Justin Bright made a silent commitment to Florida State back in April, but he decided to make it public in May. Since then he has been a firm commitment and has been hitting the recruiting trail to help bring in the best class the Noles can sign. The 3-star safety from Byrnes made a visit to FSU this past weekend after missing Seminole Showtime due to the Nike 7 on 7 in Oregon. He says the visit was great and that it reaffirmed his decision he made in April.
"It was a good visit," said Bright. "I had a great time when I came here in April so I wanted to come back and have a good time. I wanted to get this visit out of the way. It was never about doubt or anything; you can go and have a good visit anywhere, and this time I think I had an even better time. Spending the time with the coaches and hanging out with Everette Dawkins was nice."
When Bright came down to FSU in April the coaches were getting ready for the spring game thus he didn't get a chance to sit down with the coaches and talk to them. This time Justin got to spend time with Mickey Andrews as they watched film and talked about the future at FSU.
"I got to talk to Coach Andrews more which was cool," explained Bright. "I got to watch the team workout and run and I got to watch them in the 7-on-7. I spent time with Coach St. John so I got to see a lot more than I did last time."
"Coach Andrews and I watched 3 hours of film," continued Bright. "It went from the basic packages to the advanced stuff they run. As I got it down we went more in-depth. They run some of the same stuff we do at Byrnes so I got some of it down easily. Coach Andrews knows a lot and I can see why he's been as successful as a coach. We also talked about the depth chart situation. He said that most likely I won't be redshirting when I get there. He said some guys in my class may be playing a different position. He said he likes Ed Imeokparia at safety for the future but that there are depth concerns. Even if I did come in and redshirt it'd be okay with me because it'd give me a free year to learn off and on the field."
The visit for Bright was more than just hanging out with the coaches. Bright's an excellent student in the classroom. He told NoleDigest that while in Tallahassee he set up the necessary paperwork that will allow him to enroll early in January. Surprisingly, Bright is very close to not even having to go through his senior year of high school.
"I could graduate now because I have 16 core classes," explained Bright. "In South Carolina you can start high school classes in junior high so in 7th grade I took a math class which gives me 6 math credits. I have 5 English credits and all of my other core classes I have extra. I just have to take Economics/Government that every student has to take. I'm also going to take a foreign language class that I like, I'm really good a German but I won't be able to take German 4 because I wont be at Byrnes all of my senior year. I will probably take Spanish 3 instead. The advisor at FSU was saying I can CLEP out of a lot of classes and that when I get there I will be a sophomore academically. That's real nice because it'll give me a good start. I plan on majoring in psychology and then going back and getting my Master's in business. Honestly I could have been at FSU this year but I don't think I am ready."
Enrolling early into their school of choice is the new thing for recruits. Many kids are doing it now to get an early jump on the collegiate careers. For Bright the decision seemed like a no-brainer after talking to some people who've already done it.
"I was talking to Everette about it," said Bright. "He's had since June to get acclimated and to get ready. Me coming in January will allow me to knock out the freshman stuff and to go through mat drills and spring. I'd have an extra 6 months to prepare, make friends and just get acclimated. You can see a difference in the guys who enrolled early and the guys who didn't. They look like they've been there for a while. Also, I don't want to sit there and do nothing after the season is over. Some people just waste away that last semester of high school but I don't want to do that."
Justin's performance at the Nike 7 on 7 in Oregon has led to a bunch of West Coast teams to ask his coaches about him. He says schools are starting to offer but it's too late.
"My coach told me that Oregon, Oregon State and Washington called about getting all my information. He also said UCLA called about Marcus (Lattimore) and me. I got the offer from Stanford too. I guess I did well and that my name is growing out there. It's nice to get those but they're too far away for one, and for two there is no changing my mind. I love FSU and I am not going anywhere else."
With his busy summer about over Justin plans on getting some much needed R-and-R before his team starts two-a-days. As a senior and team leader Bright is excited to get his senior season underway as Byrnes aims for a National Championship.
"I've been so busy this summer," said a tired Bright. "I've been all over for different 7-on-7s and combines. This week I am going to the beach to relax. It's been a heck of a summer and its been crazy. When I get home I'm going to start my NCAA dynasty with FSU then its off to the beach on Monday. When I get back we are starting two-a-days. As a senior I need to work hard and show the younger guys how we do it. We're trying to win that National title this year so we need to work. Our first game is August 29th against N. Gwinnett in Georgia. I think it's televised so I am excited."
Getting Bright enrolled in January is big for the Seminoles as they're primed to lose the majority of their depth chart at safety after this year. Bright's a smart kid who'll pay immediate dividends when he arrives on campus in the spring. Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we track Bright's senior season, as well as the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.