November 11, 2016 - by
Poole Announces Five Signees for 2021 Class
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State volleyball head coach Chris Poole announced on Friday that the Seminoles received five National Letter of Intent commitments from Mariah Brim, Adrian Ell, Tiana Jackson, Taryn Knuth and Deja Williams.
“I have been fortunate in my 34-year career to have had amazing players and strong recruiting classes,” said Poole. “I would rank this class among the top three I’ve ever recruited to any school when taking into consideration the overall talent and depth. The most exciting part is that while they possess the talent already they also have a tremendous upside for improvement in their games.”
Poole Announces Five Signees for 2021 Class
Brim, at 6-6, will provide the Seminoles depth at the right side position after winning two varsity letters at Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kansas. She capped off her varsity career with 349 kills (1.75 kills/set) and 136 total blocks (79 solo blocks) in 199 sets.
Brim’s best offensive season came as a senior where she came through with 215 kills (2.04 kills/set) and a .289 hitting percentage. She had at least seven kills in nine matches, topping the double-digit mark on three occasions including a career-high 12 kills on 17 attempts (.647 attack percentage) against Olathe East.
On defense Brim had at least four total blocks on 11 occasions, recording a career-high seven total blocks in a win over Garner-Edgerton. She closed the match with three solo blocks, one of 14 occasions that Brim enjoyed multiple solo blocks. Her career-high in solo blocks (five) came as Aquinas completed a sweep of Villa Duchesne on Oct. 15.
Brim competed on the Club Volleyball circuit for the Performance Volleyball Academy under head coach Christi Lutman. This high level program, which placed third at the national competition, will have Brim competing on their top 18 team this coming spring.

Brim on coming to Florida State: “I am excited about FSU because of the community and athletic support.  I’m also excited to have a new family for the next four years and represent the university as a Seminole.”

Coach Poole’s analysis of Brim:
“Mariah is new to high level volleyball compared to some players.  However, we are very excited about having an athletic long 6’6″ player in the gym and her potential is off the charts. It really wasn’t until late in her sophomore year of high school that she realized how strong she could be in volleyball. Her commitment has been outstanding and we believe she will be an impact player in the future. She has played every position on the front row and we are excited to see how much she will improve as she continues to surround herself with other great players.”
Poole Announces Five Signees for 2021 Class
Ell, a 6-2 setter from Cincinnati, Ohio, capped off her two-year varsity career with 598 kills (3.64 kills/set), 557 assists (3.40 assists/set), 438 digs, 122 total blocks (77 solo blocks) and 83 service aces.
Earlier this month Ell was recognized as an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Third Team High School All-American after finishing her senior campaign with 268 assists (3.08 assists/set), 257 digs (2.95 digs/set), 205 kills (2.36 kills/set), 61 total blocks (16 solo) and 50 service aces (0.60 service aces/set).
Ell’s senior season included 13 double-double performances as she grabbed First Team All-League, All-City and All-District honors for Archbishop McNicholas High School. She topped the 20-kill mark on five occasions, including a season-high 29 as the Rockets downed Ryle on Oct. 13. Ell’s best dig performance (21) of the season came in five sets against Roger Bacon on Sept. 12.
An inspirational figure for her team after returning to the court from a battle with cancer, Ell was a Wendy’s High School Heisman Nominee. A recipient of the Ohio Valley Volleyball Officials Association Award, Ell received Most Valuable Player honors at a team, district and league level. She drew Second Team All-Ohio honors and was named as an All-Star for the District and Ohio state playoff matches.
Ell also made an impact on the Club Volleyball circuit for her NKYVC squad, which captured the USAV 17 National Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana in the summer 2016. Ell remained active this summer by participating in the USA High Performance A2 Las Vegas Camp. She was named to the AVCA Phenom List in both her sophomore and junior seasons while garnering prepvolleyball.com’s sophomore 79 honorable mention and No. 64 ranking as a senior ace.

Ell on coming to Florida State:
“I chose Florida State because of the academic strength as well as the winning tradition established in the athletic department.”

Coach Poole’s analysis of Ell:
“Adrian has been a setter/hitter throughout high school and club volleyball. She is equally as strong in either position at a high level, but her focus will be primarily as a setter for us. Adrian had to miss volleyball her junior year in high school while battling cancer, but is cancer free and has become one of the most respected young ladies in the country with her courage and determination. She is a natural leader on the court and loves to compete at the highest level.”
Poole Announces Five Signees for 2021 Class
Jackson, a 6-2 middle blocker from O’Fallon, Missouri, is a three-sport athlete that also competed in basketball as well as track and field. In her only season at Fort Zumwalt North High School she recorded 140 kills, 33 digs and 30 total blocks (24 solo blocks). Jackson played her first three years at Kansas City Metro High School, however she transferred to Fort Zumwalt North to complete her diploma this fall in order to attend Florida State in spring 2017.
Jackson reached double figure kills on four occasions over the course of  her senior season, recording a season-high 12 as she posted a .500 hitting percentage against Holt (Sept. 20). Defensively she had nine multi-block performances including a pair of four-block outings against Holt (Aug. 25) and Timberland (Oct. 6).

Ranked as the No. 87 Senior Ace by prepvolleyball.com for the class of 2017, Jackson earned First Team All-Conference in 2016 for the Gateway Athletic Conference. That award was preceded by First Team All-Tournament honors at the 2016 Presidents Day Tournament and tournament MVP recognition at the 2016 Alton Tournament while competing on the Club Volleyball circuit for Team Momentum.


Jackson on coming to Florida State:
“I chose Florida State because becoming a Seminole means that I am going to have to work, surrounded by people who are going to push me hard to excel. Whether that be on the court or in the classroom. It is going to be a challenge, and that’s what I want because nothing worth having comes easy.”

Coach Poole’s analysis of Jackson:
“Tiana is an amazing athlete.  There are several sports that she could have turned her focus to in high school, but we are lucky that she chose volleyball.  She has tremendous upside and has made the decision to graduate early and attend FSU this spring. Tiana can hit and block out of any position, but will work primarily as a middle and right side attacker her first year.  Because of her hang time, she is a great blocker and takes a lot of pride in shutting down the opponents’ offense.”
Poole Announces Five Signees for 2021 Class
Knuth, the ninth-ranked senior ace by prepvolleyball.com and an AVCA First Team High School All-American honoree in 2016, is a four-year varsity letter winner from Johnston, Iowa. The three-time state qualifier and starting middle blocker for the USA Junior National Team ended her prep career with 927 kills (2.51 kills/set), 516 digs (1.40 digs/set), 308 blocks (187 assisted blocks) and 97 aces.
A preseason selection to the MaxPreps All-American and American Family Insurance All-USA teams, Knuth recorded seven double-digit kill performances in her senior season. She also tallied at least five blocks on five occasions for her Johnston High School team, registering a season-high nine (six solo) in a clash with Ankeny Centennial.
Among her numerous accolades as a senior included First Team All-Conference, Des Moines Register Player of the Year and Des Moines Register Elite All-Conference. On the club circuit, while playing for Iowa Power Volleyball Alliance, Knuth was named Third Team All-American (17U) by prepvolleyball.com.
Knuth’s best statistical season came as a junior where she tallied 375 kills (3.41 kills/set), 295 digs (2.68 digs/set) and 105 blocks (50 solo) as a junior. It resulted in her earning First Team All-Conference, Class 5A All-District, Des Moines Register Elite All-Conference Second Team, Des Moines Register All-Iowa Elite Honorable Mention and Second Team All-State.

Knuth was also a four-year letterwinner in basketball and has twice qualified for the Iowa state tournament. Recognized as the 2015-16 Class 5A Player of the Year, Knuth was responsible for guiding her team to its first state championship title in 82 years where she earned MVP honors.


Knuth on coming to Florida State:
“I chose Florida State because I felt a good connection with the coaching staff and team yet I knew I would be challenged as well. Florida State will be like a second family to me which is valuable since I am going so far away from home.”

Coach Poole’s analysis of Knuth:
“Taryn is one of the most complete players in the nation. She typically plays full rotation as a middle and serve receives and plays defense on the back row. She could literally play any position as a hitter, but will make an immediate impact in the middle with us graduating two senior middle blockers. Taryn is accustomed to competing at a high level in different sports and has proven that she can handle pressure as the go to player.”
Poole Announces Five Signees for 2021 Class
Williams, a 6-2 middle blocker from Peachtree Ridge High School, will provide the Seminoles lineup with depth and athleticism. Over a two-year span, between 2014 and 2015, she tallied 292 kills (2.02 kills/set), 140 total blocks (108 solo blocks), 62 digs and 46 aces.
The Suwanee, Georgia native recorded five double-digit kill performances as a junior, highlighted by a season-high 13 kills in a four-set win over Lee County where she finished with a .765 hitting percentage. Williams also contributed at least four blocks on 14 occasions, recording a season-six total blocks in four matches.
Williams, who was a member of the US Women’s Junior National Training Team, was twice named to the All-Gwinnett County Second Team (2013, 2015) and First Team (2014) during her career.
Ranked 45th by prepvolleyball.com in the class of 2017, Williams spent the fall 2016 working with her A5 Club coaches (Jing Hou and Gabe Aramian) to improve her individual skills. This came after a spring on the club circuit where she was named to the 2016 JVA All-National Team.
In 2015, while with the A5 Club team, Williams was selected to the Dream Team at the Triple Crown NIT Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Williams on coming to Florida State:
“I chose FSU because I look good in Garnet and Gold. It also helps that the program and coaches are amazing as well.”

Coach Poole’s analysis of Williams:
“Deja has been one of the best athletes in her class since a young age. She plays for one of the top club programs in the nation (A5 in Atlanta, Ga.) and we have been very fortunate to attract great players from that club. Deja has great instincts on the court and will compete immediately at the net in one of our hitting positions. She is most comfortable in the middle, but also runs slides well on the right side. We will count on her years of experience to compete immediately.”
“Overall, this class has a great balance of skill and athleticism,” added Poole. “Our entire staff worked hard on this class, but in particular Associate Head Coach Jeff Hulsmeyer’s recruiting contacts in the Midwest were instrumental in securing them for a campus visit. We feel strongly that if we can get a recruit and their family on campus that we have a really great shot with what we have to offer. The future looks bright for Florida State volleyball.”
For more information visit Facebook (Florida State Seminoles Volleyball), Twitter (FSU_Volleyball) and Instagram (FSUvolleyball).
Related Articles