Early Signing Day Primer: What you need to know about FSU's 2023 recruiting class
Fans who were hoping Florida State’s impressive turnaround season would lead into the Seminoles landing some elite high school prospects might be a little disappointed.
The Seminoles likely will sign their 1st legitimate 5-star prospect since Mike Norvell arrived — wide receiver Hykeem Williams, but this class likely is going to hover about the top 20 to 25 under Norvell for the 4th straight year.
That being said, the Seminoles will sign a handful of prospects among the top 300 and a few others who have intriguing upside. Let’s break down this class.
Highest-rated player: WR Hykeem Williams, 5-star
When you think about it, given the great line of receivers who have been produced by the program. FSU hasn’t landed a ton of wide receivers who were considered elite coming out of high school. Of the 3 who probably would’ve been the highest-rated — Randy Moss, Dishon Platt and Fred Rouse — only Rouse played a handful of snaps in Tallahassee. Marvin Minnis is the highest-rated of the wide receivers who became an All-American. Peter Warrick was recruited as an athlete — he played quarterback in high school.
But Hykeem Williams is a bonafide 5-star prospect at the position and should be the highest-rated recruit to sign during the Norvell era. The Stranahan High (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) product checks off all the boxes. He is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds with next-level speed and athleticism. Williams has the potential to be the big, dominant outside receiver Norvell has been looking for.
Did they bolster the QB room? Yes
The Seminoles got 3-star prospect Brock Glenn to flip from Ohio State. A Memphis, Tenn.-area recruit, he should be able to compete with A.J. Duffy for the starting job in 2024. With Glenn, Duffy and 2024 commitment Luke Kromenhoek in the fold, the QB room in Tallahassee has some young arms with potential.
That being said someone will need to step up. It would be nice for Duffy to overtake Tate Rodemaker as QB2 for the Seminoles in the upcoming season.
Best position group: Linebacker/edge
Although Norvell seems to be a little sensitive to questions about how aggressive FSU is in the transfer portal, the numbers don’t lie. It’s a small high school class without much focus on any specific position. California recruit Blake Nichelson and legacy edge prospect Lamont Green Jr. are 4-star prospects and top-275 prospects who look like they could be pretty good over the next few years.
Williams, Vandrevius Jacobs and Darren Lawrence give the Seminoles a nice haul at wide receiver as well.
Biggest need filled: Wide receiver
FSU took 4 wideouts in the transfer portal last year. All 4 will be returning in 2023, so Williams, Jacobs, a 4-star prospect, and Lawrence, a 3-star prospect, will be expected to make contributions in 2024 with a new quarterback under center. The Seminoles will need another good group of pass catchers in their next class.
Biggest potential flip: DL Keldric Faulk, 4-star.
For the 2nd year in a row, the Seminoles are in line to lose their highest-rated defensive recruit. Last year it was the shocking flip of Travis Hunter to Jackson State. This year it’s Faulk, a top-100 defensive line prospect from Highland Home, Ala. Auburn is hot on Faulk’s trail and Hugh Freeze doesn’t give up without a fight. This will be the Seminoles’ big recruiting battle this week.
Final takeaways on this class …
FSU is in need of a class that can provide foundational depth. This class is going be about 15 prospects and the Seminoles will take nearly as many transfers. The high school recruiting for Florida State under Norvell has been average at best thus far. FSU’s starting 22 includes 11 transfers and just 3 players who were recruited by Norvell and staff (offensive lineman Robert Scott and cornerbacks Omarion Cooper and Kevin Knowles).
It’s hard to build foundation depth with classes this small. The class is top heavy with Williams, Faulk, Nichelson, Green and offensive lineman Lucas Simmons looking like the players who really have a chance to be standout performers. As for the back-end of the class, I think Quindarrius Jones, a 3-star prospect out of Meridian, Miss., is an intriguing prospect. But the class lacks an elite running back and a top-end cornerback.
This is going to be another class that will finish somewhere between nos. 15 and 25, which isn’t where FSU is used to being. Maybe Norvell will continue to strike gold on transfers, but the high school side has to get better to ensure the product on the field stays strong.