The Daily Nole

Superlatives for the 2019 FSU Recruiting Class

Colin Abbey/FSU athletics

21 players signed with Florida State football in the 2019 recruiting cycle, finishing at a disappointing 18th in the nation, according to 247Sports’ Composite rankings.

Despite the lower than expected ranking, Florida State still brought in a mix of immediate contributors and depth that will be necessary in order to turn the program around.

Thanks to covering football for multiple years, we have been able to watch tape for almost every recruit in FSU’s class, as well as talk to those who know more about the sport and scouting talent.

We are continuing our annual tradition of granting superlatives for the 2019 Florida State recruiting class. Check out our articles for 2016, 2017, and 2018 to look back at our hits and misses from the same series.

Most Likely to Contribute in 2019

Dontae Lucas, G
Florida State needs a ton of help on the offensive line. Dontae Lucas is close to being physically ready and he is an early enrollee. There’s the two pieces of the puzzle. Pretty hard to fit together, right?

Unless he suffers an injury, Lucas should be ready to go by the start of the 2019 season. Even if he is not a Day 1 starter, the odds are that Lucas will be working his way into the rotation at some point in 2019. He has the easiest path towards contributing this year and it is not particularly close.

Most Likely to Switch Positions

Raymond Woodie III, S
Woodie III enrolls at FSU as a safety, at least nominally. That is the position he played the most in his senior year and the position where FSU thinks his ceiling is highest. The STAR position is the original plan, then maybe free safety or strong safety if he proves a better fit. Even linebacker is not out of the question if he grows a bit more than expected.

However, we are going to stick our necks out and say that he might not end up on the defensive side of the ball when it is all said and done. Woodie III also played quarterback in high school and possesses great athleticism.

The switch over to wide receiver or running back would be much easier for him than any other defender. Florida State did not sign many skill position players on offense, and if it needed extra depth in any of those spots, Woodie would make the most sense.

Most Likely to Redshirt

Ryan Fitzgerald, K
Initially, we wanted to give this superlative to one of the offensive line recruits. A few of them are raw players who need that first year of pure development to achieve success. But given the state of the offensive line and the total shuffling that will likely occur, there is too much uncertainty to say that any of them will play in less than four contests. Admittedly this superlative has been slightly changed since redshirting is now more flexible.

Therefore we will go with the one position where it is extremely hard to usurp a veteran player. While Ricky Aguayo and Logan Tyler have never wowed anyone, both are the heavy favorites to maintain their current positions as placekicker and punter/kickoff specialist.

Ryan Fitzgerald is the recruit out of Georgia who committed to FSU at the last minute in the 2019 cycle, and even though he has multiple Georgia state records, it is very difficult to see him taking over at either position. FSU will be more than happy to have him next in line when Aguayo graduates.

Best Chance of Winning the Heisman Trophy

Travis Jay, CB
Well, when you sign exactly one receiver, no running backs, and no quarterbacks, you have to get creative. Jay actually did play some quarterback in high school and he has the athleticism to play on both sides. His ceiling is also considerably higher than someone like Woodie or Akeem Dent. Perhaps Jay is the next Charles Woodson, racking up a statistic in every facet of the game, before undeservedly being rewarded the most prestigious honor in the sport?

As a side note, the very first player to ever receive this superlative was Malik Henry. Perhaps it’s time to change one of the categories…

Most Underrated

Jarvis Brownlee, CB
No player in Florida State’s class has a more inaccurate recruiting ranking than Brownlee. Obviously, it will not matter where he is ranked on a recruiting website if he turns out to be a great player. Still, some fans may be misled by the number next to his name. Brownlee is ranked as the 546th overall player and the 54th cornerback, according to 247Sports Composite.

Sometimes, the recruiting services get too focused on players with very high ceilings who might not be as good football players. Therefore guys like Brownlee get ranked below recruits who do not produce as much on the field. Brownlee is a very sound cornerback who has no glaring weaknesses in his game. His lack of top-end speed is limiting, but he has the length, physicality, and instincts to be a high level Power 5 starter.

He will arrive in Tallahassee as a middling 3-star. He has the chance to leave as an NFL draft pick.

Biggest Unknown

Malcolm Ray, DL
We know that Ray will be playing on the defensive line in college. We know that he has a very high ceiling on the interior or the exterior. We know that he is thought of very highly by South Florida recruitnicks.

But the plan for Ray is still up in the air. If the Seminoles want him to be rushing the passer, he could probably contribute much earlier — maybe enough to avoid a redshirt. If they want him at tackle, he’s probably going to be waiting two years.

If the staff truly believes that is where he can reach his ceiling, then it makes sense. There is also the very real possibility that his development never happens and he is just a lower-ranked player the staff took a chance on. With that wide a range of outcomes, Ray gets tagged as the biggest unknown.

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