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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Seminoles reach to Ohio for running back

By Corey Dowlar

Florida State doesn't typically leave the Southeast for a running back. But Mikel Horton (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) is an apparent exception.

A power back at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, Horton would give Florida State a different dimension in the backfield.

And that, supposedly, is why the Seminoles like him and decided to extend an offer.

"I really like the offer," he said. "I got it at the perfect time and everything seemed to be going the way I wanted it to. I have a great relationship with the coaches and they did it in special way, giving me the offer unlike other schools would do. It is a winning school and it is a school that I would prefer to go to and do what I can do to contribute to the team at a Division I program. It was a great honor to be offered by FSU."

Florida State's coaches didn't hold back from lauding praises on him. That's nothing unusual, of course.

But new running backs coach Jay Graham did say something interesting. As a former bigger running back himself, Graham told Horton he was the guy Graham is looking for.

"They told me some attractive things," Horton said. "They told me that I can play early, that I am a great athlete and they are looking for a back like me. I didn't know I was that rare of a back as far as my size and being able to do what I can do. A lot of people were trying to get at me and make me feel comfortable, and they told me that they are winning and they can use me a lot. I would get the ball and possibly play as a freshman if I worked.

"The running backs coach, he was a big back like myself. He said he wasn't able to find a guy until now and that he has found the guy that he wants."

Horton said he will go to Tallahassee soon, targeting this spring as a tentative date. It won't really be for visiting practice, though.

"More of a tour of the campus and seeing what I can while I am down there," he said.

Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, Purdue, Toledo and Western Michigan have also offered Horton to date. The Seminoles' offer, though, didn't move them to the top of the list, as the tough-running tailback prefers to keep things open for now.

"I am open to all schools," he said. "The offer definitely boosts my status as far as the other schools around me."

Horton says he could make a decision as early as this summer, given the fact that he plans on being an early enrollee.