Tuesday, December 17, 2013
ESPN 300 OT has Florida State on top
By Jared Shanker
Florida State fans were questioning the Noles’ offensive line recruiting just a few months ago. Now they're rejoicing in the fruits of the staff’s efforts as coach Jimbo Fisher could have his pick of the litter at the position these final few weeks before signing day.
Chad Mavety, the No. 8 junior college prospect, and three-star Brock Ruble committed last week and it seems likely juco tackle Kareem Are will commit on Wednesday.
Following an official visit over the weekend, ESPN 300 tackle Roderick Johnson (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central) now has Florida State as his top school, too.
“You can say Florida State is my No. 1 among my choices,” said Johnson, who is ranked No. 156 in the ESPN 300. “It was very nice, very nice.”
It was the second visit to campus for Johnson, who drove with his father and older brother. The biggest difference from his unofficial visit to this one was the hotel, he joked. His experience and time with the team went just as well this past weekend as it did during the summer.
“[The players] were telling me how [offensive line] Coach [Rick] Trickett is an excellent coach and he’ll prepare you for whatever comes next, the next level or you’ll be a great man in life through his method of doing so,” Johnson said. “I think he’s a very good coach and I like him a lot.”
Despite the recent offensive line commitments, Johnson said he was not pressured by the staff to make a quick decision. The coaches did not tell him how many more linemen they plan to take before signing day either, and Johnson does not know when he will make a commitment.
The 6-foot-6, 320-pound senior is ranked No. 16 among tackles and No. 3 in Missouri, a state the Noles have not mined much recently. There is not a single player from Missouri on Florida State’s roster.
Below Florida State on Johnson’s list is Ohio State. Ironically, Mavety committed to FSU over Ohio State last week.
Johnson visited Ohio State for the Michigan game in 2012 in Columbus. He said it is possible he takes an official visit to Ohio State to learn more about the academics and the campus as his unofficial visit was mostly to see the game.
“I went to the game and didn’t hang with the players, but the intensity in the stadium was live,” he said.
Of the schools in the top 25, there might not have been two more teams with a bigger need at offensive line than Florida State and Ohio State. They have been among the top schools for several offensive tackles.