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Sunday, February 24, 2013
Seminoles target, host emerging OT

By Kipp Adams

After not signing an offensive tackle in the 2013 class, Florida State has sent out a flurry of early offers for 2014 in an attempt to restock the position. The latest went out to one of the fastest rising prospects in the Southeast.

Nolan Kelleher (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) got the news Saturday morning that he had a scholarship offer from the Seminoles, and he later arrived in Tallahassee, Fla., to take in the junior day at FSU.

“Basically, we toured the stadium and all of the facilities inside the stadium that are available to the student-athletes,” Kelleher said. “Then they gave us a tour around campus and showed us our dorms and I felt like one of the most privileged kids there.”

Kelleher estimates that around 50 prospects were on hand Saturday at FSU, including a sizable group of offensive linemen. That makes the attention given to Kelleher on his first trip to the prominent ACC program stand out more.

“Coach [Rick] Trickett showed me around the entire stadium personally,” Kelleher said. “It really seemed like all of his focus was on me. He was basically following me around and making sure I did not have any questions during my visit. After meeting Coach [Jimbo] Fisher, Coach Trickett talked to me some more and I really felt like they tried to welcome me in there. He reminds me a lot of my offensive line coach at my high school.”

The message given to Kelleher by Trickett and Fisher was simple and straightforward: They want and need him at Florida State.

“Coach Trickett believes that I am what they are looking for in an offensive tackle at Florida State,” Kelleher said. “He stressed that they want to make FSU the place for me. Coach Fisher emphasized that they really want me at Florida State and that I am important to their recruiting class.”

While traveling home Saturday night, Kelleher was still taken aback by the news of the day. He added that his father, who accompanied him on the trip, was also in shock. The reputation of the program that gave him his latest scholarship is striking to the Palmetto State standout.

“This is really my first offer from a nationally ranked team,” Kelleher said. “They are always in the top five, top 10 when it comes to recruiting. The campus was really nice, the staff is great, and they made it clear that they are going to win a national championship. I really like Florida State and the staff. It seems like everything is in the right place and they are bound to win the national championship sometime soon. This is such a huge, prestigious program -- I still cannot believe this is happening to me.”

With offers coming more rapidly now, Kelleher is hesitant to name a leader without taking the time to reflect on his options.

“Everything has picked up really fast for me,” he said. “At the moment I do not have a top school because the offers are coming in too fast. I would really have to sit down and think about it.”