Florida State recruiting: SEC schools trying to flip DL pledge

Jimbo Fisher-Florida State-Seminoles

Stay tuned as Florida State marches on the warpath to the top of the recruiting rankings. Don’t miss the coverage from Sanjay Kirpalani and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 8:30 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Seminoles recruiting news.

Alabama, Georgia still pursuing 4-star DT commit Robert Cooper

Florida State has held a commitment from 4-star defensive tackle Robert Cooper since last summer, but the Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett standout still has programs, such as Alabama and Georgia, trying to get him to reconsider his pledge.

According to SEC Country’s Jeff Sentell via SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner, Cooper said that both schools are aggressively pursuing him in hopes of getting him to reopen his recruitment.

“It’s a tie for second, but Georgia has a little lead [over Alabama],” Cooper told Sentell.

While Kirschner notes that Georgia is currently recruiting the 6-foot-2, 377-pound standout the hardest, Alabama has already secured an official visit from the nation’s No. 5 defensive tackle and the No. 79 player overall in the 2018 cycle.

From Florida State’s perspective, Cooper is a prospect the Seminoles have to hang onto for a number of reasons.

For starters, with him being the second-longest tenured pledge and one of two current commits to be rated among the nation’s top 100 overall prospects, he’s stood as one of the pillars of the 2018 class.

Additionally, he is the only current pledge at defensive tackle. While the Seminoles have more pressing needs at defensive end, Cooper is the type of difference maker in the middle who can help the Seminoles replace senior Derrick Nnadi without much drop-off in the future.

To lose Cooper late in the cycle would be a massive blow.

At this stage of his recruitment, it appears as if Florida State has work to do with Cooper to regain its footing with regard to the strength of his commitment.

5-star QB visits SEC power

When it comes to his visit schedule, the recruitment of 5-star quarterback Justin Fields has typically operated in stealth mode until hours before the nation’s top overall prospect decides which school he wants to visit.

He saw Florida State and Alabama tangle in Atlanta on opening weekend. The following weekend, he surprised many in the recruiting community by using his first official visit to LSU.

He’s spent the following two weekends in Athens, Ga., for unofficial visits to check out the Georgia Bulldogs.

Last weekend, the 6-foot-3, 221-pound Kennesaw (Ga.) Harrison standout elected to check out top-ranked Alabama for the Crimson Tide’s game versus Ole Miss.

Alabama is a school that has been on the outskirts of Fields’ recruitment to this point — with programs such as Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and USC among the mainstays with him since he de-committed from Penn State in the summer.

Alabama, LSU and Oregon are schools that have been lurking and now Fields has seen two of those programs up close.

While it’s never a smart thing to discount Alabama in recruiting, the main thing that may hinder their pursuit of Fields is a depth chart that, while not crowded, has a trio of talented underclassmen in front of him.

Starting quarterback Jalen Hurts is only a sophomore, and he’s unlikely to be a threat to leave school early for the NFL draft based on his progress to date. Behind him are a pair of touted true freshmen in Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones. In particular, Tagovailoa — who preceded Fields a year earlier in winning Elite 11 MVP honors — appears to have a bright future ahead in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

With those visits in his rear view, the question now turns to where Fields will visit in future weekends?

Florida State is hoping to get Fields on campus this weekend for a game versus Miami that was originally scheduled for Sept. 16, but postponed because of Hurricane Irma.

If the Seminoles are successful in getting Fields to visit this weekend, the trip would come at a critical juncture in his recruitment. Georgia appears to be trending with him at this stage of his process.

The game is shaping up to be a huge recruiting weekend, and it would get no bigger than having the nation’s top overall prospect in town.

4-star DT target visiting this weekend

While Florida State will do its best to keep Cooper in the fold, the Seminoles are actively pursuing other prospects along the interior of the defensive line.

One such target is 4-star Arlington (Texas) Lamar defensive tackle Bobby Brown.

According to Chris Nee of Noles247, the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder will make his way to Tallahassee, Fla., this weekend for the Seminoles’ rivalry showdown versus Miami.

Brown visited Oklahoma last month, and his Florida State official visit is the first of three he will take this month. The Lone Star State defender is scheduled to see Alabama on Oct. 20 and Texas A&M on Oct. 27.

These visits will precede his commitment, which is currently slated to occur on Nov. 2.

According to his 247Sports crystal ball page, the Crimson Tide have emerged as the heavy favorites with the Sooners being their primary competition.

It’s worth noting that Florida State has found success in recent years recruiting in the state of Texas as they’ve landed talented defenders in linebacker Dontavious Jackson and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson in the last two classes.

It remains to be seen whether the Seminoles can keep that momentum going with Brown. Right now, they seem to be playing catch up in his recruitment.

The Seminoles will give their best effort to work their way into the mix for his commitment beginning with the trip this weekend.

Miss a previous edition? Find every daily Florida State DieHards recruiting notebooks right here.

The post Florida State recruiting: SEC schools trying to flip DL pledge appeared first on Diehards.

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