Florida State is in search of at least one more defensive end in their 2019 class. After missing on five-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, and allowing the Early Signing Period to play out, the Seminoles have extended an offer to Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional three-star strong-side defensive end Smith Vilbert on Friday afternoon.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound defensive end landed the offer from David Kelly of Florida State.
“Love my size and my athleticism,” Vilbert said of what he heard from Kelly.
Recruiting began late for Vilbert, largely because he moved from basketball being his primary spot to football being the one in the spring. He did not have a lot of game tape out, but once he had some, schools jumped on board.
Vilbert recently named a top four of Oregon, Penn State, Florida and Syracuse. He announced that at the same time he decided to delay signing until February.
“He’s not signing until February,” St. Joseph coach Augie Hoffmann said. “There was some thought to signing early but he wants to make at least one more visit.”
And that visit is to Florida, and it is set for Jan. 11.
He already officially visited Oregon and Penn State, but his relationship with Gators defensive line coach Sal Sunseri is strong, and the reason he wants to get to Florida before making his decision, Hoffmann said.
Official visits to Boston College and Syracuse have also been mentioned as a possibility. With regards to FSU, Vilbert isn’t sure at this time if he will make his way to Tallahassee.
“I don’t know yet,” Vilbert told Noles247.com.
Penn State leads Oregon, 89-11, on the 247Sports.com Crystal Ball.
Here is the evaluation from 247Sports.com on Vilbert:
‘Long, big frame with wide shoulders. Is 6-6, 250 and can play at 270 on the edge. Length is impressive and he uses it well. Former basketball player who concentrated on football as a senior. Great burst at snap and has speed off the edge. Has strength to disengage and changes direction well for player his size. Good body control. Possesses closing speed. Quick learner and transitions practice field lessons to games. Moves well laterally and chases plays down on the back side. Improved technique is a must. Needs to learn to use combo moves. Increasing ability to bend at knees will help with leverage at point of attack and against run. Lacks experience. Has to improve lower body strength. Two- to three- year starter at strong Power 5 program and mid-level NFL draft pick.’
Vilbert is considered the No. 49 strong-side defensive end in the nation by the 247Sports.com Composite Rankings.