No "Little" Athlete

FSU secured the commitment of TE Ja'Baris Little over the summer. The 3-star Lincoln standout had a good senior year, even though it ended much sooner than he wanted. NoleDigest caught up with Little to talk about how his senior season went, his thoughts on FSU and why they're the school for him, and what other school is still recruiting him.

Lincoln has long been the top pipeline to FSU. Little is the latest standout to be a Nole, and he plays a position that FSU needs depth at. He says, "This year I played a lot out of position. I played nose guard, linebacker, running back and some receiver. Overall I had a great season. It ended a lot sooner than we wanted it. Our goal was to make it to States, so we were upset and surprised we lost the way we did last week. But, it was a good year."

The fact that the versatile athlete played so many positions has left some people to wonder where Little will play when he arrives at FSU over the summer. "Coach Fisher wants to use me as a tight end/h-back. They like how I can catch, run and block. He told me that he'd like to use my in short yardage situations and stuff like that. I was happy to hear that from them because I always wanted to go to FSU. When they offered me I was surprised and happy that I'll have the opportunity to play there. They are the complete package for me seeing that my family and friends will be able to see me play. That was a factor for me. Before I committed South Carolina, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and USF were recruiting me," said Little.

With coaches now able to make in-home visits, Little expects to see the coaches sometime soon. On Friday, the coaches popped into Lincoln to talk to him. He says, "Coach Lilly came to the school yesterday. We talked about what they're expecting out of me and the role I'll be playing when I get there. We have a good relationship and Lilly is a cool dude. I really like Fisher too. He is really cool."

While FSU struggled some on the field this year, Little felt that the team showed some improvements compared to last year. The record has little effect on Little's decision, and he is looking forward to getting to FSU to help turn it around. He explains, "They are rebuilding, but they are on the rise. Last year was pretty bad, but I saw improvement this year. I went to the Miami game and came away impressed with what I saw with the atmosphere and all. I think that I'll be bringing some versatility to the table. I think when I get there I can help them out a lot."

Now that the season is over for Ja'Baris, he is focusing on staying in shape and working on his game in order to ensure playing time next year. He stated, "Right now I am 6'4" and 235 pounds. I am not sure where I want to get to before I get to FSU. I think I want to stay around that weight. I have some time to get better and get into shape. I am trying to become a lot faster and stronger. I intend on spending time on the track and in the weight room. If I come in there and prove myself and show I can get it done, I think I will see some playing time. I'm a humble, low-key guy, so I'm just trying to improve and get to where I want to be."

Ja'Baris is one of the quieter kids who is committed to FSU, but he stated that he is still trying to help recruit. He explains, "I am trying to become friends with some of these other kids. I am hoping they'll listen to what I have to say. Before I committed I was hearing a lot from CJ Holton saying how I needed to go to FSU. People ask me what TJ (Bryant) is going to do. Honestly, he's going to make his own decision and we really haven't talked about it too much. If I had to guess I'd say either Alabama or FSU will get him. Really I have no idea."

With the commitment firm and a visit in January in the works Little has been hearing from one school that is giving it one last shot in hopes of changing his mind. "Coach Beamer from South Carolina wants me to give them a chance. They call me a lot and are trying to get me to come in for a visit. The only way I'd ever de-commit is if something horrible happened. Right now I am not sure I'll take a visit anywhere else," said Little.

Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with the 2008 recruiting class.

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