Guest Column: The 10 Most Important Prospects for FSU Football for 2023
via: Jalen Brown/Twitter

Guest Column: The 10 Most Important Prospects for FSU Football for 2023

This post was authored by Taylor from NorvellCentral

Florida State’s coaching staff is preparing to have yet another eventful summer when 2023 prospects take their visits to Tallahassee

Fans should pay close attention to the visitors making their way to Tallahassee this summer, specifically during the month of June.

During the 2022 recruiting cycle, Florida State claimed five commitments in June alone. As we approach summertime again, here are 10 most important prospects to keep your eye on.

(All rankings according to the 247Sports Composite)

(10) 4-star DE Keldric Faulk

The Seminoles have already acquired the services of legacy recruit and four-star defensive end Lamont Green Jr. from Gulliver Prep in Miami. However, they likely need to obtain another pass rusher in this cycle. One name to monitor is Keldric Faulk.

The four-star prospect from Highland Home, Ala. is the top defensive end prospect on their recruiting board. During his junior season in 2021, he collected 82 total tackles and 11 sacks. The interest is mutual between Florida State and Faulk; he visited Tallahassee twice in the spring.

He will be officially visiting four schools in the month of June: Clemson (June 3-5), Auburn (June 10-12), Florida (June 17-19) and Florida State (June 24-26). Can defensive end coach John Papuchis and company finish the deal in this recruitment?

(9) 4-star WR Keyon Brown

The wide receiver position in the state of Florida is absolutely loaded. As a result, the Seminoles are after an abundance of highly touted receivers in the state. That includes five-star Jalen Brown, five-star Hykeem Williams, four-star William Fowles and four-star Santana Fleming.

However, Florida State cannot afford to be too selective on the recruiting trail after last cycle’s blunder of not acquiring a wide receiver prospect. Five-star Kevin Coleman committing to Jackson State and four-star Devaughn Mortimer flipping to Louisville highlighted this disappointment.

Four-star Keyon Brown from Rickards High School in Tallahassee has been to campus numerous times this spring. He’s displayed serious interest in the hometown team since being offered on Jan. 15.

(8) 4-star S Markari Vickers

Another homegrown product is class of 2023 four-star safety Makari Vickers from St. John Paul II in Tallahassee. Vickers has shown a high level of interest with the Seminoles. Florida State made the top eight schools list for Vickers.

However, the Seminoles have their work cut out for them as they will be competing for his services against the likes of Alabama and Oklahoma, who he has already scheduled official visits with during the month of June). He has visited campus four times this spring, but his recruitment will likely come down to how the Seminoles produce on the field this season.

(7) 4-star QB commit Chris Parson

Yes…a committed prospect appeared on this list. Parson has been committed to the program since July 22, 2021. However, the coaching staff has now expressed to the four-star that they are actively searching to add another quarterback prospect to the fold.

FSU recently offered Purdue four-star commit Rickie Collins (scheduled an official visit to FSU for June 10) and three-star Brock Glenn. Will that frustrate the long-time quarterback commit?

Florida State has had a history of losing commits at the position for the past couple of recruiting cycles: Nicco Marchiol (2022), Luke Altmyer (2021), Jeff Sims (2020). The Seminoles need to ensure that they are on the same page with Parson when he arrives on campus this summer.

(6) 3-star LB Blake Nichelson

The linebacker recruiting board is getting very thin as the Seminoles are running out of obtainable options. The Seminoles did not make a top schools list for the following prospects: four-star Troy Bowles, four-star Dee Crayton, four-star Grayson Howard, four-star Andrew Harris or four-star Michael Harris. To add insult to injury, three-star target Justin Cryer committed to Northwestern.

The only linebacker prospect to schedule an official visit to Florida State has been three-star Blake Nichelson from Manteca, Calif. He visited Tallahassee on June 17. Unfortunately, the Seminoles will be in a battle with Oregon where he’ll visit on June 24. Hopefully, the coaching staff makes a lasting impression on Nichelson when he comes to campus.

(5) 4-star RB Samuel Singleton

Florida State has not landed a blue-chip running back prospect since the 2020 recruiting cycle when it acquired four-star Lawrance Toafili. The running back recruiting board is beginning to thin out for the 2023 cycle. Four-star Samuel Singleton, four-star Daylan Smothers, three-star Parker Jenkins and three-star Isaiah Augustave have emerged as the only realistic options.

Singleton is the only prospect out of the bunch to schedule an official visit to Seminoles — on June 24. Will running backs coach David Johnson be able to secure the talented Orange Park native?

(4) 4-star IOL Roderick Kearney

Four-star interior lineman Roderick Kearney, also from Orange Park has been on Florida State’s radar for quite some time. It seems as though there is some mutual interest as Kearney has visited the Seminoles four times in the spring thus far. Standing at 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, he has been sensational at camp events.

Most notably, he was named MVP for offensive lineman at the Under Armour All-America Camp in Miami back in February. The Seminoles were one of his first offers back on April 20, 2021.

(3) 4-star DT Jordan Hall

The Seminoles received phenomenal news this offseason that redshirt senior Robert Cooper and redshirt junior Fabien Lovett announced that they would be returning for another season. This provided a huge boost to the depth at defensive tackle position. However, the void will be felt next season when both players will likely depart.

However, defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins was able to secure four-star Keith “KJ” Sampson Jr. But the Noles will need to add another defensive tackle prospect to the fold. One candidate who has been atop their recruiting board is four-star Darron Reed.

Unfortunately, Reed has canceled his official visit scheduled from June 21-23 and replaced Florida State with Auburn. Four-star Jordan Hall from Westside High School in Jacksonville is next on the priority list. Hall has two crystal ball predictions to the Seminoles, but the coaching staff has its work cut out with battling with the likes of teams such as Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

(2) 4-star OT Lucas Simmons

Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Alex Atkins is looking for a bonafide can’t-miss prospect at the offensive tackle position. Luckily enough, the Seminoles are firmly in the mix for four-star offensive tackle Lucas Simmons from Clearwater Academy International.

A native of Sweden, Simmons has prototypical size for a tackle prospect at 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds with an impressive 82-inch wingspan. He has official visits scheduled this summer with Tennessee (May 27-29), USC (June 17-19), Florida (June 20-22) and Florida State (June 24-26). The Seminoles are sitting in a nice position considering the fact that they are his last official visit.

(1) 5-star WR Jalen Brown

Florida State is in serious need of acquiring talented playmakers on the perimeter and five-star receiver Jalen Brown from Gulliver Prep in Miami is one of the best receivers, if not the best, in the state. Wide receivers coach Ron Dugans has done a tremendous job thus far securing commitments from physical receiver Darren “Goldie” Lawrence, who had 843 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2021 and speedster Vandrevius “All Day Dre” Jacobs.

However, the Seminoles likely need to acquire two more at the position to replenish the talent in the room. The Gulliver Prep standout has been a top receiver for quite some time. Schools such as hometown Miami, Texas and LSU, among others could become problematic for the Seminoles in his recruitment. Florida State needs to make a huge impression this summer to stay in the race.