Carol City’s Jarvis Brownlee sat to the far left of the stage, with five of his teammates by his side and three hats on the table in front of him.
Miami. UCF. Florida State. The choice was his.
On Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period for the 2019 recruiting cycle, Brownlee chose Florida State.
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“It was very stressful,” Brownlee said. “I was talking it over with my family. Sometimes, you just have to go with your dream.”
Brownlee, a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 54 cornerback in the country and the No. 67 overall prospect in the state of Florida regardless of position according to the 247Sports composite ranking, had offers from 26 schools in total, including all seven Football Bowl Subdivision teams in Florida. He had been verbally committed to the Miami Hurricanes for more than six months but backed off that pledge on Thursday following the news that defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was leaving UM to take the head coach job at Temple.
After he de-committed from UM, Brownlee said he tried to stay within himself. No phone. No TV. No outside noise.
He took an official visit to Florida State a day later.
That sealed it.
“It was great,” Brownlee said. “Just looking from the outside in, you don’t really get to see how it is in perspective. So seeing how it is, the players are really nice. The coaches, loved them. The players, great. It was good.”
Brownlee wasn’t the only Carol City player to sign with FSU. Defensive lineman Malcolm Ray, a three-star prospect and the No. 68 defensive tackle this cycle, flipped his commitment from South Florida to Florida State. The 6-2, 247-pound Ray also held offers from Louisville and Kentucky, among others.
As for the rest of Carol City’s signings on Wednesday:
▪ Running back Nay’Quan Wright and offensive lineman Wardrick Wilson are heading to Florida. Wright, a four-star prospect and the No. 15 running back in this cycle, finished his senior season with 1,221 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 119 carries. Wilson checks in as the No. 20 offensive guard this cycle and the No. 44 player in the state regardless of position.
▪ Quarterback Daniel Richardson is going to Central Michigan. Richardson, a three-star prospect, committed to the Chippewas on Monday following his official visit over the weekend. The 5-11, 198-pound quarterback threw for 3,254 yards and 32 touchdowns during his senior season at Carol City to finish his four-year preps career as the Dade County leader in career passing yards (9,791) and passing touchdowns (117). He spent his first three seasons at Booker T. Washington.
▪ Defensive tackle Denzel Daxon, a three-star prospect and the No. 85 player in the state regardless of position, signed with Ohio.
▪ Wide receiver Amari Johnson signed with UCF. Johnson caught 48 passes for 863 yards and nine touchdowns this season.