February 8, 2019 - by
Coaches Talk #Tribe19: Defense & Special Teams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – They’re “throwbacks.” They’re “violent.” They’ll “flat out smack you.”

They’re the kind of guys that you think of “when you think of Florida State defense.”

Altogether, they’re the 12 signees that make up Florida State’s defensive and special teams class of 2019. Here’s what defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett and the rest of FSU’s assistant coaches had to say about each one:

(View part one, offense, here.)

DE Quashon Fuller; 6-2, 281; Cape Coral, Fla.

FSU defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins on Fuller: “Quashon Fuller has been committed for three years to Florida State University. He can bend the corner like a linebacker. He’s a kid who is very powerful.

“The kid has been rock solid. … Kids that want to be at Florida State, that’s what we want. That’s how you win championships. With Quashon, you see him striking blockers. He can run. I remember, we had a summer camp. He was bending the corner and Coach Taggart said ‘Damn, that big old joker can bend the corner.’ And Quashon can.”

DB Brendan Gant; 6-1, 193; Lakeland, Fla.

FSU running backs coach Donte’ Pimpleton on Gant: “I’ve known him for a long time, since he was a freshman in high school. We go way back. He’s a tremendous player, tremendous athlete. Big-time player. Physical player, as you can see. I mean he can move around, play safety, corner. Played quarterback in high school. He can do it all. (He’s) the type of guy, when you think of Florida State defense, he’s the kind of guy you’re used to seeing.”

DB Travis Jay; 6-2, 176; Greenville, Fla.

FSU offensive coordinator Kendal Briles on Jay: “This is a big-time athlete right here, now. He’s played a lot of positions. From right down the road in Greenville. Played quarterback, played corner, played safety. This is a big-time football player. Had really every offer in the country. … He’s got great ball skills. His family is tremendous. This is a guy that had a lot of people beating down his door late, and he stuck with us.”

DB Jarvis Brownlee; 5-11, 175; Miami Gardens, Fla.

FSU receivers coach Ron Dugans on Brownlee: “Has a lot of confidence, man. The first time I saw the kid he tried to line up against me. I told him he’s got no chance. The defensive staff and Coach Taggart have done a great job (recruiting him). …

“He got to Tallahassee and he fell in love. Felt like this was home. He’s going to be a big-time player. Got a long wingspan. One of the top defensive backs in the country.”

LB Kalen DeLoach; 6-0, 206; Savannah, Ga.

FSU linebackers coach Raymond Woodie on DeLoach: He can play outside, he can play inside. He can play all three. He was sought-after by a lot of schools. He can flat out play. He’s smart. He plays fast. He’s strong and he’s aggressive. He can do a lot of things for us. He can play in the box, he can play out of the box. Man-to-man coverage, zone coverage, he has all the tools to be a great one. He’s going to come in and compete for a starting position.”

DB Akeem Dent; 6-1, 170; Pahokee, Fla.

FSU defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett on Dent: “Great football player, great instincts. He will knock your head off and he plays hard. He’s just a phenomenal football player. He’s been committed to Florida State since July 2017. So he’s a true Nole.”

DE Curtis Fann Jr.; 6-1, 252; Stillmore, Ga.

FSU defensive ends coach Mark Snyder on Fann: “The staff did a great job with him. Any of you guys that follow Curtis (on social media know) he was our greatest recruiter through this whole process. He’s a great leader and he’s going to be good for our football team. It goes back to this class as a whole. This kid’s got heavy hands and he’ll be a really good boundary defensive end for us.”

LB Kevon Glenn: 6-1, 220; Hampton, Ga.

Woodie on Glenn: “I call him a throwback. If you look at his stars, he doesn’t have a lot of stars. But he can flat out play. He’s another individual that’s going to come in and compete. He will flat out smack you. He throws his body around. Change of direction is unbelievable. He’s a 3.3 GPA guy. These guys, especially this group, you’re not going to have to worry about chasing them to class. They’re student-athletes and have great character.”

DB Renardo Green; 6-0, 173; Apopka, Fla.

Barnett on Green: Renardo Green is a fabulous football player. Coach Taggart and Coach Woodie saw him at a camp last year and they were like, ‘Whoa, this guy can play. He can move around.’ I ended up seeing him at camp and I was like, ‘Yeah, this is a dude right here. We want this dude right here.’ When I spoke with him for the first time, he said ‘Coach, I love Florida State. You guys offer me, I’ll commit on the spot.’ And that’s what he did.”

DE Derrick McLendon II; 6-3, 233; Decatur, Ga.

FSU assistant David Kelly on McLendon: “He hails from a high school program that I recruited a long time ago, and that’s the Tucker High School program in Atlanta, Ga., area. It’s one of the powerhouse programs. They always produce tough, physical football players that, as I said, love the game. Kids who come out of this program, they love the game. He understands what it takes to be successful.”

LB Jaleel McRae: 6-2, 236; New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

Woodie on McRae: The good thing about him, he’s already on campus. He graduated mid-year, so he’s going to add depth to our linebacker corps. The group is going to get stronger and stronger. He’s a really good football player. One thing Coach Taggart says all the time – if you have the student part, the character part and the athletic part, you can be a Seminole. And this kid has all three.”

DL Malcom Ray; 6-2, 247, Miami Gardens, Fla.

FSU tight ends coach Telly Lockette on Ray: Me and ‘Coach Tagg,’ we were in Miami watching another student-athlete. And this kid had the amazing juice. He was running up and down. He was tackling. He was doing some amazing things. And Coach was like, ‘Who is that? Why are we not recruiting him?’ So I looked back and looked at my notes and jotted it down, and got back to Tallahassee and I got on the kid and got him up here. … The kid was committed to another university and he fell in love with Florida State.

“He’s violent. He loves football. He doesn’t just like it. And you can tell by the way he plays he’s passionate about it. he’s the Miami defensive player of the year down in Dade County. He’s going to bring some depth to what we already have on the defensive side of the ball.”

DT Tru Thompson; 6-0, 324; Loganville, Ga.

Haggins on Thompson: “I watched this kid come in from the eighth grade to the ninth grade to our camp and beat seniors that went to Miami, that went to Alabama. This kid is a heck of a football player. He’s going to make us happy. He’s a great kid, plays hard … He’s a great student also.”

DB Raymond Woodie III; 6-0, 191; Tallahassee, Fla.

Kelly on Woodie: “This young man’s mom has done a tremendous job in raising him (laughter). But Raymond Woodie III, a young man of the highest character. …Smart, intelligent football player. Very physical. Going to be an outstanding football player in our program. And the only reason we got him is we promised him his dad would not coach him.”

PK Ryan Fitzgerald; 6-0, 185; Coolidge, Ga.

Snyder on Fitzgerald: “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a coach ever – and I’ve been doing this for a while now – say that they had to game plan against (a kicker). Once the ball gets across the 50, you’ve got a chance for three points. His laundry list of awards is about as long as he can kick the ball. He had 98 touchbacks. He won’t tell anybody, but he’s a pretty dadgum good punter.

“He’s our kicker for the future. And he may be – he may be – our kicker here real soon, we’ll see. He’s that good.”

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