The early signing period is just three weeks away and Florida State is looking to sign a Top-10 class.

The Seminoles are currently ranked 14th in the 247Sports composite team rankings with 15 commits.

This will be FSU coach Willie Taggart’s first full recruiting class as the head coach of the Seminoles. He arrived in December 2017 and put together a recruiting class in just three months.

FSU currently has 64 players on the roster for the 2019 season, which means the Seminoles could take as many as 21 recruits in the 2019 class.

That number will likely increase as players declare for the NFL draft or transfer, and FSU will likely take a full class this year.

*As always with recruiting, new targets will emerge as National Signing Day gets closer in February. This is not a final list of FSU’s targets, but a look at where things stand currently.

Commits

Firm commits

Firm Commits Position Star Ranking
Nick Cross S 4*
Dontae Lucas OG 4*
Brendan Gant S 4*
Travis Jay CB 4*
Jaleel McRae LB 4*
Curtis Fann DE 4*
Maurice Goolsby WR 4*
Derrick McLendon DE 3*
Tru Thompson DT 3*

Soft commits

Soft Commits Position Star Ranking
Akeem Dent CB 5*
Sam Howell QB 4*
Quashon Fuller DE 4*
Kalen DeLoach LB 4*
Derick Hunter DL 4*
Renardo Green CB 3*

Analysis

The departure of FSU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Walt Bell moved Sam Howell from the firm commits into the soft commits section as I was writing this. 

Bell was the first coach to offer him a scholarship when he was at Maryland and his presence was one of the main reasons that Howell committed to FSU in the first place.

The good news is that Howell’s primary connection with FSU’s biggest competitor North Carolina was Larry Fedora, who was fired last week. 

Willie Taggart will meet with Howell this week for his in-home visit and will have to layout his play for life after Bell and the plan for hiring another offensive coordinator.

Howell hasn’t decommitted from FSU, but the Seminoles will still have work to do to retain that commitment with UNC putting on the full court press behind new coach Mack Brown.

Almost every firm commit that is listed has been actively recruiting for the Seminoles on social media. The only exception is Travis Jay, who isn’t very active on social media.

Jay is also still being pursued by other programs, but FSU is working hard to make sure he sticks.

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FSU is still in great position for most of the soft commits, but they are still taking visits and are a threat to flip. Dent is still considering Alabama, but I’ve been told he’s firm to FSU at this point after his recent visit to Tallahassee for the Clemson game.

Fuller and Derrick Hunter are still taking visits and hosting coaches from Miami and Florida. Both players go back-and-forth on how committed they are.

DeLoach is still considering Michigan and Auburn and Renardo Green is likely to flip to Ohio State.

Goolsby is also considered questionable to qualify at this point.

More: FSU offensive coordinator Walt Bell leaving for head coaching position at UMass

More: Florida State coach Willie Taggart drawing line in the sand

More: Florida State postseason report card: Linebacker

Targets

Offensive Targets

Offensive Targets Position Star Ranking
Evan Neal OT 5*
Jadon Haselwood WR 5*
George Pickens WR 4*
Will Putnam OG 4*
Desmond Bland OG (JUCO) 4*
Lance LeGendre QB 4*
Dewand Jones OT 3*
Jay Williams OT (JUCO) 3*
Sam Snyder TE 3*
Tommy Kennedy OT (GR) NR
Josh Ball OT (JUCO) NR

Analysis

The biggest question on everyone’s mind with the early signing period looming is what will FSU do with the offensive line. 

Neal has visited FSU twice since the end of October, but Alabama is still the favorite to land him with Miami close behind. The lure of playing for Alabama and the way the Crimson Tide develop their players is a strong pull for Neal.

FSU is right in the thick of things for Putnam, who is also considering Auburn and Clemson. He’s played things tight to the vest, but the feeling is that Clemson has made up a lot of ground over the past few months and may have the edge.

Jones is ranked as the No. 84 offensive lineman, but you wouldn’t know it from his offer list. In addition to FSU he is also considering USC, Michigan, Indiana, and Mississippi State. 

Jones will be coming in for an official visit the final weekend before the early signing period and FSU will have a chance to blow him away. Getting the final visit will also help the Seminoles’ cause.

The Seminoles have turned up the heat on some junior college prospects and are still fighting hard to land some talented high school players. 

FSU will be bringing in Bland — a Nebraska commit — this weekend for an official visit. The Seminoles still have work to do for him, but this weekend will go a long way towards making him a part of this class.

Williams will be coming in for a visit on the final weekend before the early signing period. 

The Seminoles have also shown interest in graduate transfer Tommy Kennedy out of Butler (FCS) and are considering bringing former FSU offensive tackle Josh Ball after a year at JUCO.

FSU isn’t actively recruiting a running back this cycle other than Trey Sanders, but he’s not a likely option at this point.

The Seminoles brought in five receivers in the 2018 class and are only looking to bring in a wide receiver that can make them better immediately. They’ve honed in on Haselwood and Pickens as guys that do that and wide receivers coach David Kelly has been relentless in his pursuit of them. 

Both players are an uphill climb for FSU to land them, but FSU isn’t going down without a fight in their recruitments.

FSU could also be looking to add a second quarterback to its class — or a first quarterback if Howell decides to decommit — and LeGendre is the primary target for that. 

FSU hadn’t been actively recruiting a tight end for most of the cycle, but offered Snyder Monday after a visit.

Defensive Targets

Defensive Targets Position Star Ranking
Kayvon Thibodeaux DE 5*
Tyler Davis DT 4*
Derrick Hall LB 4*
Marcus Banks CB 4*
Avery Huff LB 4*
Raymond Woodie III S 4*
Sam Williams DE (JUCO) 4*
Malcolm Ray DT 3*
James Gordon IV LB 3*
Jarvis Brownlee CB 3*

Analysis

FSU is after some big-time recruits on the defensive side of the ball.

Thibodeaux was all-in on FSU before the season and I was confident that he would end up in Tallahassee, but the way the season went has dimmed FSU’s chances. Right now I believe FSU is running third behind Alabama and Oregon. 

Davis has been a FSU-Clemson battle for most of the cycle, but FSU’s struggles have taken their toll on his recruitment. He’s expected to commit to Clemson.

Hall has always been a bit of a longshot with Auburn and Mississippi State as the front runners. Nothing has changed there. 

Banks — the son of former FSU offensive lineman Bobby Meeks — wrapped up his official visit to FSU on Monday. There’s confidence from FSU’s side of things that they can flip him.

FSU has been active with Huff — a Miami commit — for the past few months and he may take an official visit to FSU before the early signing period.

Woodie will take his official visit to FSU the weekend before the early signing period ends. There’s a good chance he ends up in the class with his father on staff as the Seminoles’ linebackers coach.

FSU has recently got in on Williams and he is also expected to visit the final weekend before the signing period, although Ole Miss will likely try to get him to cancel that visit to keep his commitment.

FSU offered Ray in November and there’s confidence that the Seminoles will be able to flip him away from South Florida. He’s visiting the final weekend before the early signing period.

Gordon IV was offered by FSU last week and hasn’t set up a visit yet. He’s committed to Minnesota, but Miami and FSU are both after his commitment.

Brownlee is committed to Miami, but FSU has picked up steam with him. He’s planning on signing early, but his final two weekends are already set for officials to UCF (Dec. 7) and Miami (Dec. 14). FSU will either have to bump one of those two officials or bring him in during the week.