FROM: JEREMIAH ZANDERS
9:45 AM, 1/10/2019
After a disastrous 5-7 season the FSU contingent only has one thing to look forward to until spring practice: recruiting. It's the lifeblood of any college program and with the new recruiting policies in place it's critical to get your best players to sign in the early window as it's open season on them otherwise.
Willie Taggart and company had wins and losses in late December but still managed to sign excellent players at critical positions of need. In total FSU signed 15 players in the early period with 6 of those already enrolled on campus as you're reading this. Now to breakdown each of these players starting with the six early enrollees.
Akeem Dent: CB (5'11/180)
Akeem Dent is the jewel of the class and getting him enrolled early was a huge coup for Willie Taggart and Company. He's from the West Palm Beach area and has been on the recruiting scene since the 8th grade. He's an elite quickster with good hips for his position while not being afraid of any contact. Excellent closing speed with a good wingspan to match. Not the most well built or tallest corner but a college weight program can change the first issue and the average NFL corner is 5'11 so he isn't hurting you there. Has technique work that college coaching will clean up. Elite prospect with early impact potential.
Dontae Lucas: OG (6'3/323)
The earliest recruiting win for Coach Taggart has to be South Florida lineman Dontae Lucas. He's a powerful guard that has good agility and hips and the rest of the Big 3 were recruiting him until the ink was dry. He gained notoriety through his explosive 1 on 1 camp videos, in which he regularly mauled opponents to the point of "baptizing" them, hence his nickname "The Pope". The Army All-American Game also showed he may not be as far away in pass protection as originally thought which would help him in his push for a starting job in his freshman year. Was also one of the top recruiters of this recruiting class. Great prospect with elite potential that comes in with the attitude that FSU needs at this moment-tenacious.
Jaleel McCrae: MLB (6'2/230)
Another early recruiting win for FSU was Jaleel McCrae from South Florida. He played at IMG Academy his senior year along with Dontae Lucas and was one of the leaders of this #Tribe19 class. Has bounced back from 2 ACL injuries and now looks fully healthy. Good hips and coverage ability for his position. Instinctive player and tackler who figures to factor in early at the line backer position. Very good player who has a great shot to flip the line backer room.
Raymond Woodie III: FS (6'1/192)
The son of current FSU Linebackers Coach Raymond Woodie but is a very good Division 1 prospect off of his own merits. Classic single high safety with good athleticism and play-making ability. Not the strongest player but still isn't afraid to get into the mix whether that be in the trenches or the open field. Already has good technique. Good prospect who has the potential to be very good with dedication to the weight room.
Tru Thompson: DT (6'0/338)
The longest standing commitment in the class from the Georgia powerhouse Grayson High. People mover in the middle and consistently clogs running lanes. Not the best pass rusher but has potential to be serviceable in this area. Excellent lower body strength and center of gravity. Good prospect who you can count on to stop the run, would be a pleasant surprise if he consistently rushed the passer in his time here.
Jay Williams: OT (6'6/290)
A much-needed addition from the JUCO ranks along the offensive line. Late bloomer who was considered a WR just two short years ago. Coming all the way to FSU from California. Agile pass blocker who tends to be a little grabby but has good feet. Would like to see more consistency with his strength but he showed flashes in his film. At the very least will provide good depth that raises the floor of this unit. Has the potential to start if he progresses as expected during the spring and summer. Has 2 years to play.
You can follow Jeremiah on Twitter @JustCallMeNOLE.
(Above Photo From: Tallahassee Democrat)