Friday, April 20, 2018
Colleges

Late choices boost FSU class

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coaches erupted in cheers when linebacker Matthew Thomas announced Wednesday he was signing with the Seminoles. It was one of the few suspenseful moments; the five-star recruit from Miami Washington was choosing between FSU and Miami.

"We got some big-time commitments at the end," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We hit a little bit of every position."

Thomas said he felt at home at FSU: "I think it's a family atmosphere. It's not that far away. My family can come and see me."

Thomas became the gem of Fisher's class and the second five-star player to commit in 24 hours. Brentwood (Tenn.) cornerback Jalen Ramsey switched from Southern Cal on Tuesday and signed with FSU on Wednesday morning.

A state champion in the decathlon and long jump, Ramsey also plans to run track.

"I feel like Florida State has everything that I'm looking for," Ramsey said. "This is the most comfortable fit for me."

Although Ramsey called Fisher on Monday night to tell him he planned to attend FSU, the coach didn't breathe easily until shortly before noon, when the formal paperwork arrived.

"I sweat them until I get them," Fisher said.

Florida State finished signing day with a class of 21 players, including three who already have enrolled.

"We got a lot of speed, guys that are very dynamic," Fisher said. "These guys will change numbers on the scoreboard. It's a time of celebration, and the sky is the limit for this group."

LOCAL 'NOLES: As expected, St. Petersburg Catholic running back Ryan Green and St. Petersburg tight end Jeremy Kerr signed. "We text all the time," Kerr said. "We can't wait to get there."

FSU honored its scholarship offer to Plant offensive lineman Richy Klepal, even though he won't play anymore because of multiple concussions. Klepal already has enrolled.

QUICK STUDY: New Smyrna Beach defensive end Davarez Bryant is a longtime basketball player who has played only one season of organized football but has great potential, Fisher said. "The guy's upside is unbelievable," Fisher said.

COACHING TURNOVER: Fisher said he didn't believe the recruiting effort was hurt by losing six assistants in the past month.

"It could have (hurt), maybe, but not as (much)," Fisher said. "I actually think it opened up more doors on guys that we ended up getting on the back end of it. It's probably a wash."

MISSES: The Seminoles failed to get Miami Northeastern receiver Stacy Coley, who signed with Miami; Prattville (Ala.) offensive lineman Austin Golson, who signed with Mississippi; and Miami Washington offensive lineman Denver Kirkland, who signed with Arkansas.

Times staff writer Rodney Page contributed to this report, which includes information from the Associated Press, Orlando Sentinel and Miami Herald.

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