Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Prep Sports Report

From chomp to chop: Armwood’s Malcolm Lamar and Warren Thompson sign with FSU

For years, many of Armwood's most prominent football recruits wore orange and blue garb on national signing day.

On Wednesday, there was a significant change in the color combination.

For the first time, Hawks were donning garnet and gold.

Two of Armwood's top recruits — defensive lineman Malcolm Lamar and receiver Warren Thompson — signed with FSU.

It was a seismic change in the state's recruiting landscape. The Seminoles, who never had a Hawk signee before, landed two in one day.

The haul actually began a week before when Thompson announced his commitment to FSU.

"I grew up a Seminoles fan, and I just went with the school where I felt most comfortable," Thompson said. "This is where I was supposed to be."

"Talk about Warren Thompson Jr., he's a kid, we've got a picture of him catching a ball with Doak Campbell when he was 7 years old, and look where he's at now. It's pretty cool," new FSU coach Willie Taggart said.

Lamar made his intention to join Thompson official during Wednesday morning's signing ceremony at the school as the two turned their oral agreements into binding ones.

Lamar's decision came down to Florida and FSU.

For him, it was not a difficult one to make.

"It was pretty much FSU all the way," Lamar said. "They were after me pretty hard and they just built good relationships and a family bond."

Taggart played a major role in swaying the duo. Lamar and Thompson intended to join the former USF coach at Oregon when they made their commitments this past summer.

Malcolm Lamar gives a speech after signing his commitment to Florida State University during signing day at Armwood High School on Wednesday morning, February 7, 2018 in Seffner. (Zack Wittman, Special to the Times)

Of course, that was before Taggart became the Seminoles' coach in December. Afterward, a number of Duck recruits reneged on their commitment, including Lamar and Thompson.

FSU started intensifying its recruitment of the two in hopes of beefing up this year's class.

Thompson was looking for a sign of where to go in the summer. He spotted some ducks in his front yard and felt Oregon was the place to be.

This time, Taggart was the influence.

"He just made it all the reason to go," Thompson said of the Seminoles coach.

Lamar and Thompson were not the only major recruits in attendance. Running back Brian Snead (Ohio State) and athlete Jerome Ford (Alabama), who signed in December's early period, joined them.

Armwood’s star senior football players pose for a portrait after committing to colleges during signing day at Armwood High School on Wednesday morning, February 7, 2018 in Seffner. (Zack Wittman, Special to the Times)

Caleb Sutherland (Toledo), another December signee, was an early graduate and is already taking college classes.

Linebacker James Miller, who seemed to be leaning toward FSU, committed to Indiana.

Linebacker Fitzroy Gardner signed with Iowa Western CC, safety Jhonny Quest with Marist, quarterback Devin Black with Bethune Cookman and athlete Markeis Colvin with Marshall.

Snead, Ford and Sutherland received little fanfare when they signed, in part because the early period during final first semester exams for most schools.

They all played a big role in helping the Hawks go undefeated in the regular season and reach the Class 6A state title game.