In the fast-paced world of college football, sometimes it can be hard to have patience. With portal season in full swing, fans were getting anxious that FSU hadn’t already loaded up with commitments by now.
While it’s fair to say they haven’t landed everyone they were after, the staff is in a position to pursue quality rather than quantity now. That is being to show as the Noles landed two more blue chip transfers from top-tier SEC programs today. That makes four total blue-chip transfers so far in the 2024 class.
Former LSU WR Jalen Brown got things started with his commitment to FSU on Saturday afternoon. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver is rated as a 4-star transfer (per 247) and is ranked in the top 50 transfers available. Brown was a highly sought-after prospect coming out of high school. He ranked as a top 100 recruit and held over 30 scholarship offers.
Brown is no stranger to Mike Norvell, Ron Dugans, and the Florida State program. He was a top target who was heavily recruited by this staff before missing out on him to LSU. He spoke about the previous relationships as part of the reason FSU was at the top of the list when he entered the portal.
Brown is a high-upside receiver with a lot of speed that can take the top off of defenses. He did not see the field much during his true freshman season in Baton Rouge, however, he comes in with a year of Power 5-level development. While he could certainly contribute in year one, his development into a top target for the talented young quarterbacks in the coming years will be the biggest payoff as he comes in with 4 years of eligibility remaining.
The fireworks kept going into Saturday night as the Noles landed a second blue-chip transfer from another prominent SEC program. Earl Little Jr. chose Tallahassee as his landing spot after two years with the Crimson Tide. The former 4-star recruit was a top 100 player coming out of high school. Little Jr. played at American Heritage under current FSU defensive back coach Patrick Surtain. He was also the teammate of Marvin Jones Jr., who also just transferred to FSU.
This is a great pickup for FSU even with a lot of talent already on the roster in the secondary. The 6-foot-1, 186-pound defensive back is a prime candidate to replace Jarrian Jones at the nickel position. He has the skill set to be a high-level defender at the Power 5 level and many believe he should have started at Alabama last season. Hence why Saban and their staff tried to convince him to stay.
Little is an athletic corner with great instincts who primarily plays man coverage, so he fits perfectly within Adam Fuller’s scheme of defense. While he didn’t play a lot during two seasons at Bama, Little Jr. comes in with two years of development at one of the premier programs in the country which is huge. Oddly enough, Earl Little Sr. played for the Miami Hurricanes before the NFL. The Miami native chose the Seminoles and his former coach over the Canes in a big win on the trail for Surtain.
247 recruiting analyst, Andrew Ivans, compared Little Jr. to Tyrann Mathieu coming out of high school, so you can understand the excitement for this caliber of player.
Jalen Brown and Earl Little Jr. will join fellow blue-chip transfers, Marvin Jones Jr. and DJ Uiagalelei, as things begin to heat up for FSU in the portal. These two are also a great example of how modern-day recruiting has changed in the portal era.
Three of the four transfers were all recruited by FSU out of high school but chose to go elsewhere. Keeping that connection open and building lasting relationships have paid off for this staff once those players hit the portal. Of course, you want to win the recruiting battles out of high school, but you also have to consider where FSU was compared to some of the other programs when they signed.
These four are only the beginning of the portal class that FSU will be looking to land this offseason to remain at the top of the college football landscape. However, the quality of the transfers so far has been impressive. Norvell and the staff continue to elevate the talent level on the roster. They have found success with guys from programs like South Carolina Mississippi State, Arizona State, Michigan State, and even G5 or FCS teams.
They are now landing players from upper-echelon programs like UGA, Alabama, and LSU. Even DJU comes from Oregon State by way of Clemson, which has had an incredible run over the past decade. Landing these types of players, combined with the pieces they have already brought in, will keep FSU on the map for years to come. Not to mention, three of the four signed so far have multiple years of eligibility remaining.
This may only be the beginning, and there are other needs they will address in time, but they have acquired some talented pieces that already have us excited for the 2024 season. Thanks for reading, and Go Noles!!
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