Fans of Florida State know the dire need the Seminoles have for safety. After this season it there is a good possibility that the Noles will lose both starting safeties in Myron Rolle and Darius McClure. Adding talent and depth is paramount for the coaching staff, and they got another solid player today when Justin Bright committed to the Seminoles. The Byrnes standout will be a going into his second year starting for a program that has developed into one of the top programs in the nation. Bright is a dynamic athlete and always excels during big game situations. He delivers bone jarring hits and appears that he will only get stronger and faster. Pair those things with legit 4.5 speed; he has the makings of a fine high major D1 prospect. That is good news for the Seminoles.
After a fantastic visit to FSU earlier this year, Justin made a silent soft verbal commitment to Coach Andrews and Coach Allen. After a phone conversation with future head coach Jimbo Fisher, Bright wanted to go ahead and make it public.
"Well, as you've known I have been a soft commitment to FSU since my visit. I spoke to Coach Fisher on the phone today and that just really sealed the deal for me, making my decision a very firm commitment. When I was on my visit I didn't get a good chance to talk to him. I know what he did at LSU on the offensive side of the ball and the guys he put into the league. For me it was getting a comfort level with him. Knowing that Coach Bowden won't be there my whole time made it important that I know who Fisher is as a coach. I don't have to worry about it now because he is a guy I like a lot."
"I love Coach Andrews too. Knowing that he is the defensive coordinator and my position coach is big to me. He has been around for some time and knows what he is doing. It made me feel really good that he likes me. FSU is competitive and it's a good school. For me it is just a good fit overall. When I was a kid FSU was THE program and they were always number 1. Now they are coming back and that is something I want to be apart of."
One aspect that Bright didn't care much for on his visit was the living situation at FSU. Burt Reynolds Hall is old, while some of the other schools had more modern living arrangements. Coach Fisher eased his mind on that topic, and Bright liked what he heard.
"Coach Fisher and I talked about new dorms they have coming. I really didn't like Burt Reynolds Hall too much to be honest. Some of the other schools had better set-ups, but hearing that from Fisher was good news. I really liked how he talked about having the team live together for 3 years and building up the family feel. He said that he is probably going to make it mandatory that players have to live there until their final season, or if they have a certain GPA. That makes me feel a lot better with my commitment."
Bright says the defensive style the Seminoles run attracted him to the school. Seeing how the coaching staff at Byrnes usually goes to FSU coaching clinics, he has become familiar with some of the schemes Coach Andrews runs.
"The type of defense FSU runs is kind of similar to what we run at Byrnes. Our coaches learned some stuff from Coach Andrews, and it is stuff that we run. It is like 3 or 4 different coverages, so I feel like I have a little bit of a head start on that. I just want to come in and do what the coaches ask of me and put my all into it. I am not going to run my mouth and I am going to give my team my nest effort."
After the recruiting class the Seminoles had in 2008, several prospects have noticed that the Noles are looking to get things squared away in a hurry. Justin says being part of the climb back to the top is something he can't wait to be apart of.
"Changes are happening at FSU and when you look at what they did last year you can see what they are building there. From the recruiting class, to the way they practice now and the jump they are getting on the 2010 class is impressive. Seeing all of this makes me feel good and what they are doing is going to pay off. We are going to turn it around."
Early on Justin stated that he wants to be an early enrollee, and with his excellent academic status he looks to be at FSU in the spring of 2009.
"I am graduating early and getting to FSU in January. Its going to benefit me on and off the field and the classes I can get done early will help me get adjusted to college life. With the depth chart situation it helps too because they are going to lose a lot of players after this year. When I was on my visit Coach Andrews was telling me at practice that he can see me out here, and said that I needed to be honest with myself and knew I could see myself there too. After hearing that it all just clicked. I am not saying I will come in and start, but there is a good chance I can come in and contribute to the team right away."
"I am not sure what position they want me to play, whether it is free or rover. I will let Coach Andrews decide that because I think he has the knowledge to put me in the right spot to succeed. I don't have a preference of where I want to play because I like to come up and hit as much as I like to go back into coverage. I think I will get the opportunity to do both at either position."
Justin told NoleDigest that he wants to get working on the phones to help build this class to being the best that it can be. He says he has already started with some of his fellow teammates.
"I have already been working on some kids here at Brynes. Marcus Lattimore likes FSU, and Ricco Sanders has opened up some to what they are doing. Another guy who I think would help out is one of our linemen Jamie Dunnaway. He likes FSU a lot and I know they need some linemen. Also Brandon Willis and Corey Miller (2010 kids) like FSU and they are going to be getting offered soon. Marcus and I talk sometimes about how cool it would be getting all of us to play at FSU together."
"I want to be a leader for my class and I don't want to sit back. I want to be able to talk to these guys and form relationships with them and build bonds. I want to work on the guys first who have questions about FSU and then go from there."
Coming into the process Clemson was thought to be the favorite for Bright. With the top 2 safeties committed, it looks like they filled their spots. When asked what a late offer from Clemson would do, Bright responded with a pretty empathic answer.
"A Clemson offer would do nothing! I am firm to FSU. Nothing is going to change it. If a major coaching change or something very severe happened like a long time probation or stuff like that, then I would, but that isn't happening. I felt that FSU is heading into the right direction with Fisher, and I want to be apart of that. We aren't going to be losing for much longer."
Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Justin and the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.