The Daily Nole

FSU Football Recruiting: Examining the Remaining Targets for the 2019 Class

Jeremy Esbrandt/D'Vel Photography/FSU athletics

Florida State is scrambling to put together a 2019 class that fills itstheir remaining needs. While the Seminoles started out the cycle with a bevy of good news, the past few weeks have largely been rough on the recruiting trail.

Florida State missed out on 4-star wide receiver Arjei Henderson and is currently in a fight for one of its highest ranked recruits, safety Nick Cross. While FSU was able to secure Akeem Dent’s signature and convince Travis Jay to shut down his recruitment, there is still uncertainty for the Seminoles.

What are the options remaining on the board for FSU? The Seminoles would still like another offensive tackle, one quarterback, and possibly one more linebacker to round out the class. Fortunately for FSU, there are multiple blue-chip prospects left uncommitted who fit the bill. We list them and others below. While this is subject to change, these are the players who are scheduled to visit over the next few weeks.

We are not professional scouts and we do not claim to have special insight. There is nothing personal about any of our observations. It is simply how we view them as football players and what we hear from others closer to the team.

4-star LB Shammond Cooper
Despite being an Illinois commit, Cooper is still interested in what Florida State is saying, and he will be visiting on the 25th. Cooper qualifies as a “late riser”. He is an athletic linebacker who caught the eyes of multiple teams later in the process, though Illinois won his initial commitment announcement because of a longstanding relationship. Cooper would need to fill out more before he could immediately contribute at FSU. Make no mistake however, he has a lot of talent, and Florida State is hoping that his upcoming visit convinces him to join Tribe19. It will still be difficult to pry him away from a school who has believed in him a long time.

4-star QB Lance LeGendre
The dual-threat quarterback from Louisiana has a lot of interest from Florida State, Tennessee, and Miami. There were questions before his senior year about a shoulder surgery and how he would recover, which led to him being slow played by many schools. LeGendre proceeded to have a dominant year, and he is now one of the few remaining blue-chip quarterbacks left on the board. He will require at least one year of development before he is ready to see the field, but it would be worth it if he develops to his full potential. FSU will host him for a visit the weekend of the 25th. The Seminoles are the slight favorites for him at this point in time.

4-star DE Charles Moore
Initially, it did not look like Moore would be taking a visit to Florida State. The staff was eventually able to convince him to schedule the date of the 25th — we will see if it holds. Moore is a top-100 defensive end whose recruitment is hard to pin down. He decommitted from Mississippi State and it looked like Auburn was the favorite. But now, Florida is getting involved and making it a tough battle. It is possible that FSU can deliver a great pitch to him, but right now it looks like an Auburn-Florida battle.

All this being said, there are reasons that Moore is not aggressively pursued by many high-profile programs despite coming in as a top-100 prospect. A number of factors related to a knee injury have scared off some staffs. There is also a perception that he dominates lower-rated offensive linemen but cannot consistently win reps against better prospects.

4-star QB John Rhys Plumlee
Plumlee is committed to Georgia, at least nominally. Georgia surprised everyone by flipping another quarterback during the early signing days, which meant that Plumlee was no longer the one signal-caller in the class. He is now looking around, with Florida State, Ole Miss, and Auburn all convincing him to visit. He will be in Tallahassee on Feb. 2.

He is more of an athlete playing quarterback than an actual quarterback at this point in his development. The ceiling for him and LeGendre is quite similar, and Plumlee’s tape shows a lot of exciting potential in a Kendal Briles system. Compared to LeGendre, Plumlee is even more of a project. That will not be much of a factor for Florida State, since it is not expecting either to contribute until 2020 at the earliest.

3-star G Kamaar Bell
Bell reminds one of guard Deyavie Hammond. Hammond is the Lakeland prospect who signed with the Florida Gators back on ESD, and Florida State fans will remember why the Seminoles were never too high on him. He was very raw in his technique and had too much bad weight. Hammond still has a lot of potential — it will just require more refinement to utilize that potential.

Take all of that and apply it to Bell. He does have some nice film in run blocking and is physical enough for the position. But like Hammond, he needs to reshape his body and correct a lot of things about his technique. It’s not totally clear if Bell is a take at the moment, considering FSU already has two guards committed. We will know much more after the Jan. 25 visit.

3-star T Ira Henry
One player who is undoubtedly a take for FSU is offensive tackle Ira Henry. Henry is from St. Louis, Missouri and has interest from the familiar trio of Florida State, Florida, and Auburn. He was a longtime Missouri lean that decided to extend his recruitment into February. That extension has allowed FSU to take a lead for his services, with the Seminoles now leading in crystal ball predictions on 247Sports.

There is a lot to like about Henry’s game. He has good size without much bad weight and looks comfortable as a pass blocker. Could he be an immediate contributor? That is harder to determine. He has acceptable — not great — strength, and nothing truly flashes when watching his tape. For now, it is probably safe to assume that he will be a 2020 player, with some potential action late in 2019.

3-star T Darius Washington
Washington is actually a local product — he goes to West Florida Tech in Pensacola and has received renewed interest from Florida State and Miami. He is currently a Mississippi State commit, though that is obviously in question with his decision to not sign early. Florida State maintained contact for months, and does like Washington’s athleticism. He is certainly more of a project than a complete player, but his upside is apparent. Florida State finally gave him a committable offer on Jan. 21. He could be one of the surprise flips of signing day.

3-star LB Eugene Asante
If Cooper was a late riser, Asante is a late soarer (we hope that’s a real term). He is a very athletic linebacker prospect out of Virginia who vaulted from a ranking in the 1000s to 461st overall, per the 247Sport Composite. Just three months ago, Asante did not have an FBS offer. The proverbial cat is now out of the bag and Asante will visit TCU, Florida State, and North Carolina in the coming weeks.

This is a situation reminiscent of Jordan Young last year. However, in that case it was obvious that the battle was between Florida State and Tennessee. Asante’s recruitment is much more wide open. Considering that he is using one of his official visits for a trip to Tallahassee, it would be logical to assume that Asante sees how he could hit the ground running at Florida State. This one is a true toss-up.

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