Josh Sweat picks Florida State (Updated)

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Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) defensive end Josh Sweat has selected Florida State. The 6’5″, 240-pound senior announced his decision this morning at a press conference at his high school. The plan is for him to graduate from Oscar Smith this month and enroll at Florida State next month.

A consensus 5-star recruit, Sweat is an Under Armour All-American. He chose the Seminoles over Virginia Tech, Georgia, Ohio State and Oregon.

The decision wasn’t an easy one for Sweat, who said that he was up until around 2 or 3 Wednesday morning thinking about the choice.

“It was rough,” Sweat said with a laugh.

Asked what ultimately led him to pick Florida State, Sweat said: “I just felt that relationship with the people there. They made me feel good about the whole thing. They are a winning program also, but my comfort comes first, before all that other stuff.”

FSU’s Jimbo Fisher was in Chesapeake yesterday morning to meet with the coveted recruit.

“He seems like a real lively guy that sticks behind his players and cares about his players,” Sweat said of Fisher. “That’s one of the guys you can really give your all for.”

It was the opinion of many that Sweat’s decision would come down to Florida State and Virginia Tech. The Tigers senior did not admit to having a final two — he said he did not really eliminate any of the five while thinking about his decision Tuesday night into Wednesday morning — but he did speak highly of the Tech coaches.

Sweat made an official visit to Blacksburg the weekend of the Virginia game, which is one of the times he met with head coach Frank Beamer. After that weekend, Bryan Stinespring, Torrian Gray, Bud Foster and Charley Wiles traveled to Chesapeake to meet with the Tigers star before today’s decision.

“I love all those guys. I just want to really thank them because they were excellent. They were excellent people. I would love to make everybody happy, but you just can’t. But they were excellent people and I like ’em a lot,” Sweat said of the Tech coaches.

Oscar Smith head coach Rich Morgan called Sweat a “great kid,” adding that “He has really gone about this the right way. He narrowed his list from about 70 schools to five in June, and he kept his word… he visited all five schools. He did exactly what he said he would do. In the end it just came down to where he felt most comfortable, and obviously Florida State was where he felt he was most comfortable. I think he struggled with the decision because I think they are all really good schools. The final five, they are the epitome of college football. I don’t think you can really go wrong, so it was those little points that separated one from the rest.”

With Sweat off the board, Virginia Tech will now have to look elsewhere to fill the need at defensive end. Good Counsel (Olney, MD) standout Darius Fullwood and Virginia Beach native Trevon Hill, the latter a 4-star recruit, have committed. Houshun Gaines, a product of Nash Central High School (Rocky Mount, N.C.), and Fork Union’s Yosuah Nijman are among the remaining possibilities. As is 4-star defensive end/linebacker Ricky DeBerry Jr., who is expected to announce his decision next Friday, December 19. Many feel DeBerry will leave the state, however.

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66 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “He seems like a real lively guy that sticks behind his players and cares about his players,”
    Plus the Tallahassee police

  2. Perhaps the “free” crab legs that F$U players are provided by the local community is what tipped Josh over to F$U. With JW on the way to the NFL, especially after the current rape investigation, I’m not sure F$U will be a powerhouse in the next years.

  3. Actually, I’m not too concerned about the Defense as I believe VT’s defense has been great for many years & will continue to do so. Of course it would have been better perhaps if all the 5* guys had signed but maybe not. VT’s defense is a system defense & not an individual star defense. I’m not worried about the defense at VT.

    I am still concerned about the Offense and more to the point the OL! That is what will make or break VT as a football program. I think we are headed in the right direction there now but we still have that gash in our side from such weak OL recruiting in the past. So if one were to step back for a minute & realize that most of the better lineman athletes play defense & not offense, then our guys moving from DL to OL will probably be better than a lot of the OL recruits we are seeking.

    I wish Josh Sweat the very best as it seems he is a great kid & football player. I also hope VT strengthens its OL & DL & beats FSU in the future. I truly like our chances of being very good in 2015 & 2016.

  4. Seems to me that the kids who sign with VT are the kids that commit early in the process. VT doesn’t do well with these kids that lengthen their recruiting process between umpteen schools, make all their visits and then pick in December to February between VT and whoever. Maybe I’m wrong, but kind of seems that way. If true, not sure what that means. I will say that, having seen what happened to Bryant, Bowden and Paterno during the end of their careers, negative recruiting against an older coach is a real factor.

  5. Hey, sucks to be a team that’s sitting at 6-6 and just happy to be in a bowl. But thats reality. Really hard to fault the guy for his decision even though I think he’d have a better shot at being a difference maker with the Hokies. if you’re just looking at pros and cons though, FSU was a no brainer.

    1. If you look at it that way, good talent is hard to hide and will go into the NFL, no matter the team. As adults we get it, However, if you are 17 and want what you read or hear about about at F$U then that is where you go, not Blacksburg Va. ( I don’t know but I can only imagine after reading about some of the escapades of JW at F$U ) Says a lot about perseption of a 17 year old, same holds true with Miami, 17 year old in Florida or SW Va… Also says a lot about the character of the “student athlete”.

    2. We are not getting what we are paying for in coaching. In the real world we would all lose our jobs with the results we are seeing. I guess tickets sales will continue to drop before anyone wakes up. A group hug only last so long, sooner than later results matter in selling a product whether it is college football or any product. Last place is for losers.

    1. Insanity is (and has been for awhile) the number of articles and headlines on this site devoted to this guy. I very much wish he had chosen VT, but he didn’t. I guess the next round of insanity will be the vast number of gloom and doom posts now that The Chosen chose someone else … as for me, I would much rather celebrate the ones who did choose VT. Rock on, Hokies!

      1. Celebrating the ones who did chose VT is exactly what the coaching staff had done up until 2012 in terms of recruiting. And look where it got us…

        I think what you should consider is not the fact that everyone is upset we didn’t GET this one guy, but that everyone is upset how we LOST this guy, following the same pattern as other VT-front-runner recruits.

        1. Agree. Don’t you think he was impressed that Jimbo Fisher showed up at his home while CFB stayed home (and I don’t want to hear that he was recouperating from surgery)? CFB is behind the times when it comes to recruiting kids today….a simple handshake on the field during game day is no longer is acceptable. These kids want visits, tweets, etc. I’m not a bit surprised that he chose FS; if the truth be known, he had his mind made up when he artended the UVA – Tech game when he left the game to go inside to get warm (someone I know overheard his girlfriend tell him that he wouldn’t have to deal with the cold in Florida). Yea, I’m tired of losing out on the 5 Star recruits, but unfortunately, I’m afraid that will continue until we get a new head coach that is an effective recruiter.

      1. Are you going to believe Sweat or the hundreds of anonymous posters with absolutely no knowledge of his decision process? C’mon dude.

  6. No big surprise here! I wish Josh the best for his career. I do think at a minimum CFB should announce a retirement season target and hopefully no more than 2. Hopefully Whit locks down Bud for at least a short term deal and I would support Bud as HC in waiting. Think I recall Bud has said when asked in the past he’d likely look to run an option QB if he was HC. Losing Bud and having CFB continue just doesn’t feel like recipe for success short or long term.

    I’m really hoping Hokies can regroup between now and Bowl game and give a payback to Bearcats for the incredibly painful last minute loss at FEDEX Field 2 years ago!
    Go Hokies!

    1. You need to read the article about the staffing change rumors that was posted a few days ago here on TSL. Quick points:
      1.) Powers that be at VT do not like the idea of a head-coach-in-waiting, so that’s unlikely to ever happen.
      2.) Bud is not a favorite for the HC job anyways
      3.) Whit is ready to do what it takes to retain Bud and pay him equitably to any offers he may have/get.

      4.) (This is my personal opinion) Bud likes his job and his home here in the NRV. Barring any horrible decision by Whit that would really annoy Bud (and I think that’s pretty certain to not happen), he’ll be content to stay on as one of the beset paid DC’s in the game and hopefully Frank’s replacement will keep him on since he’s established as one of the best in the game.

      5.) (Another personal opinion) As great as a DC we all agree that Bud is, I don’t think Bud is cut out for the HC job. The job changes drastically when you are HC. You are the public media figure for the entire program, which means more PR responsibilities, more community involvement, etc. It also means he’ll be farther removed from dictating the specifics of the defensive game plan. Sure, he could be a defensive-oriented HC and steer the defense in a general direction, but he wouldn’t have that same in-game involvement, scheming, and opportunity for mastery that he currently does. He would also be responsible for staying on top of the other facets of the game: special teams and offense. Does he want that responsibility? I don’t think so, but I only have a little bit of hearsay to go on. Finally, the point that I have heard is most prominent for why Whit won’t hire him as HC is recruiting. Being HC, in this day of college football, you have to be a “dynamic” recruiter, and apparently Bud doesn’t fit that bill. For our next HC, I definitely want him to be the epitome of a dynamic recruiter, because as today has shown us, we need every bit of recruiting power/mojo we can get to try and catch up (and STAY) amongst the power programs.

      1. Interesting comment about HC/Bud/Recruiting/Whit’s next guy/. Tommy Turberville is NOT a dynamic recruiter. Matter of fact, leaves it to his staff almost completely. Yet Whit hired him.

  7. VT will only get a 5* every 5-7 years or so… we will be in the running on a few, but most will go to the traditional powerhouses… sucks, but it is what it is. Without my maroon and orange glasses on, this is an easy decision to make. I am sure he had to weigh some VT love vs. FSU’s better football situation, and may have been a tough decision. Without my Hokie pride, I would probably do the same. Hopefully we get some other needs moving forward. Disappointed but not surprised. Go Hokies.

    1. Agree with JMZHokie comments, would add that (without knowing this kid’s background) sometimes it is easier to go into an undisciplined atmosphere where bad behavior is accepted with a “boys will be boys” and a slap on the wrist ,or going to the current National Championship team, even if it is a “winning at all costs” attitude. We can move on from this predictable choice.

  8. The TSL postmortem on this one should make for an interesting read. Or maybe it won’t since that article has already been written. This loss hurts regardless of how much others dry to spin it.

  9. Good Luck at FSU, Mr. Sweat. Considering recent history for student-athletes on and off campus, this could be a bigger life change than football
    I hope that this decision works well for you. Would I rather that you decided to go to Virginia Tech? Absolutely! This IS your choice.
    We all make choices in life. In the best situation, you considered all the consequences with your family and those who’s opinions you value. I am reminded of several situations with a similar theme: “Are you making wise decisions?” I have posed that question to 5 year-old grandsons, 20 something year-old Soldiers, and 50 year-old colleagues. In your case, we will know in 4-5 years.
    In the meantime, Mr. Sweat, Best Wishes to you and to your family. VT’70

    1. Your post doesn’t really come across like you really wish him “good luck”. It reads more like a warning of the doom and gloom the kid can expect at FSU. I’m sure he is the kind of kid that would be fine no matter where he goes. I just wish he had chosen us.

  10. If we had better coaches, he would have played for VT. Now he can go play with Nnadi. Nnadi looked pretty good in the GT FSU game.

    1. Better coaches? Or a better destination like to team that has won 30 games in a row and is playing for a second straight national title?

    1. It is actually only about an hour from Norfolk to Tallahassee on the FSU booster Learjet so this works out best for the family.

  11. I hope this is a slap in the face to Babcock and he wakes up. We need a new head coach, offensive OC and maybe DC. We need people that can close the deal. Foster is great but if he can’t or won’t recruit then get him out. Its obvious Beamer doesn’t care he choose throat surgery over a 5 star recruit. Its time for a change and that change is now. We don’t have any top recruits coming in that will make an immediate impact so changing the regime won’t matter. Get this guy out of here, he’s only about self preservation at this point and clearly not about the National Championship.

    1. Everybody needs to pick their panties off the floor. One recruit on defense is not gonna make or break a program. Even if he had committed to us there was no guarantee others would follow. We need to focus on our needs (Offensive line!!!!). Austin Clarke (OL #18 OT in the nation) SIGNED a letter of intent yesterday! And enrolling in January! Let’s get this Oline patched, get Trey Edmunds healthy, JC keep running like a scalded animal, WRs keep getting those Amazing catches, Bucky Hodges (no need to say anymore), Brewer’s balls of steel keep getting bigger, he keeps getting more accurate, let’s win our division meet FSU next year and hand them their first loss! We will bounce back. Then … We prove we can win with the talent we have (cause we do have some good talent). Then we’ll be able to close… Walk the walk not just talk the talk! Go Hokies!

      1. One recruit does not make a difference, but how about four? Dashawn Hand, Derrick Nnadi, Jalen Dalton, and Josh Sweat, three of whom were in-state, all of whom visited VT often, and all of whom VT was in VERY good position to land, until the end … until closing time.

        That’s a damn good defensive line, all of whom will be playing somewhere else.

        1. I agree but an elite D line doesn’t solve our current problem. Now if we are taking about an elite oline recruit we miss out on then I’m feeing miserable! What I’m trying to convey is while the pattern is concerning, the solution starts with results on the field and getting back to competing and winning on the field! The need is Oline and I’m exuberant that Austin Clarke will enroll in January. I argue he will have more of an immediate impact on our field success than Josh Sweat. Now we can’t stop there! We got thee decent Oline commits other than Clarke, let’s get two more because that’s where we need bodies!

      2. Oh and on the topic of Bud Foster. My iy want to get rid of Bud Foster? Ha! He’s been the only constant in this rollercoaster ride! Yes the D has given up big plays this year but if you do your due diligence (research) you will note that our D is elite! So getting rid of Foster during this downturn on offense is the last thing you would want to do!

        1. I probably know the team better than you. The D is not elite, its good. It has won us many games, and it has helped us loss a few too. Now, as I will state a reason since you asked. Bud doesn’t recruit. He only goes out when forced to. He doesn’t like technology which, hmmm, just happens to be what all the kids are into. My wife tweets, kids do, I don’t even know how. We need coaches that can relate, get to their level make them understand and get the most out of them. We aren’t getting that effort now. The defense has always allowed big plays its part of football, game of give and take. I played, I understand it. You watch and probably have no clue, its just a team and you support it. Keep drinking the Beameraid.

      3. YOu are a big man to tell someone to pick up their panties over the internet. The Hokies do a lot of talking but can’t walk to back it up, so a new staff is needed. There maybe some youth on this team but it didn’t progress over the season. So what you had at the end of the year is what you will have over the next few. Look at Cinni, they have youth and injuries (just like the Hokies) but they showed improvement. 6-6 is not winning its breaking even. A coach getting excited over a 0-0 tie going into overtime against a losing team is terrible. All reasons recruits go to other teams out of state. You should get off the Beamer Koolaide and wake up, or stop wearing panties. Flint Hill VA 22627

        1. You make a valid point when addressing Cincys similarities to VTs in youth and injuries. I’m not discounting that fact. But I was trying, in my head, to think of solutions. Firing Beamer is not gonna happen because (for multiple reasons: he himself is a supporter of the program, just signed an extension which may or may not have an escape clause in it) and getting a new OC will just cause more havoc unless we redo the whole offensive staff. So I don’t envy Babcock but I believe he will give this staff one more year and if similar results occur then I believe he will pull out all the stops. And in terms of the panty comment it’s a figure of speech: I didn’t see the value in wasting my time and money to fly to tell someone in person to pick up their panties.

          Fort Myers, FL 33901

          1. Your panties comment is insulting. You don’t know me or what I have done for this country. I made a comment about the situation and what I believe should be done and YOU went and made it about me.
            To your comment about the one Oline man that we signed, he will probably not get anyfurther than the two deep roster. He will not be an immediate impact player. Defense is a simple plan on the Dline. You have 3 places to line up, inside, head up or outside. DE sometimes end up in coverage, rarely in Buds defense. You thought process is onesided. It should be bring the big name recruit so the others will follow. Let me give you a saying “Build it and they will come”. Beamer built the program and players came, went and at this point have stopped coming. Why? The staff can’t win the big games. We need new life, new blood and new energy. I respect Beamer for what he did, but he shouldn’t let this become a Bowden, Mac Brown or Petrino type of ending. 6-6 and hopefully a bowl win and walk away.

          2. I agree that we need change, I just don’t see it happening until next year. In terms of the panties comment I’m sorry if I insulted you, it wasn’t meant to be personal but you interpreted that way. You also don’t know me, how close I am to this program and my laurels, education etc… Because none of that makes a difference in this discussion.

    2. I agree wholeheartedly. Now I heard we’re paying Foster 1.369 million a year – wow!!! Our defense lost at least 4 games this year. East Carolina – 1st quarter and the last drive of the game. The Georgia Tech game – let’s remember the 4th and 16 that they made as they drove down for a tying TD. Miami – 276 yards for Duke Johnson – shall I say more. And the BC game – I was there to witness their qb run through us like a hot knife through butter at the end. Should this guy get over 1 million. I don’t think so. Beamer also is in declining mode. We need new blood.

  12. In the end, we just can’t compete with FSU, AL, Clemson, etc. with recruits. They get the cake, we get the crumbs.

      1. This has to be considered a low point in history of VT Football. Can’t remember being more deflated about the status and reality of VT’s football program. But, it was a good ride, but the emphasis unfortunately has to be on “was”.

    1. And VT will never be prominent again until after cfb retires. He wants to coach all the young players on the team now but can’t maximize their potential. It just becomes selfish when he and everyone else knows that, but he still presses forward because he can (and knows he will be allowed to, without regard to program or fans).

      1. Yup, he wants to coach the young ones, but unfort he also coached and recruited the “old” ones that we currently have. Who was the last VT player that actually progressed over the years instead of regressing?

  13. (sigh) We have two great recruits coming in at TE, and still have players on the board who are needed. Best of luck to Josh when do we play FSU over the next 3 years?

    1. Your comment really says it all. It feels like no matter how many good vibes or good quotes or good visits we get from top flight players, in the end, VT seemingly always comes up empty handed.

      If you don’t county Kendall Fuller (since he was basically a lock to come here), is Tyrod the only 5 star to come to Tech in the past 10 or 15 year?

      1. I would also count Macho Harris and Marcus Vick as the other 5 star players. However I would argue to your point that Fuller and Vick were near locks. Harris, I am not sure we would get now. I would also argue that despite what our recruiting class rankings say we have gotten worse. We are struggling with top players in-state but making up some grounds with the out of state players.

        1. Fuller IIRC was not a lock. He was seriously considering doing something different than his brothers and going to Clemson; there was real worry he would not be at VT.

      2. Was Kevin Jones a 5*? I thought he was something like a Top 10 overall recruit. Not many any way you look at it.

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