FSU targeting JUCO All-American DE

Florida State doesn't go to the JUCO ranks too much for recruits, but when they have it historically has turned out well. The Noles signed 3 top JUCO players last year and it looks like they're targeting one again. Jason Pierre-Paul recently received an offer from FSU, joining a list of schools that have shown interest. NoleDigest caught up with Pierre-Paul to see where FSU stands at this time.

Jason Pierre-Paul is a standout JUCO defensive end from the College of the Canyons. Pierre-Paul is new to the game of football, but that didn't stop him from having a stellar freshman season as he totaled 49 tackles, 14 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Those numbers led to Jason being named as an All-American, and has resulted in several of the top programs in the nation extending an offer to attend their school.

"A lot of schools are offering me now. FSU, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, USF, FIU, FAU, Nebraska and Virginia Tech are some of the 20-some schools that have offered. At this time I'm looking at a lot of schools, but I want to come back to Florida when I am done at the College of the Canyons. I didn't have my grades in high school so I went out there. This year I'm done and I will be finishing there next May."

Pierre-Paul says that he has interest in the in-state schools, and says that most of them have offered. Florida State recently extended an offer to him, and it's an offer he holds in high regard. The ultra-talented defensive end was in Tallahassee this spring checking out the school and liked what he saw.

"Florida State is a pretty good team and I am interested in them. I went there a few months ago to check out the school and watch their spring game. I drove up there with a friend who goes to FAMU, so I decided to head over and check it out. I didn't get a chance to really talk the coaches but they asked me for my film and we went from there. They offered me through the coaches at my JUCO so I haven't spoken to them yet. When I get back there in a few weeks I'm sure I'll talk to them. I am interested in coming back to Florida and I like them (FSU), but right now there are no favorites."

In high school Jason was a guy who didn't show a lot of interest in the academic side of things. He said once the coaches got a hold of him and started working on him he saw what he could do, but it was too late when it came time to qualify for college. Now that he's spent a year in JUCO he now has a clear picture of what he has to do.

"I was never a football player until the coaches got a hold of me. I wasn't even playing sports. I started going to class when I started playing and I made progress and was able to graduate. I didn't make the SAT score I needed so I headed to JUCO. It's been better since I started as I'm going to class and focusing on what I have to do. I'm all about my team, playing hard and getting my grades now."

While Pierre-Paul is new to this whole recruiting process, he is already making plans of schools he's like to make official visits too. It's a fair bet that more schools will extend offers before he completes his sophomore season, but at this time he has an idea of the schools he wants to see.

"Right now I am thinking about visiting Florida State, FIU, LSU and Auburn. I like Virginia Tech but it's too far. Miami is a school I like but they haven't offered me yet. Coach Shannon said they like me and all, so we will see. I may still go see Virginia Tech."

Jason is an extremely raw football player but he has the tools to be a stellar prospect. The 6'5" 240 pounder with 4.5 speed isn't sure what to expect from this process, but he feels he's only begun to reach his full potential. At this time he's open to everyone, but once the in-state schools turn it on look for them to battle for Pierre-Paul's signature on Signing Day. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Jason, as well as the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.

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