It’s no secret that Florida State has been red hot on the recruiting trail the past two weeks, as the Seminoles have landed blue-chip commitments from four-star WR LaWayne McCoy, four-star WR BJ Gibson and five-star TE Landen Thomas.
FSU even reached as high as fifth Monday in the 2024 On3 recruiting class rankings before sliding back to seventh. However, the Seminoles aren’t done yet.
Mike Norvell’s staff has a very good chance of landing several other elite prospects in this class, and one of the big ones being linked heavily with Florida State is five-star cornerback Charles Lester III of Sarasota.
Just this week, Josh Newberg, the host of On3’s The Inside Scoop, put in a prediction of Lester committing to Florida State with a confidence level of 80 percent. On3 Director of Recruiting Chad Simmons also reported this week that he believes the Seminoles are out in front.
While Lester has said his final four schools are FSU, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, Newberg believes the Seminoles have an advantage because of the depth and duration of the coaching staff’s relationship with the elite defensive back.
“They have shown a great ability to get him on campus more than anyone else,” Newberg told Warchant.com. “They developed that relationship over three years.”
Lester is considered the No. 2 cornerback in the country by the On3 Industry Ranking, the No. 13 prospect overall and the No. 4 player in the state of Florida.
Newberg noted multiple times that Florida State still has a lot of work to do to secure Lester’s signature, but the fact that he grew up a fan of the Seminoles and the program appears to be heading in the right direction definitely loom large.
Simmons told Warchant there are several reasons he likes Florida State’s chances in this recruitment. One big factor is that Lester still seems partial to the Seminoles even after the departure of secondary coach Marcus Woodson, who would have been his position coach in Tallahassee.
“I’ve felt FSU was the favorite for some time for Lester,” Simmons said. “Mike Norvell and his staff have momentum on the recruiting trail after a strong season on the field last fall. Lester feels very comfortable with Norvell. I wanted to wait and see if there would be any type of disconnection with the staff after Marcus Woodson left for Arkansas, but the transition to Pat Surtain has been easy.
“And it really starts with Norvell. That is who Lester has always had the best relationship with. … The Seminoles will be tough to beat.”
The biggest competitors in Lester’s recruitment right now appear to be Alabama and Georgia. According to Simmons, Ohio State is an outside competitor but nothing major.
The real race is between the Seminoles and the two SEC powers. And Lester is actually expected to take an unofficial visit to Alabama on Thursday.
“You can’t count Nick Saban or Kirby Smart out,” Simmons said, “but I think they are chasing Norvell and the ACC program Lester grew up cheering for at this stage.”
According to the On3 recruiting prediction machine, FSU currently has a 92.4 percent chance of landing Lester’s commitment.
The post Why Florida State will be ‘tough to beat’ for 5-star CB Charles Lester: Recruiting experts weigh in appeared first on On3.