The Daily Nole

FSU Commitment Analysis: Camren McDonald and Jalen Goss

Phil Kelly/FSU athletics

Three days now separates us from National Signing Day as new head coach Willie Taggart has his eyes set on a top 15 and perhaps a top 10 recruiting class in his first cycle at Florida State. Entering Sunday, the Seminoles ranked 15th as a team, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

In our latest piece for this commitment analysis series, we’ll look at a couple of big bodies who will like up along the offensive line of scrimmage. One is tight end Camren McDonald. The other is tackle Jalen Goss.

Both committed in January after the early signing period ended. Prior to last weekend, they were the two most recent commitments for FSU.

Camren McDonald, TE

A California native, Camren McDonald committed to Florida State on Jan. 13. McDonald is listed as a 4-star prospect at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds. McDonald is the No. 15 tight end in the nation, according to the Composite and the No. 288 overall prospect.

What he brings: For the most part, McDonald has been used as a receiver with the ability to be split out. McDonald is an incredible athlete and a long strider with great leaping ability. He also seems to use his big body very well to outmuscle defenders and to establish position. McDonald has great hands and adjusts well to the football.

At 220 pounds, McDonald is a strong young man, but tends to run high when carrying the football. As a receiver, McDonald is so smooth, but there are questions about how he’ll fare as an in-line tight end and a blocker.

How he fits: With Ryan Izzo declaring for the NFL Draft and Mavin Saunders transferring to Kansas, the tight end position appears to be wide open. Tre’ McKitty will likely be the favorite to start, but junior-to-be Naseir Upshur could also make a difference as a big, physical body. Alexander Marshall, who was redshirted a season ago, is another player who could see time in 2018.

How quickly McDonald picks up Taggart’s offense and how well he is able to block will ultimately determine whether McDonald sees the field in 2018. McDonald could conceivably fill in a No. 2 or No. 3 tight end, but he is also a candidate for a redshirt. Don’t expect him to be asked to move people off the line as a run-blocker, but he could see a few passes. McDonald has some work to do to become a complete tight end, but that could happen by 2020 and he could be a legitimate piece of the offense as early as 2019.

Jalen Goss, T

3-star tackle Jalen Goss made his pledge to Florida State just two days after McDonald — on Jan. 15. All indications are that the Valdosta prospect is better than his No. 742 overall ranking and his No. 58 position ranking. At 6-7 and 265 pounds, Goss has tremendous upside.

What he brings: What stands out about Goss on film is his athleticism. Goss explodes off the football and gets to the next level with relative ease. He also does a great job using his long arms.

For the time being, Goss projects as a specialist in pass protection, but does a pretty good blocking down and tends to finish plays. Goss is obviously still growing into his body and will need to add weight and upper-body strength. Goss also brings a high football IQ to the game.

How he fits: Given his slight frame for his position, all indications are that Goss will take a redshirt in 2018. It’s unlikely that he makes a major impact for FSU as a redshirt freshman in 2019, but from 2020 on, Goss will have a chance to be a factor for the Florida State offense.

Josh Ball and Jauan Williams probably are the favorites to man the tackle position in 2019, but Ball would be eligible for the draft after that season and positions could become wide open. Williams’ health issues have been well-documented and if he’s unable to stay healthy, things could open up sooner for the likes of Brady Scott, Christian Armstrong and Jalen Goss. Odds are however, that none of those three become mainstays in the lineup until 2020.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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