With the race for the No. 1 recruiting class in 2015 still underway, Florida State took a significant step toward gathering the top-ranked 2016 group, as No. 1 quarterback Malik Henry announced his commitment to the Seminoles on ESPNU's "College Football Daily" on Thursday afternoon.
"I felt comfortable around coach Jimbo Fisher. I think he's a great quarterback coach, he knows his stuff and their offense is explosive," Henry said after donning a Florida State beanie and unveiling a Seminoles shirt under a black jacket. "I think I can see myself in their offense."
Henry (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) collected offers from some of college football's national recruiting powers, including Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Texas and USC, but there was no drawn-out recruiting timeline for the nation's No. 2 recruit in the 2016 class. He announced his top four -- Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA -- via Twitter on Aug. 7, then worked hard to come to a decision before the playoffs of his junior season began. Henry took unofficial visits to Florida State and Notre Dame, as those two schools became the clear front-runners for the talented dual-threat quarterback.
"It was a tough decision, but I finally realized it was Florida State a week or two ago, after talking to Coach Fisher and reminiscing about my trip there," Henry told ESPN.com. "I felt comfortable at Florida State and around Tallahassee."
Henry (Westlake/Westlake Village, California) was going to have his work cut out for him wherever he wound up among his top four, as they've all hit home runs with quarterback recruiting in 2015. Heading to Florida State, Henry will enter behind dual-threat quarterback commitments in the 2015 class, including two ESPN 300 prospects, Deondre Francois and De'Andre Johnson.
Also a standout baseball player, Henry will play both sports at the next level. That fact gave Florida State a head start from the beginning, as the Seminoles used Jameis Winston's careers in both sports as a key recruiting tool.
"I do plan to play baseball," Henry said. "I've talked to the coaches about it and we've discussed it, and they're OK with me playing baseball."
"I'm fine with [Winston comparisons]," Henry later said. "I think Jameis is a great QB and is also a dual-sport guy. I think we have a lot of similarities, so I'm good with that."
The Seminoles add their fifth 2016 commit, as Henry joins what is already another terrific class, now including four ESPN Junior 300 prospects. He could become the first California prospect to sign with Florida State since tight end Christo Kourtzidis did so in the 2012 class.
As a sophomore, Henry threw for 2,362 yards and 21 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Thus far during his junior season, Henry has accounted for 1,932 passing yards and 15 touchdowns against four interceptions, as well as 314 yards and five scores on the ground for his 8-2 Warriors.