Florida State’s camp started slowly for recruiting, but transformed into a two-day whirlwind with six verbal commitments.
Locally, Island Coast rising junior defensive linemen Marlon Gonzalez (6-3, 245) had a great camp at Miami a week ago and built on that with another stand-out performance Friday in Doak Campbell Stadium. He was offered a scholarship immediately after the camp and committed.
“I was blown away with Florida State, and I loved working with coach (Odell) Haggins,” said Gonzalez. “Everything was great up there, and I look forward to building a strong relationship with the coaches.”
Gonzalez has played mainly defensive end to this point, but worked at defensive tackle at the camp. He was clearly the most explosive lineman competing.
Lake Nona wide receiver Ryan Sousa kicked things off with a Thursday afternoon commitment after camping in the morning. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Sousa is widely considered one of the best pure receivers in the state, although his commitment came as somewhat of a surprise.
While FSU will field one of the top offensive line units in the country this season, there are not a lot of young bodies on the roster. They began to address that need with the commitment from North Pike (Miss.) offensive lineman Ethan Frith (6-6, 310). Frith has dropped close to 40 pounds since the end of his junior season.
Wayne County (Ga.) athlete Malique Jackson (6-1, 170) worked out as a quarterback as well as defensive back, but it’s on the defensive side where he would line up for the Seminoles. Malique is a cousin of FSU starter Tre Jackson.
* It is not often one sees a player from Wyoming (average of 3-4 Division I recruits a year) commit to Florida, but that happened last week with offensive lineman Taven Bryan. The 6-5 tackle built a strong relationship with offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who came to Florida from that neck of the woods (Boise State). He is the Gators’ fourth offensive line verbal commitment for the 2014 class.
* USF attempted to hold their camp in Southwest Florida on Tuesday night, but the weather did not get the memo. Players never hit the field because of lightning. More than 200 high school players were ready to compete and we can hope that USF tries to make this a yearly event.
* LaBelle offensive linemen Caleb Rimes committed to Marshall. “It has a relaxed atmosphere with class sizes that aren’t huge,” he said. “It’s rich in history, founded in the early 1800s, and it has a long history of good football. That’s something I want to be part of. I feel like I am a good fit for the team and can contribute early.”