Florida State Football Recruiting: Commits, Top Targets to Watch at the Opening
The Florida State football team already has landed verbal commitments from three defensive backs in the class of 2015.
Derwin James, Tyrek Cole and Calvin Brewton will get the chance to prove themselves against the nation's top receivers in one of the most prestigious high school showcases for recruits, The Opening, on July 6-10.
StudentSports.com calls The Opening "four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition" that will help players improve at their positions and also add speed and explosiveness.
Quarterback De'Andre Johnson is the fourth FSU verbal commitment to attend the event.
Here are the 15 FSU verbal targets that will be competing in The Opening:
Quarterbacks: Deondre Francis
Tailbacks: Jacques Patrick, Jordan Scarlett
Wide receivers: Cordell Broadus, John Burt, George Campbell, Da'Vante Phillips, Calvin Ridley
Offensive line: Matthew Burrell, Martez Ivey, Darryl Williams
Tight ends: Will Gragg
Defensive line: Austin Bryant, Josh Sweat
Defensive backs: Tarvarus McFadden
Recruiting and ranking information courtesy of 247Sports.
Calvin Brewton, 3-Star DB
High school/hometown: Miami Central/Miami
Height/weight: 6'0", 185 pounds
Recruitment status: Committed to FSU on January 8, according to 247Sports
Brewton is considered the No. 15 safety in the nation by 247Sports. He earned an invite to The Opening after a strong performance at the Miami NFTC camp, per StudentSports.com. He is versatile enough to play corner, but his 40 time is just 4.69, per ESPN, and that may keep him at safety at the college level. Still, he’s an athletic defensive back with a 31-inch vertical, per ESPN.
Cordell Broadus, 4-Star WR
High school/hometown: Las Vegas (Nevada) Bishop Gorman/originally from Los Angeles
Height/weight: 6'2", 195 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts that he will land at Southern Cal (59 percent) or UCLA (41 percent). FSU will have a tough challenge convincing Broadus to leave the West Coast.
The son of rapper Snoop Dogg, Broadus had a combined 98 receptions for 1,198 yards and 15 touchdowns his sophomore and junior seasons. He is a challenging one-on-one matchup who is able to go up to grab passes and is tough to stop in the red zone. He is known for his route running and is sure-handed. It will be fun to watch how he does at The Opening in red-zone drills against the top corners in the nation.
Austin Bryant, 4-Star DE
High school/hometown: Thomas County Central/Thomasville, Georgia
Height/weight: 6'5", 245 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted. The 247Sports crystal ball predicts that Bryant could land at a number of places, with FSU in the lead at 50 percent and Auburn (25 percent) and Clemson (19 percent) trailing.
Austin Bryant is a quick, physical defensive end. He will likely want to bulk up before he plays in college, but it shouldn't be a problem for him to add 10-15 pounds to his 6'5" frame. Per ESPN.com, he ran the 40 in 4.97 seconds, a time that he needs to improve on both at The Opening and in his senior season.
John Burt, 4-Star WR
High school/hometown: Lincoln High/Tallahassee, Florida
Height/weight: 6'3", 180 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted. The 247Sports crystal ball predicts that Burt is leaning toward FSU (59 percent) over Texas (41 percent).
After grabbing just 11 passes as a sophomore in 2012, Burt had a breakout junior year with 37 catches for 713 yards and nine touchdowns. He is elusive and quick, and he uses his height to his advantage. What he really needs is more experience, and against the nation's top defensive backs at The Opening, he will get just that.
Matthew Burrell, 4-Star OT
High school/hometown: C.D. Hylton/Woodbridge, Virginia
Height/weight: 6'5", 290 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted. FSU appears to be a long shot. The 247Sports crystal ball projects that Burrell is leaning heavily (92 percent) to Ohio State.
Burrell is one of the nation's top 10 offensive linemen, according to 247Sports. He is a punishing run-blocker, driving defensive linemen backwards often with stunning ease. Burrell also uses his hands well to fight off defensive ends who come off the edge and try to rush the passer. He likely will need to add some weight, but the experience of going up against the nation's top defensive ends at The Opening will only help him grow.
George Campbell, 5-Star WR
High school/hometown: East Lake/Tarpon Springs, Florida
Height/weight: 6'3", 184 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts that Campbell is leaning toward Florida (90 percent) over Michigan, Clemson and FSU. The Seminoles staff may have a hard time convincing Campbell to pass up Florida for FSU.
Campbell is considered one of the top five receivers in the nation, according to 247Sports. He has combined for 61 catches, 1,535 yards and 12 receptions the past two seasons. He has the height and speed (4.36 in the 40, per 247Sports) to be an elite receiver on the college level. He looks like a sprinter and will need to add 15-20 pounds at the college level. But he will only get better, and Campbell is already a tough one-on-one matchup for defensive backs.
Tyrek Cole, 4-Star CB
High school/hometown: Miramar High/Hollywood, Florida
Height/weight: 5'11", 170 pounds
Recruitment status: Committed to FSU on January 9, 2014.
Cole is one of the top 10 defensive backs in the nation, according to 247Sports. He is just 5'11" and 170 pounds, but he is a physical tackler. He is quick and uses his athleticism to knock down passes. It will be interesting to see how he fares against taller receivers in one-on-one matchups at The Opening.
Deondre Francois, 4-Star QB
High school/hometown: IMG Academy/Bradenton, Florida (originally from Orlando)
Height/weight: 6'1", 195 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts that Francois will choose FSU over Auburn, Oregon and Tennessee.
Francois is considered one of the top-10 dual-threat quarterbacks, according to 247Sports. He threw for 1,373 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior. He has a strong arm and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds, per 247Sports. Francois has moved down to Bradenton, where he will be coached by former Florida State star and Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke. A year with Weinke should do wonders for the young QB's career.
Will Gragg, 4-Star TE
High school/hometown: Dumas/Dumas, Arkansas
Height/weight: 6'4", 245 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted. The 247Sports crystal ball predicts Gragg is headed to Arkansas (48 percent), Mississippi (29 percent) or Alabama (19 percent). FSU is definitely a distant contender.
Gragg is considered one of the nation's top five tight ends by 247Sports. He is able to line up at tight end or split out wide as a receiver. Along with being an exceptional blocker, he can use his height to go up for passes and is a tough matchup in the red zone. He's also comfortable working the middle of the field, finding soft spots in the defense. Gragg uses his size to his advantage and should excel against linebackers and safeties at The Opening.
Martez Ivey, 5-Star OT
High school/hometown: Apopka/Apopka, Florida
Height/weight: 6'6", 270 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts that Ivey will choose Florida (93 percent). It will be a challenge for FSU to try and convince him to pick Tallahassee over Gainesville.
Ivey is considered the nation's top offensive lineman by 247Sports. He really has no weakness. He moves well and is a strong pass-blocker and run-blocker. At 270 pounds, he clearly needs to bulk up to excel at the college level. But he could be a versatile player who lines up at guard or tackle.
Derwin James, 5-Star S
High school/hometown: Haines City Senior/Auburndale, Florida
Height/weight: 6'2", 200 pounds
Recruitment status: Committed to FSU on Feb. 25, 2012, according to 247Sports.
He is the No. 1 safety prospect in the nation, according to 247Sports. James has been a verbal commitment for two years and is now attempting to help FSU recruit more prospects for the 2015 class. And James has the prototypical size, instincts, speed and athleticism to excel at the college level. He received his invite to The Opening in March, and he should stand out as one of the top players in the nation.
De'Andre Johnson, 5-Star QB
High school/hometown: First Coast/Jacksonville, Florida
Height/weight: 6'0", 175 pounds
Recruitment status: Johnson committed to FSU on July 20, 2012, according to 247Sports.
Johnson threw for 3,007 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior. Don't let his 3-star rating fool you: He was quietly dealing with a shoulder injury in 2012, per 247Sports' Chris Nee. The fact that Johnson was able to play well and threw just seven interceptions means he could be in for a big senior season, so expect his ranking to rise if his shoulder is 100 percent in 2014. When pressured, he uses his speed to buy time to throw but is also able to grab first downs on the run.
Tarvarus McFadden, 5-Star DB
High school/hometown: American Heritage/Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Height, weight: 6'3", 200 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts that McFadden is leaning toward FSU (77 percent) over LSU (18 percent) and Auburn (5 percent).
McFadden is considered one of the top five cornerbacks in the nation by 247Sports. His size makes him an appealing prospect at corner, but he's also versatile enough to play safety. He has often played off the ball, watching the quarterback and then closing in on the receiver as the ball is coming in to prevent the reception. McFadden could make a statement against the top receivers at The Opening: Is he physical enough to play corner, or do his skills relate better to a shift to safety?
Jacques Patrick, 4-Star RB
High school/hometown: Timber Creek/Orlando, Florida
Height/weight: 6'1", 220 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts that Patrick is leaning heavily toward choosing FSU (97 percent) over Miami (3 percent).
Patrick is one of the top five tailbacks in the nation, according to 247Sports. He has run for 5,385 yards and 67 touchdowns in three seasons, surpassing the 2,000-yard mark as a sophomore and junior. He has ideal size and runs the 40 in 4.51 seconds, and he often breaks tackles near the line of scrimmage to use his burst to rush for long runs or touchdowns. He could be one of the stars of The Opening.
Da'Vante Phillips, 4-Star WR
High school/hometown: Central/Miami, Florida
Height/weight: 6'1", 197 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts that Phillips is leaning heavily toward choosing FSU (96 percent) over Florida (4 percent).
Phillips had a breakout junior year with 47 receptions for 872 yards and 10 touchdowns. He loves to go up for jump balls and more often than not wins those battles with defensive backs. He needs to continue to improve in one-on-one situations, but once he breaks free, he is tough to wrap up. He also can quickly come to a stop in the open field and change directions, making him a threat to take a short- or medium-range pass for a touchdown.
Calvin Ridley, 4-Star WR
High school/hometown: Monarch/Pompano Beach, Florida
Height/weight: 6'2", 170 pounds
Recruitment status: Committed to Alabama on April 19, but FSU assistant Lawrence Dawsey visited with Ridley on May 21, according to 247Sports. Ridley may be a long shot to come to Tallahassee, but it won't stop FSU coaches from continuing to pursue him.
Ridley had 41 receptions for 1,131 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. He has the height and speed but will need to add some weight and must improve his route running.
Jordan Scarlett, 4-Star RB
High school/hometown: St. Thomas Aquinas/Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Height/weight: 5'11", 210 pounds
Recruitment status: Wide open after Scarlett told 247Sports on Friday that he was de-committing from Florida Atlantic. Scarlett told 247Sports that he is now considering South Carolina, Miami, FSU and Ohio State.
Scarlett had 2,857 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons at Fort Lauderdale (Florida) University School.
Josh Sweat, 5-Star DE
High school/hometown: Oscar Smith/Chesapeake, Virginia
Height/weight: 6'5", 237 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted. The 247Sports crystal ball indicates that Sweat is teetering between FSU (44 percent) and Virginia Tech (39 percent).
Sweat is the nation's top defensive end prospect, according to 247Sports. Recruiting analyst Chris Nee of 247Sports feels that Sweat may be the best prospect in the 2015 class regardless of position. He does just about everything well. But it will be interesting to see how he fares in one-on-one matchups with elite offensive linemen at The Opening. How will he perform against the best in the nation, and will he get frustrated if he struggles against some blockers?
Darryl Williams, 3-Star OL
High school/hometown: Bessemer City/Bessemer, Alabama
Height/weight: 6'4", 304 pounds
Recruitment status: Uncommitted, but the 247Sports crystal ball predicts Williams is leaning toward Auburn (94 percent).
Williams is a ferocious blocker, grading out at 98 percent and recording 28 pancake blocks last season, according to StudentSports.com. He is a center, but it will be interesting to see at The Opening if he can show his versatility by trying to play guard or tackle.