The Under Armour All-America Game will be played on Thursday, January 3rd. The game will be played at 6 p.m. and shown on ESPN2.
Before we get to that point, players will make their way to Orlando, Fla. on Friday and then participate in several days of festivities.
The media is scheduled to have availability with all players on Saturday.
Here are five topics of interest heading into the Under Armour All-America Game regarding Florida State recruiting:
1. Latest from the commitments who did not yet sign: FSU has 19 commitments at this time. A total of 14 of those commitments signed with FSU during the early signing period that closed a week ago. Three of the five that are committed but not yet signed will be participating in the Under Armour All-America Game. That list is led by Palm Beach (Fla.) Central five-star cornerback Akeem Dent. He is joined in the game by Madison (Fla.) Madison County four-star cornerback Travis Jay and Lakeland (Fla.) Kathleen four-star safety Brendan Gant.
On Dent, the Seminoles brought him in for a December official visit with hopes he would sign early. He didn’t. Sources close to Dent contend he is firm to the Seminoles, but Alabama, Clemson and more continue to pursue. He wanted to wait until February to sign along with teammates and friends.
Jay and Gant were unable to officially visit FSU in December due to schedule conflicts. Both are expected to sign with FSU. Jay has several that remain in pursuit, including Alabama, Florida and Tennessee, but he is considered a firm pledge by all parties.
2. Will he or won’t he announce? The early signing period has taken away from announcements at events like the Under Armour All-America Game. For the 2019 version of the game, the announcement suspense for FSU centers around St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic four-star inside linebacker Shammond Cooper. FSU is interested and has been in contact for some time with Cooper and his camp. That being said, they increased their interest in recent weeks. The issue? He hasn’t visited FSU and is currently expected to commit at the Under Armour All-America Game.
If he follows through with that announcement, it is thought that it will likely be Illinois.
If he puts off announcing, a visit to FSU in January – likely on the weekend of January 25th – is a possibility.
Another linebacker remains a top priority for FSU along with turning over their quarterback room and improving their offensive line.
3. Finding a wide receiver: Florida State’s wide receiver board has centered around Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove five-star Jadon Haselwood and Hoover (Ala.) four-star George Pickens throughout much of the process.
Haselwood, who is participating in the All-American Bowl, is expected to announce for Oklahoma on January 5th.
Pickens, who is committed to Auburn, isn’t ready to shut down his recruitment. Pickens will be at Under Armour and locking down official visit dates from the elite receiver will be a popular topic of conversation. Pickens saw Auburn and LSU in an official capacity before the dead period. He has three visits remaining in January and FSU, along with Alabama, Florida, Georgia and more are also interested.
Another receiver target that has emerged on FSU’s recruiting board in recent weeks is Richmond (Texas) Fort Bend Travis four-star Arjei Henderson, who backed a commitment to Oklahoma in late November. He is locked in to see FSU during the weekend of January 25th. Tennessee is another contender. The rest of his January plans could be mapped out in the coming days. He joins Pickens at the Under Armour All-America Game.
4. An old target is again a new target: FSU may or may not take another defensive tackle. If they do, the top name on the board as of today is Winter Park (Fla.) four-star Jaquaze Sorrells. Sorrells was a target for this FSU staff when they first arrived in Tallahassee. The two parties drifted apart thoughout 2018. But just before the dead period began, Sorrells and FSU assistant Raymond Woodie spoke at length. The Seminoles are once again interested and the interest is reciprocal from the in-state defensive lineman. What January has in store for Sorrells could be cleared up in the coming days.
5. Will the longshots make it to Tallahassee? A few targets that are best described as long shots, either because they have shown a lack of interest in FSU or because the mutual interest by the two parties has been lukewarm, are also participating in the game.
The top name to know of is at a priority position – five-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright of Huntington (W.V.). Wright has been slow to dive headfirst into his recruitment, but intends to use most, if not all, of his visits in January. Tennessee, along with Alabama, Georgia and others, are thought to be in better position than FSU, but nobody has a need like the Seminoles at the position. FSU’s chances with Wright will be 100% based off of an official that isn’t even known to be happening for sure at this point.
A couple other names to know are defensive backs, North Palm Beach (Fla.) The Benjamin School four-star cornerback Kaiir Elam and Cedar Hill (Texas) Trinity Christian School three-star cornerback Shilo Sanders. Elam is a prospect FSU has shown a lot of interest in, and he has taken unofficial visits to Tallahassee, but the Seminoles have never been mentioned in the same realm as Florida or even Georgia with him. Sanders, who is the son of FSU legend Deion Sanders, has drawn lukewarm interest and it is unclear how interested each of the two parties are truly in each other. Colorado State, South Carolina and Tennessee are some top contenders for Sanders at this stage of the process.
Noles247.com will have updates from the Under Armour All-America practices and game throughout the next week.