Justin Bright is one of the first safety prospects the Seminoles offered for the 2009 recruiting class, and the offer was the first Bright received. Since getting the offer from Florida State, Justin has kept the Seminoles at the top of his list. This past week he made the drive down to check out what the school had to offer.
"It was a really good visit. I liked it a lot. We made the 7 hour drive Friday, and got to Tallahassee around 2 in the afternoon. I thought I was going to just tour the campus and see some practice, but it was a lot more than I thought. I was pleasantly surprised by it."
While Bright was in Tallahassee for Friday and Saturday, he was able to pack in a lot of things into his visit. It is easy to see that the Seminoles and their coaching staff made a major impact on Justin.
"This visit was awesome. I had a really good time. I got in Friday and made it to the scrimmage. I met Bob LaCavita, and spent most of my time with him. We hung out and he showed me around. He gave me the full tour of the campus and the facilities. I got to meet and speak to all of the coaches before the scrimmage. I pretty much did everything I could possibly do, which was cool. I got to speak with Coach Andrews, which I was expecting, but I didn't expect that I'd get to sit in on the meetings and all that."
For Justin it was important to him that he got to speak with Coach Andrews, and the time he spent with the legendary Seminole coach helped make the visit a good one for the talented prospect.
"My dad and I got to sit in on the meetings. I sat there and listened and watched. They use different language and terms, but they run some of the same stuff we do at Byrnes. I really like how Coach Andrews coaches. I like how not only is he the defensive coordinator, but he is also the defensive backs coach. I the correlation between the two because he spends a lot of time with you and trusts you. He is a screamer and a real intense coach, but he gets to know you and is able to teach you and make you better. Off-the-field he is real down to earth and real nice. All of the coaches are like that. Something funny happened when I walked into the offices with a Gatorade bottle in my back pocket. I had it to stay hydrated and for something to drink. Coach Haggins came up to me and told me I may want to throw that bottle away or take off the label, saying they don't drink Gatorade around there. He said if Coach Bowden say that I would be running stairs at 5 am. I thought that was really funny and really cool, and that's how all the coaches were."
Justin has been giving some thought to enrolling early to the school of his choice. He feels that it is beneficial on and off the field. While at FSU, he made it a point to talk to the Seminoles' three early enrollees In Nigel Bradham, Terrance Parks and Vince Williams.
"When I was watching the scrimmage and checking things out, I got a chance to see the guys I'd be competing against and playing with. I spoke to Nigel, Terrance and Vince about the benefits of enrolling early and to get their thoughts on how they were doing. I am 98% sure that is what I am going to do. I am ready to get to where I am going to be and get started."
Bright told NoleDigest that Florida State was pretty much the whole package. He liked the facilities, and was impressed with their unique 3-D highlight film.
"On Friday I really got to check out the facilities, and I had the chance to see the 3-D highlight film. I was like 3-D! Sweet! I've been to several schools, and I would say Florida State's facilities are the best. People always say when you pull into the stadium Doak looks like a castle. It truly does with all that brick. I liked the locker room and the weightroom a lot too. I spent some time with Coach Stroud asking about what they do there and their expectations. The facilities are top-notch.
As Bright stated, the coaching staff impressed him very much. He liked their calm, laid-back demeanor and the fact that they are very approachable and easy to speak to. He talks about his conversations with Coach Trickett and Coach Bobby Bowden.
"Coach Trickett is a cool guy. He is pretty down to earth. He was like I know who you are; I was the first coach to offer you. He was just welcoming me to FSU and all that. Coach Andrews, like I said, was great. He and Coach Fisher are talking about coming to see my spring game. I got the chance to spend 20 minutes with Coach Bobby Bowden. Man that was awesome. I was like, what am I going to say? He doesn't say much in practice and he lets his coaches coach, but he is pretty tuned in. My mom, dad and grandfather got to speak to him. It was important that I got to meet the head coach because yeah, you have your position coach, but the head coach is the main guy. I know Coach Bowden may or may not be there, so I talked some to Coach Fisher. From watching it looks like he (Fisher) is the head coach on the field at practices and all. He is really positive and makes it fun. You could tell the players were responding well to him and enjoy what he is doing. At LSU he did a great job, and when he gets the players he needs for his system, I think that offense will be good to go."
Florida State was the first school to offer Justin, and that is something that he really respects and appreciates. The fact that the coachers at FSU thought so highly of him to offer means a lot to him, and it has kept the Noles at the top of his list.
"FSU was my first offer and I have favored them since. I always said I would have the most respect for the school offers me first because that shows they really want me. Coaches are telling me now that they just got my film, and I understand that. With this trip I would say it really helped FSU out a lot. It was good to hang out with guys like Aaron Gresham and Budd Thacker. It was hard thinking about not committing, but I want to make sure I give all of the schools a fair chance. FSU is my top school and they are going to be tough to beat."
One school that may throw a wrench into that is the Clemson Tigers. Bright grew up a fan of the team, and he has a lot of former high school teammates that play for the Tigers. He is attending their spring game next week, and if they offer things could get a little cloudier.
"I got Clemson next weekend. I am going there for the spring game and to see Willie Korn and some of my old teammates. I'll probably spend the weekend there and hang out with some of my boys. I've been thinking about going out to Texas A&M, but tickets are expensive, so we'll see. If Clemson offers, it'll stir it up a little bit. People give me a hard time saying I am going there regardless, but I came into this process with an open mind. FSU has a pretty big jump on everyone else."
Justin wants to make a decision in the fall, but he isn't sure when. He wants to make it out to Texas for a visit to Texas A&M, but that is still up in the air. That visit may have to wait for an official. He said he plans on making a few more visits to Florida State, with one of those being an official in the fall. While he came away from this weekend highly impressed and pleased with the visit, Clemson is still a school the coaches at FSU must look out for. It should be another battle between the Seminoles and the Tigers.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Justin and the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.