Stay tuned as Florida State marches on the warpath to the top of the recruiting rankings. Don’t miss the coverage from Sanjay Kirpalani and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 8:30 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Seminoles recruiting news.
Seminoles continue to lose momentum on recruiting trail
Florida State’s 2018 recruiting class suffered a pair of big blows as three players who were scheduled to be early enrollees backed out of their commitments to the Seminoles.
The first came when 4-star Bradenton [Fla.] IMG Academy corner Houston Griffith announced he was reopening his recruitment.
I’ve decided to reopen my recruitment.
— Houston Griffith (@___HG3) November 30, 2017
The 6-foot-1, 192-pound defender rates as the nation’s No. 9 corner and the No. 60 player overall in the 2018 class per 247Sports.
The Chicago native committed to the Seminoles in October following his official visit during the weekend Florida State hosted Miami.
The second de-commitment of the evening came when 3-star Bossier City [La.] Parkway safety Israel Mukuamu backed off his pledge.
Please respect my decision…got to do what’s best for me! pic.twitter.com/MoEeDnktxC
— Israel Mukuamu (@IsraelMukuamu) November 30, 2017
The third de-commitment came from 4-star OL Verdis Brown, a prep teammate of Griffith’s at IMG Academy.
I have decided to decommit from Florida State University and reopen my recruitment.
— Verdisbrown52 (@verdisbrown) November 30, 2017
The saga surrounding coach Jimbo Fisher and his potential exit to Texas A&M have swirled around the program and that could have been the cause for the change of heart from all three players.
Notre Dame is the only other school Griffith has taken an official visit to, and the Irish could be the benefactor of him reopening his process. With Mukuamu, he had taken official visits to Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina, in addition to the one to Florida State. Brown has taken an official visit to Illinois, and that could be a landing spot for the fellow Chicago native.
As for the Seminoles, it’s unlikely that any movement occurs to replace or reach out to any of the players until the coaching situation is settled with Fisher.
If Fisher stays, there’s possibly a chance the players could be receptive toward jumping back into the class. However, if he departs, it’s unlikely any of the players will have time to develop a relationship with the new staff unless there are coaches coming aboard they are familiar with.
Since all three players are on track to become early enrollees, there’s little time to figure out the details.
In the case of Griffith and Mukuamu, Florida State has three other defensive backs currently committed, but they planned on taking five players at that spot at one point, so plenty of work remains to be done at that position.
Despite the lack of activity on the recruiting trail in recent weeks, there are other defensive backs they have been recruiting in the current cycle, such as 5-star corner Patrick Surtain Jr. and 4-star safety Kelvin Joseph.
With Brown, Florida State has two remaining offensive line pledges. However, they wanted to take a class of around four players. However, there’s been little traction with any other key targets at that position over the last few months.
Perhaps the biggest impact of these decisions is that it shows that Florida State’s current coaching predicament is having a direct effect on the Seminoles recruiting efforts currently and will continue to do so until that situation is cleared up.
QB target visiting Seminoles this weekend?
Florida State’s pursuit of finding a quarterback in the 2018 quarterback appears to be focused on one name. That name is 3-star Montgomery [Ala.] Lanier passer James Foster.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Foster rates as the nation’s No. 14 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 365 player overall in the 2018 cycle.
He picked up a Florida State offer earlier this month, and it appears as if his first trip to Tallahassee will come this weekend. According to Scout.com’s John Garcia Jr., Foster will make the visit to see the Seminoles in action this weekend against Louisiana-Monroe.
Additionally, as Garcia noted, this trip will be an unofficial visit, with an official visit likely to be set at a later date.
It will also mark his first time visiting Tallahassee, which makes this an important trip for the Seminoles chances to eventually land the talented signal caller.
Foster released a top-5 recently that included Arizona, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU and Missouri and has plans to take his official visits to those five schools.
Final 5 No Order‼️
These 5 Schools I Will Take My Official Visit Too! pic.twitter.com/ByDu8gjFaD
— James Foster II (@YungSimba4) November 21, 2017
At one point earlier in his recruitment, he was committed to Missouri before reopening his recruitment in October.
As SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman detailed, Foster has commented that Florida State and LSU were tied at the top of his leaderboard in the aftermath of his de-commitment.
The unknown factor with the visit this weekend is the uncertain future of Fisher and whether he will remain in Tallahassee or bolt to take the Texas A&M vacancy.
While that situation will play out over the next few days, this visit is still an intriguing subplot in identifying where the Seminoles will turn in finding a quarterback for their 2018 class.
Amari Gainer visiting Longhorns next weekend
The drama surrounding Florida State’s coaching situation continues to spill over to the recruiting trail.
One of the Seminoles’ longest tenured commits — and one of the most firm pledges in the 2018 class — is 3-star Tallahassee [Fla.] Chiles linebacker Amari Gainer.
The 6-foot-2, 204-pound local product rates as the nation’s No. 24 outside linebacker and the No. 344 player overall in the 2018 cycle per 247Sports.
He committed to Florida State back in May and has been one of the Seminoles’ most active and vocal recruiters.
However, in light of the situation playing out in Tallahassee involving Fisher and his uncertain future at FSU, Gainer has scheduled an official visit to Texas next weekend.
#HookEm next week🤘
— AMARI FERRARI (@AmariGainer) November 29, 2017
As Josh Newberg of Noles247 notes, Gainer is an early enrollee and would only have one more weekend after that before he would have to sign with a school.
As it relates to Florida State, since he’s a local prospect, he can theoretically visit any time he wants to.
However, as Gainer told Wayne McGahee of the Tallahassee Democrat, the Fisher coaching rumors are definitely starting to have an effect on him and other recruits.
“It’s very unsettling,” Gainer told McGahee. “If your head coach can leave before you get there and you have to go in blind and not knowing anything, it’s pretty unsettling not knowing what’s going on. I know all of the rest of the recruits think the same thing.”
Regardless, his recruitment, at least temporarily, becomes another issue for the Seminoles staff to navigate until clarity is gained about the program’s future.
Miss a previous edition? Find every daily Florida State DieHards recruiting notebooks right here.
The post Florida State recruiting: Seminoles lose 3 commitments appeared first on Diehards.