Florida State will be hosting Justin Bright, Philip Lutzenkirchen, Olivier Vernon and Jon Bostic on official visits this weekend, along with several unofficial visitors who are making the trip for the game. NoleDigest caught up a few of these recruits to get their thoughts on the upcoming visit, and to see what they're expecting from the visit.
The status of Olivier Vernon's commitment has been a topic of discussion for some time. Since his summer commitment to the hometown Miami Hurricanes Vernon has let it be known that he planned on taking official visits before a final decision is made. This weekend he'll be making his first as he'll be in Tallahassee to check out what the Seminoles have to offer.
"I decided to take the visit this weekend because we have a bye week this week," said Vernon. "I've been talking to the coaches at FSU as much as possible leading up to the visit, and they told me they're going to try to make as much time for me as possible while I'm there."
This season hasn't been going too well for Vernon and his American Senior squad. Olivier hurt his ankle earlier in the year, and he's been unable to come back from the injury yet. He told NoleDigest that it's looking likely that he'll miss the rest of his senior season.
"I'm not back yet from the ankle injury," explained Vernon. "I'm still rehabbing it because I still feel pain when I cut and plant on it. It's pretty disappointing; no one wants their senior year to go like this. It is tough watching my team play because we're struggling at 2-7. I feel like I could have helped them and helped win some more games."
Vernon had a great time at FSU over the summer when he made a visit for the Seminole Showtime Camp. After that visit he said he couldn't wait for his official visit. According to Olivier nothing has changed with that.
"I'm not sure what to expect from this visit," said Vernon, "but I know it's going to be a good time. I want to see what FSU is all about. I want to see the gameday atmosphere, and I want to get a chance to talk to the players more. I think Nick Moody is going to be my host, which is cool because we connected over the summer."
Coach Amato from FSU has been the primary recruiter for Vernon, but as he tells NoleDigest that has begun to change as the staff has started turning up the pressure in the way they are recruiting him. If the visit goes well, the Hurricane staff may have some major competition on its hands.
"Coach Amato has been the main one recruiting me," stated Vernon. "I have been talking to all of the defensive coaches, though, lately. They are all saying the same thing about how they want me get up there so they can show me what they have to offer me."
"If the visit goes well," continued Vernon, "it's going to give me a lot to think about in terms of my commitment. They just have to offer a better package then what Miami does. But if it goes well, things may change."
Vernon says that all of the schools he is considering, Miami, FSU, Pittsburgh and Alabama, all know that he still intends to enroll in January. He plans on following up his visit to FSU with a visit to Pitt on November 28th, Alabama on December 5th and Miami on December 12th.
One of the hottest names in the recruiting circles has been 3-star safety Justin Bright. One of the reasons for the increased interest in the Seminole commitment has been how his senior year has unfolded; he has 70 tackles, 2 sacks ,3 TFLs, 2 hurries, 1 FF, 10 pass breakups and 3 INTs which 1 was returned for a TD. Even though several schools have started recruiting Bright he has remained firm in his commitment to Florida State. This weekend he's taking the official visit he's long been anticipating.
"Man I am excited about this visit," said Bright. "I get a chance to see everything that happens there on gameday and I get to see Tallahassee when it's live. I've never been to a game there but I am sure it's going to be crazy. The biggest game I've ever been to was when FSU came to Clemson during Peter Warrick's senior year. I think, though, seeing the people doing the chop and singing the Warchant is going to be awesome."
The budding relationship between FSU and Byrnes High has been documented in much detail over the past few seasons. This weekend several Rebel players will be in town for the game. That factor is something that Bright feels will make the visit even better.
"Everett (Dawkins) is going to be my host," stated Bright, "and that is something I am excited about. I've only seen him once since he left when he came home for the game after they had the Thursday game against N.C. State. He has plans already set up so I plan on trying to get some of the other guys like Marcus Lattimore, Corey Miller, Nick Jones and Brandon Willis involved too. I'm going to show them the things I liked about it when I came down over the summer. Brandon is familiar with it because he came down for the camp, and he's also been to a game so he knows what to expect."
Besides checking out the atmosphere in Tallahassee during a home game Justin wants to talk to Coach Andrews to see what his plans are for the future.
"I want to get a chance to talk to some of the other players and recruits so I can start building relationships with them," said Bright. "I've talked to Coach Carter about the visit, and I've started talking to Coach Haggins more because he took over my area. When I'm there I want to talk to Coach Andrews and ask him about his future. I've heard a lot about him leaving when Coach Bowden does. It's not going to play a factor in my decision but I just want to know and be aware of what to expect and what's to come. It's tough going through coaching changes but I know the rep FSU has so they'll get another big-time guy to come in."
There is one final thing Justin hopes to see when he's in town for the weekend....that being a nice, solid win over the Tigers.
"Besides seeing everything else one thing I want to see id FSU play a good game, have a solid win and get back atop the ACC after that crazy loss last weekend," explained Bright.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest for follow-ups with each of these visitors, as well as the rest of the recruits making visits after the game this weekend.