The Daily Nole

FSU Commitment Analysis: Xavier Peters and Dennis Briggs

Jeff Romance/FSU athletics

With National Signing Day just two days away, we continue breaking down Florida State head coach Willie Taggart’s first class.

We move on with the seventh piece of our series breaking down the strengths of members of “#Tribe18” and how each might fit in Tallahassee. As we move on, we get to two of the newer members in a pair of defensive standouts who committed on the same day.

After looking at a pair of offensive prospects in Camren McDonald and Jalen Goss on Sunday, we move to the defensive side of the ball and look at linebacker Xavier Peters and defensive tackle Dennis Briggs:

Xavier Peters, LB

Cincinnati-area prospect Xavier Peters committed to Florida State on Jan. 28, but did not make it official until Feb. 3. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Peters is listed as the No. 173 overall prospect for 2018 and the 12th best outside linebacker.

What he brings: Xavier Peters is extremely fun to watch from his outside linebacker position. Peters is an excellent pass rusher, who reacts very well and seems to know how to get into the passing lanes on quick throws and screens to the outside.

A big hitter with a high motor, Peters is very strong and a really good athlete. He has good instincts and a propensity to fly to the football. There’s a lot to like about Peters as a football player, but his biggest strength early on may be as a blitzer.

How he fits: There are questions about whether or not Peters will qualify academically, but sources tell The Daily Nole that FSU believes he will. If he does, Peters could be a candidate to play right away for a corps of linebackers that has no clear starters. It’s unlikely Peters will start or, but could be used as a blitzer some and for a play or two to spell players.

While there are no obvious starters, there is no shortage of talent at linebacker as Emmett Rice, Josh Brown, Leonard Warner and Dontavious Jackson all have a tremendous amount of upside. Redshirt junior-to-be Adonis Thomas may be the most experienced player of the group. With that said, Peters could eat into the reps of any of the aforementioned players and become a significant piece for the defense right away. If nothing else, his size and athleticism make him a candidate to play special teams. Don’t expect him to take a redshirt in 2018.

Dennis Briggs, DT

Dennis Briggs, out of Kissimmee, also committed to FSU on Jan. 28, but waited a little longer to make it official. Listed as a defensive tackle, Briggs is 6-4 and more than 250 pounds. He’s currently ranked the No. 323 overall prospect, according to the Composite and the 25th best defensive tackle.

What he brings: Briggs is an aggressive player, who has violent hands, which he uses very well. Briggs tends to do a great job setting the edge and is an athletic player for his size.

Foot speed and acceleration aren’t huge strengths for Briggs, but he never quits on the play and has a high motor. What is impressive about Briggs is the way he moves laterally given his size. Briggs is a fairly strong young man, but definitely needs to add weight and muscle at the next level.

How he fits: The biggest question for Briggs is probably whether he’s a defensive tackle or a strongside defensive end. Either way, don’t expect Briggs to make a huge impact as a freshman. The Seminoles are loaded up front with players like Brian Burns, Joshua Kaindoh, Janarius Robinson, Wally Aime, Demarcus Christmas and Marvin Wilson all returning.

Briggs is a good candidate to take a redshirt next season, but could be in the mix come 2019 if the coaching staff is set on a position for him. After next season, the Seminoles will lose a number of pieces up front. The earliest Briggs is likely to make a major impact is 2020, but he could be used in spurts before then.

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

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