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Heavy in-state presence among guard, center targets
Among the positions that figure to undergo a makeover of sorts at Florida State now that Willie Taggart is in charge is the offensive line.
He and new Seminoles offensive line coach Greg Frey figure to mold that unit into a powerful and athletic bunch capable of being the engine to Taggart’s uptempo, spread attack.
With that in mind, the 2019 cycle will be important for Frey because it will represent the first full cycle in which he will be able to recruit the style of linemen he covets for his scheme.
In the 2018 cycle, Florida State signed four prospects who will begin their careers up front. The Seminoles appear to be in the market for another sizable offensive line class in 2019.
While the bigger need may be at the tackle spots, expect the Seminoles to take at least two interior prospects who could play either guard or center.
Which players make up the early list of targets for Taggart and Frey entering the spring?
Let’s take a look as we identify which prospects the staff has eyes on among interior lineman in the 2019 cycle.
Current best bet to land in FSU’s class: Dontae Lucas, 4 stars
Among the priority targets who made it to campus for Florida State’s first junior day in February was 4-star Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy guard Dontae Lucas.
The 6-foot-3, 323-pound in-state standout, who originally is from Miami, rates as the nation’s No. 8 guard and the No. 151 player overall in the 2019 cycle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Miami are other main contenders in his recruitment, but it appears as if the Seminoles took a huge step forward in getting him on campus last month.
— Dontae Lucas (@7totha8) February 17, 2018
Lucas is scheduled to be an early enrollee, which is an added bonus for the lucky school that lands him. Additionally, he’s a part of a touted group of offensive line prospects at IMG Academy that includes a handful of other targets who are on the Seminoles’ radar.
He’s developed a tight bond with the new staff and barring a huge shift in his recruitment, he appears bound for Tallahassee.
Other top options: Keiondre Jones, 4-stars, Evan Neal, 4-stars, William Putnam, 4-stars
Florida State will actively continue to recruit both prospects, but Neal appears to be the one that the Seminoles have the better shot with at this time.
He has a connection to the team in the form of 2018 offenisve line signee Chaz Neal, who is his cousin. The younger Neal is simply a massive prospect at 6-7.5, 391 pounds. Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma and Texas A&M are among the other suitors involved with Neal.
The state of Georgia has been kind to the Seminoles lately when it comes to offensive linemen and the primary Peach State target at that position in the 2019 class could be 4-star Hogansville (Ga.) Callaway guard Keiondre Jones. The 6-4, 315-pound lineman has suitors such as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Ohio State among the schools after him, but the Seminoles are also in the mix. Getting him on campus soon will be a critical factor moving forward.
Another in-state target to watch is 4-star Tampa (Fla.) Plant guard William Putnam. The 6-4, 280-pound Sunshine State standout is a versatile prospect who may have the ability to play tackle as well. He’s scheduled to visit Florida State at the end of the month. Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Miami and Ohio State are among the schools involved with him at this point in his process.
Next who could receive an offer: Dylan McMahon, 3-stars
Noticeably absent to this point has been the lack of a true center prospect on the board for the Seminoles. Florida State has fifth-year senior Alec Eberle and redshirt sophomore Baveon Johnson as the main options currently on the roster.
With that depth in mind, adding a center in this class would seem to make sense. Even though the options are limited, and Frey could always try to convert a guard or tackle to that position, targeting a true center seems to make more sense.
One player who could fit the bill would be 3-star Savannah (Ga.) Savannah Christian Prep center Dylan McMahon. His older brother, Ryan, played center for the Seminoles from from 2006-10.
The younger McMahon, who rates as the nation’s No. 6 center and the No. 621 player overall in the 2019 cycle, has nine early offers. Boston College, Georgia Tech, Indiana and South Florida are among the schools who have tendered him.
Given that the Seminoles could enter the market for a center, McMahon could make sense as a potential option for an offer in the near future.
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