Florida State Seminoles: FSU football recruiting

JEFFERSON, Ga. -- A bystander watching Preston Williams (Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy) warm up at the Georgia state track and field championships simply said, “Who is that guy?” Williams stood on the edge of the long jump pit -- where he was challenging for a state title as only a sophomore -- and exploded with a flat-footed jump to the middle of the pit, reaching a height and distance that turned heads.

As did his outfit. Williams wore blindingly bright yellow shoes, mismatched socks (one was a multi-colored, neon leopard print, while the other was decorated with cupcakes), cut-off camouflage sweat pants over black leggings and a Lovejoy t-shirt. The ensemble was topped off with a gray scarf that would look great on a 78-year-old retiree from Boca Raton but seemed out of place wrapped around Williams’ noggin as a headband.

Preston Williams
Radi Nabulsi/ESPNSophomore Preston Williams is turning heads, and for more than just his fashion sense.
“This is my look,” Williams said. “My jumping look -- I am exotic.”

While his fashion is eclectic, the true answer to who Williams is a lot more complicated.

OLB Wilson has cold day, hot future 

March, 5, 2013
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ATLANTA -- With a wind-chill factor in the low 20s and occasional snow flurries blowing through the air, outside linebacker Petera Wilson (Memphis, Tenn./White Station) had a hard time staying warm Saturday. The cold kept his legs tight and he was not happy with his 40-yard dash or agility shuttle times. After having driven from Memphis, Tenn., to Atlanta to compete in the Nike SPARQ Combine, the talented junior left Lakewood Stadium cold and disappointed.


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Top safety target plans to hit road 

February, 13, 2013
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Cortez McDowell’s extensive offer list has grown yet again. Tennessee and Kentucky are the two most recent entrants into the race for the signature of the Locust Grove (Ga.) High School safety. Programs such as Alabama, Florida State and Georgia are among the 13 schools that have already extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior.

To help make sense of all the opportunities and figure out a favorite, McDowell is hitting the road.


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NoleNation recruiting mailbag 

December, 6, 2012
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NoleNation addresses questions from the fan base about Florida State recruiting as we head toward national signing day.

Matthew Thomas
Jeff Peoples/IntersportIf Matthew Thomas isn't the top player left on FSU's board, he's pretty close.
ktruba asks, "What committed recruits out there are the most critical to FSU at snagging for the 2013 class?"

Dowlar: For me, the top remaining guy is Matthew Thomas. He is an instant impact guy at the linebacker position and Florida State has been all over him for a long time now. The Seminoles are probably the leader in the clubhouse, and from that position, they can't afford to lose him.

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Recruiting not results-driven for FSU 

November, 21, 2012
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Florida State's 2013 recruiting has been loosely tied, if at all, to the results on the field this season.


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Commitment performance watch 

October, 29, 2012
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Now through most of the regular season, Florida State's commitments are hitting the home stretch with one eye on the playoffs and the other trained on finishing out district play. Here are five top performers from this week, regardless of class.

Levonte Whitfield (Orlando, Fla./Jones): A fixture this season in the commitment performance watch, Whitfield again put up some big numbers this week. Showing off his superior speed, he took two kickoff returns back for touchdowns. Offensively, he racked up 120 yards receiving on five catches. He finished the night with four total touchdowns.

Ro'derrick Hoskins (Orlando, Fla./Evans): Hoskins led the way for the Evans' defense from his linebacker spot to make eight stops this week. He also showed proper positioning by being in the right place at the right time to return a fumble 15 yards for a defensive score. Like Whitfield, Hoskins has frequented the performance watch.

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Shoe on the other foot for Baker 

October, 25, 2012
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Adrian BakerCorey Long/ESPN.comFSU commit Adrian Baker, a lifelong Miami (Fla) fan, found himself at Sun Life Stadium rooting against his childhood team for the first time.
For as long as he can remember, Adrian Baker (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna) cheered for the Miami Hurricanes. Especially when Florida State was their opponent.

But times have changed. The ESPN 300 athlete is now firmly committed to the Seminoles and his allegiance lies in Tallahassee.

So while being inside Sun Life Stadium last Saturday pulling for the road team was a little out of the ordinary for Baker, it eventually grew on him.

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Five defensive ends for 2014 

October, 23, 2012
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NoleNation takes a look at five defensive end targets who have been identified early for the class of 2014.

Denzel Ware: Already committed to Florida State, Ware is the first target at the position that can be penciled in to the 2014 recruiting class. The Seminoles did well to get in the door early and secure a verbal from a prospect who is being heavily recruited from powerhouses such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State, Texas and Southern Cal. The Gators have begun to start pushing for Ware, but at this time he is still firm to Florida State.

Chad Thomas: If at all possible, Florida State would love to have an established pipeline into Booker T. Washington High School beginning with 2013 outside linebacker Matthew Thomas. Chad Thomas, a junior defensive end, is not too far behind. He's already received offers from the Seminoles, LSU, Miami, Mississippi and Texas A&M with plenty of other SEC schools looming. He figures to be a typical Florida State-Miami battle.

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J.C. Jackson takes a trip to Florida 

October, 23, 2012
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J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee), a 2014 commitment to Florida State, traveled to Gainesville to see their in-state rivals Florida host South Carolina over the weekend.

The 6-foot, 185-pound ESPN Watch List member hadn't been to the Florida for a game yet, but definitely enjoyed his time there.

J.C. Jackson
Tom Hauck/ESPNHS2014 ESPN Watch List athlete J.C. Jackson is committed to Florida State, but attended Florida's win over South Carolina.
"It was an exciting game," he said. "That was my first time going to a Gator game.

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Commitment performance watch 

October, 22, 2012
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Florida State's commitments are having big campaigns as the high school season is nearly halfway complete. Here are some prospects who had exceptional weekends.

Michael Johnson: In a game where Booker T. Washington dropped 70 points on their opponent, the Tornado starters really didn't have more than a handful of series to play their part. Johnson, though, contributed three tackles and an interception to jumpstart the team to a win. The Tornadoes figure to be a favorite to reach the state championship in December.

Levonte Whitfield: Another week, and another mention for Levonte Whitfield in the performance watch. The speedy athlete hauled in a touchdown reception of over 50 yards, rushed for a touchdown of over 15 yards, and logged over 100 all-purpose yards. He continues to be the focal point of the Jones offensive attack and hasn't really been kept in check yet.

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Treon Harris watches in-state rivals 

October, 22, 2012
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Miami's biggest visit weekend took place Saturday as the hometown Hurricanes hosted No. 14 Florida State in one of the state's top rivalries.

Treon Harris (Miami/Booker T. Washington) was in attendance with several of his top-ranked teammates to see the state rivals go at it. From his neutral perspective, it was an enjoyable time.

"I was real excited watching the game,” he said. “Saw Florida State come out with the victory. I loved the experience."

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Column: FSU with a chance to impress 

October, 19, 2012
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As always, there will be much at stake Saturday against Miami in Sun Life Stadium.

Some are obvious like beating an in-state rival again and moving towards another "state championship."

It is the continuation of the program moving in the right direction and that the opportunity to show that the debacle in Raleigh was a lesson learned.

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Powell looks forward to seeing Noles 

October, 18, 2012
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Living in South Florida, running back Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) ordinarily doesn't get to check out Florida State's games in person like he wants to.

The schedules aren't exactly conducive for that. With his high school games on Fridays, followed by a quick turnaround on Saturday for college contests, travel can be difficult.

But when the Seminoles travel this weekend to Miami, it will present recruits like Powell a golden opportunity to see them in person without making a long trek.

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Past FSU-Miami recruiting battles 

October, 18, 2012
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As in-state rivals go, Florida State and Miami overlap each other in the recruiting world regularly.

Past battles have been intense and right down to the wire leaving fans who follow recruiting closely waiting on the edge of their seats waiting for letters of intent to be announced.

NoleNation takes a look at five recent head-to-head matchups between Florida State and Miami.

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Dillon Bates leaves with good impression 

October, 17, 2012
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Junior linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra) was one of the headliners from the Class of 2014 in attendance for Florida State's 51-7 win over Boston College on Saturday.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect was already familiar with the Seminoles, of course, but he still came away with a fresh and positive influence afterward.

"When we got there, we just went on a little tour," said Bates, the son of former Dallas Cowboys safety Bill Bates. "I was really impressed with all the facilities that they have. It was really impressive to see where they all work out and everything like that. I was just real excited to see all that.

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