU practice this spring.
"He contacted me the first week he was in there," Rivers said. "We didn't visit until weeks after, and there was immediate progress. I don't know what he did, but that was signs of a great coach."
What also aided the relationship is the fact that Rivers and Clements come from similar backgrounds, with military in their families.
"That's so big for me because all 'Navy brats' can relate," Rivers said. "Just that strict atmosphere at home. ... He moved a lot, so that's the only thing we don't have in common. I only moved once, and he did it several times. We have similar stories."
The massive offensive lineman said he and Clements hit it off in more ways than that.
"We literally act the same," Rivers said. "We are both chill, determined. We strive to be the greatest."
As much as he has bonded with Clements, Rivers has had an even longer-standing relationship with defensive line coach Odell Haggins, who actually has been his primary recruiter. And the four-star prospect said he hopes to get FSU as soon as he can for another visit.
"He's very funny, always makes me laugh, and there's never a dull moment with him," Rivers said of Haggins said. "I need laughter in my life."
It's no secret that Rivers and teammate Chantz Williams plan to sign with the same college. The two not only share many of the same goals, but they actually have known each other for nearly a decade.
"Two different people," Rivers said of he and Williams. "He brings me outside my shell. I'll tell him some things about himself, and he tells me, and we both click. Opposites attract."
Oakleaf head coach Frank Garis could not say enough positive things about Rivers and Williams when he spoke with Warchant. He said both players have made a major impact on that program, and he believes they'll do the same thing in college.
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