Florida State Seminoles 2016 Recruiting Class

Florida State signed six players on National Signing Day, pushing their total to 25 prospects. These signees also vaulted FSU to a composite-number two overall recruiting class for the 2016 cycle. Featuring one five star player and 17 four star prospects, Coach Fisher and his staff put together a masterful class, particularly along the defensive and offensive lines. Listed below are the members of #Tribe16, the newest additions to the Florida State football team.

 

(Using both Rivals/ESPN rankings)

(* Indicates early enrollee)

(JUCO= Junior College Transfer)

Quarterback:

  • Malik Henry* (Long Beach, Calif.) (ESPN-5 star; Rivals – 4 star)
    • A dual-threat quarterback that has a strong arm. Henry is an accurate passer that looks to throw before running. However, when he does take off, Henry is quite mobile in open space. Unlike the freshman phenom that preceded Henry in Jameis Winston, Henry has more of a slight frame and needs to put on muscle. Being able to enroll early is huge for Henry, as he will receive many reps at quarterback due to Sean Maguire’s injury. If Henry can learn the playbook then he may get a chance at the job.

 

Running Back/Fullback:

  • Amir Rasul (Coral Gables, FL.) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 3 star)
    • A solid all-around back that has good speed, hands, and toughness. Rasul may wind up being a nice change of pace back down the line in his career. Rasul faces a stacked depth chart with some guy named Dalvin Cook ahead of him so it will be tough for Amir to get a lot of carries.
  • Gabe Nabers (Valdosta, GA) (Not Ranked)
    • A late addition to the class, Nabers will come in as a fullback to potentially become the heir apparent to senior Freddie Stevenson. Nabers was committed to USF and then later Georgia State, but he could not turn down an offer to play at Florida State. At 238 pounds, Nabers already has good size for his position.

 

Wide Receiver:

  • Keith Gavin (Crawfordville, FL) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Keith Gavin was a big get for the Seminoles. Gavin committed to Florida State originally but later decommitted as schools such as Alabama pursued him. However, Coach Fisher and his staff made signing the 6’3 wideout a priority. With the help of current commits such as Malik Henry and Levonta Taylor, Gavin made the decision to commit back to FSU and rejected the Crimson Tide. Gavin is a big wide receiver that can catch 50-50 balls down the field. He also has some speed so Gavin will make a great weapon in the deep passing game. Currently FSU plays mostly smaller wide receivers so signing a big wideout such as Gavin is important. FSU has not had a large receiver make a consistent impact ever since Kelvin Benjamin was drafted in 2014.

 

Tight End:

  • Naseir Upshur (Philadelphia, PA.) (ESPN-4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Upshur will be used more as an in-line weapon closer to the line of scrimmage. Upshur has solid strength, which will allow him to line up almost as a fullback and be able to become a good blocker. Upshur also has good hands and will be able to be a nice safety valve for the quarterback. Coach Fisher has received a versatile tight end in Upshur.

 

Offensive Tackle:

  • Josh Ball (Fredericksburg, VA.) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Standing at 6’8 and weighing in at 323 pounds, Josh Ball is a massive prospect. Offensive line coach Rick Trickett will love to work with Ball, particularly on his footwork and bend. Ball most likely will not play this season, however he is a player to watch for the future as he has demonstrated great power.
  • Mike Arnold (Winter Haven, FL) (ESPN- 3 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • A raw but talented offensive lineman, Mike Arnold is a signee that will provide solid depth. Arnold can develop into an eventual starter, and he already is a solid run blocker. But Arnold must improve on his footwork in pass protection and Coach Trickett will help with that.
  • Jauan Williams (Washington, DC) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Standing at 6’7, 303 pounds, Jauan Williams was a huge get for the Seminoles on National Signing Day. Williams considered Georiga and Texas A&M among several other schools, but many experts gave the impression that he was an FSU for a long time. Williams has the ability to place both of his legs behind his head, demonstrating his insane flexibility for a man of his size. Williams is another large tackle that coach Rick Trickett can mold. With junior Roderick Johnson ahead of him, look for Jauan to learn and develop behind the talented left tackle. 

 

Guard/Center:

  • Baveon Johnson (Lakeland, FL) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Johnson brings excellent versatility along the interior of the offensive line. With great size, strength, and hands, Johnson may see the field sooner than later. He must refine his technique and work on snapping the ball, but if he can pick up the nuances of the center position then Coach Trickett may have found himself a stud.
  • Andrew Boselli* (Jacksonville, FL) (ESPN- 3 star; Rivals- 3 star)
    • Boselli is the son of former Jacksonville Jaguar offensive tackle Tony Boselli. FSU Offensive line coach Rick Trickett will look to use Boselli along the interior of the offensive line at either guard or center. Boselli doesn’t figure to garner any early playing time, but he could provide solid depth. Injuries are sometimes a factor along the offensive line so developing players such as Boselli is important.
  • Landon Dickerson (Hudson, NC) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Landon Dickerson was the last, and arguably one of the most important additions to FSU’s offensive line class. Alabama and Tennessee both sought after Dickerson, but the relationship he developed with coach Rick Trickett and the rest of the staff won the day. Dickerson is versatile and can play both offensive tackle and guard. He most likely will slide inside at guard as he has great power and push. Dickerson dominated at the all-star games and showed good technique as well. Dickerson along with his other o-line signees will provide great competition and depth to FSU’s offensive line.

 

Defensive End:

  • Janarius Robinson* (Panama City, FL.) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Robinson is a 6’5, 253 pound defensive end that is still developing as a pass rusher. Defensive line coach Brad Lawing will work with Robinson constantly to help develop him. Janarius may not be ready to hit the field immediately, but he has a high upside. With a frame and body type that can sustain muscle and weight gain, Robinson will benefit from being able to have access to FSU weight room facilities. Look for Robinson to also be the beneficiary of some wisdom from senior defensive end Demarcus Walker and from sophomore phenom Josh Sweat.
  • Brian Burns (Ft. Lauderdale, FL.) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Defensive end coach Brad Lawing received a special gift on National Signing Day in Brian Burns. The pass rushing specialist Burns totaled 28 sacks over his final two seasons at American Heritage high school. He offers speed and height on the edge and coach Lawing will love developing him. Burns needs to put on some weight as he currently only weighs around 215 pounds, but he still should be able to factor into certain pass rushing packages in the fall.

  

Defensive Tackle:

  • Cedric Wood* (Tallahassee, FL.) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • One of Florida State’s earliest commitments, Cedric Wood is a defensive tackle that is a Tallahasee local, going to Godby High School. Wood is a talented interior player, but he will have to really impress if he wants to earn playing time as players such as Derrick Nnadi, Demarcus Christmas, and other more experienced players are ahead of Wood on the depth chart. Coach Odell Haggins will love having a player with the upside that Wood does on the roster.
  • Walvenski Aime* (Boca Raton, FL.) (JUCO; ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 3 star)
    • Originally hailing from Florida, Walvenski Aime spent two years at a community college in Kansas. From his defensive tackle position, Aime had 41 tackles, five tackles for loss, and a two sacks last season. Aime dominated his competition last season and earned the attention from big time programs such as Alabama. However, Aime will have to work even harder at FSU as he will face players that can match his strength and athleticism.
  • Shavar Manuel* (Bradenton, FL.) (JUCO; ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • The recruitment of Shavar Manuel was very up and down for FSU, and it seemed as if Manuel was going to sign with Florida. However, after a last second visit to FSU, Manuel changed his mind and then flipped to the Seminoles from the Gators on National Signing Day. This switch was big for FSU in that they added an athletic, 6’5, 290 pound defensive lineman in Manuel and at the same time stole the four star from their archrival in Florida. Manuel is listed as a defensive tackle, but if he keeps his weight down, he might slide down to defensive end and be a large, lanky, disruptive force off the edge.

 

Outside Linebacker:

  • Josh Brown* (Charlotte, NC.) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Josh Brown is listed as a defensive end, but he has shown that he has a natural ability to play in space. This may result in him being a stand up pass rusher from the outside linebacker position. Brown will most likely be used similarly to current FSU defensive starter, Jacob Pugh, who rushes the passer but also provides help in coverage in defensive coordinator Charles Kelly’s scheme. Josh Brown may be able to gain early playing time as the linebacker position lost two starters in Terrance Smith and Reggie Northrup. The coaching staff raves about Brown, and he may say the field early in the fall.
  • Emmett Rice (Miami, FL.) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • With long arms, good instincts, and explosiveness, Rice will be featured more as a pass rusher on third down off the edge. He has a great body frame to add muscle and weight on and will provide excellent depth next season.
  • Keion Joyner (Havelock, NC) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Look for Joyner to play close to the line of scrimmage and be featured as a pass rusher. Joyner has great length but needs to add size to his frame. He also is not the best in coverage, but he shows the ability to quickly pursue the ball carrier once identified. Joyner will wreak havoc on opposing offenses once he develops as a player.

 

Middle Linebacker:

  • Dontavious Jackson (Houston, TX) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • Florida State’s ace recruiter Tim Brewster proved his worth in the recruitment of Dontavious Jackson. For FSU, Jackson was one of their most prized-signees as the Noles had a dire need at linebacker. FSU’s main competition for Jackson was Texas, and with the Longhorns being the “home team”, it seemed like it would difficult for FSU to pull this out. But FSU built a great relationship with Jackson and with the help of other commits Levonta Taylor and Naseir Upshur, Jackson announced he would sign with FSU. Jackson is a 6’2, 240 pound hitting machine. He will play in the middle for FSU’s defense and he could see some early playing time.

 

Cornerback:

  • Levonta Taylor (Virginia Beach, VA) (ESPN- 5 star; Rivals- 5 star)
    • The number one ranked cornerback in the nation, Taylor is a plug-and-play kind of prospect. Taylor has the ability to play one on one and be a press corner. In defensive coordinator Charles Kelly’s defense, the boundary corners are left on an island and this plays towards Taylor’s strengths. Adding more muscle to his frame is important for Taylor and that will help him in run defense. Taylor also happens to be a great returner and he may lock down the punt return job early on. Levonta Taylor has been the leader of this recruiting class and he will be an instant impact player for the Noles.
  • Kyle Meyers (New Orleans, LA) (ESPN- 3 star; Rivals- 4 star)
    • An athletic defender, Kyle Meyers plays well in space and can go get the ball as well. With good length and size, Meyers will be able to defend both tight ends and receivers. Meyers is another good player that will help reload the secondary after the loss of multiple players over the years. Meyers versatility will be very important in this defense.
  • Carlos Becker (Kissimmee, FL) (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 3 star)
    • Despite a late push from Ohio State, Florida State was able to sign Carlos Becker on National Signing Day. Becker is a 6’2 rangy athlete in the secondary. With solid ball skills and size, Becker should be able to play multiple rolls in the secondary. FSU defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, envisions Becker playing in various spots from on the boundary at cornerback, to deep down the middle of the field as a safety. 

 

Safety:

  • None

 

Punter:

  • Logan Tyler (Nixa, MO) (ESPN- 3 star; Rivals- 3 star)
    • Kicking the ball isn’t Tyler’s only ability as he is a great athlete. Tyler is a solid kicker, however Coach Fisher has indicated that he will be the punter next season, while Ricky Aguayo will be the field goal kicker. However, the kickoff job is still open and Tyler may have the upper hand due to having a really strong leg.

 

Kicker:

  • Ricky Aguayo* (Bradenton, FL) (ESPN- 3 star; Rivals- 3 star)
    • Ricky Aguayo is the younger brother of the Lou Groza winner, and the best kicker in Florida State history, Roberto Aguayo. Ricky will come in as the starter at kicker for the Seminoles. Being able to come in early is critical for Ricky as he needs to improve his leg strength before he has to take the field in the fall. According to his brother, Ricky is farther along at this point than Roberto was. Ricky may not be ready to kick extremely long field goals, but the Under Armour All-American is very accurate.

 

Decommitments:

  • Jamel Cook (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 3 star) (USC)
  • Clifford Chattman (ESPN- 4 star; Rivals- 3-star) (Texas A&M)

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