Seminole Showtime has turned into the biggest recruiting event Florida State holds during the year. Last year's event was a success, and this year's may have surpassed that. On hand was 4-star defensive lineman Demonte McAllister from Alonso High School. The talented lineman had been at Florida State for almost a week, capping off his visit with his participation in the Camping with the Stars. After the camp McAllister granted an exclusive interview with NoleDigest where he shockingly committed to FSU on camera. NoleDigest were the first to know, making it public as soon as it happened. After the festivities we got a chance to talk to McAllister's coach Kevin Diez to talk about the decision. McAllister has not been doing updates, therefore we granted his request after the quick video commitment. According to Coach Diez, the decision was a long time coming.
"Florida State was a childhood dream of Demonte's," explained Diez. "Coming into the visit I was really hoping we'd be able to get it down to a top 5 at worst. I have to be honest I was surprised when he told you he was committing. We had talked about it some throughout the week but the coaches wanted him to make sure it's what he wanted. You guys knew first, and after he talked to you he went and told Coach Bowden, Coach Coley and Coach Fisher. They were all ecstatic. Coach Haggins had already gone in, but when he found out he was happy."
Demonte had spent the better part of a week in Tallahassee taking in the Bobby Bowden Camp and then the Showtime camp. After getting a chance to spend a lot of time with Coach Haggins and the players, Coach Diez says Demonte knew what he wanted.
"Demonte wanted to come here to see what the campus was like," stated Diez. "He really had a great time and felt at home. He is close with Coach Haggins and likes him a lot. The coaches were really hoping for the decision this weekend but were telling him they wanted him to be sure so he wouldn't change his mind down the road. I think the camp tonight (Saturday) really sealed the deal. He's ecstatic, his mom's happy….it's just the perfect fit for Demonte. With the depth chart situation he made a good choice. He's at peace with it and now he can focus on football."
Demonte's decision has been made, but his coach says he still may take some visits to enjoy the process. The coaches at FSU know he still would like to make a few visits, and Coach Diez told NoleDigest how that's going to unfold.
"Demonte is solid to FSU," said Diez. "I think one thing that held him back on making the decision sooner was him wondering if they (the FSU coaches) would mind him taking visits. They are cool with it, so Demonte may still take some. I got to tell you though FSU is going to be awfully tough to beat."
"I think USC is a school that has intrigued Demonte," expressed Diez. "But the distance is too much. He wants to go look at it though. The recruiting process, I think, was starting to wear on him. He knew where he wanted to go, and the attention was getting to be too much. As you can see in the video he's not comfortable with it yet."
The thing that makes Demonte so intriguing is the upside he brings to the table. He is still learning the game and growing into his body, and once he gets into a collegiate lifting program his coach feels the sky's the limit.
"I think the biggest thing with Demonte is his upside," said Diez. "It's unlimited! He's still learning to understand the game and he's still growing. It's hard for us to keep him in the weightroom because he's doing basketball and track. Once he gets here (to FSU) and into that strength program watch out. He's very coachable and just a great kid in general. I really feel he can join that lineage of great defensive linemen they had here tonight. Once he taps that potential I really feel he's going to be devastating and unblockable."
While he may still be taking visits, McAllister is locked in to FSU. Demonte has been working hard in the classroom to get qualified, and his coach says he's on pace to make that happen.
"His grades are in line," explained Diez. "He's been taking online classes to replace the bad grades so he'll be good to go. He is dedicated to it, too. We'll be sitting here in the hotel room and he'll just get online and knock out his work. He doesn't have to be told and does it on his own. He's taken the ACT and SAT and those have improved. He'll be taking them again soon. With the new grades he should not have any problems getting into FSU."
The commitment of Demonte McAllister came as a shock to NoleDigest, enough that it left us breathless. He plays a position of dire need, and he joins what now may be considered the best defensive line class in the nation with Jacobbi McDaniel, Brandon Jenkins and Ed Stinson. Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we track McAllister's progress through his senior season!