Florida State’s coaching staff is all about building and nurturing relationships. That has allowed the Seminoles to establish footholds at multiple high schools in their recruiting regions.
After signing four-star offensive tackle Lucas Simmons as a member of its class of 2023, FSU is once again kicking the tires with a pair of foreign-born Clearwater Academy International recruits.
READ MORE: No. 1 TE Landen Thomas recaps Junior Day surprise visit to Florida state
Four-star offensive lineman Jason Zandamela has been a target since he received an offer more than a year ago. Hot safety Isaiah Thomas recently joined the board after the Seminoles extended a scholarship earlier this month. Both prospects joined a group of CAI players who were in Tallahassee to tour the campus and meet with staff at Junior Day.
One of the first programs to join the Zandamela draft, the Seminoles have shown they believed in him from the start.
“It means a lot,” Zandamela told NoleGameday’s Dustin Lewis. “The fact that they offered so early means that they really believed in me and my potential as an athlete and player.”
“I have a very good feeling about this place,” Zandamela continued. “I couldn’t tell you more.”
Over the past year, Zandamela has been to the state of Florida on four separate occasions. Those trips included multiple Junior Days appearances and an unofficial visit where he watched the Seminoles lose to Clemson inside Doak Campbell Stadium. He gets a ‘special feeling’ every time he’s on campus.
“It’s the same feeling I felt the first time I was here,” Zandamela said. “I don’t know, just a special feeling that I get every time I’m here, like I really belong here.”
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The Seminoles are drafting Zandamela as an interior offensive lineman, likely center. The coaching staff have shown that they care about him on and off the field.
“100%. I’ve been talking to Atkins about this, I’m being recruited by a bunch of other schools and I don’t think any other school would care as much about me as a person than Florida State,” Zandamela said. “They care about you as much as a football player as they would care about you as a person, like your mental health and all that, and I’ve really appreciated it ever since.”
Before concluding his visit, he sat down with head coach Mike Norvell for a meeting in his office. Norvell reiterated some of the same themes that Coach Atkins went into detail about and made it clear why Florida State is taking him over other recruits.
“He just talked about what Coach Atkins basically talked about today,” Zandamela said. “Why does he want me to come on the show, why did they offer me so early, why does he choose me out of everyone.”
Zandamela is originally from Africa and grew up playing Rugby. She has only been playing soccer for about two years and has great potential that has yet to be tapped.
As of now, he’s not sure when he’ll announce a decision, but he plans to talk to his father in the near future about what’s next for him.
The 6-foot-3, 285-pound offensive lineman is considered the No. 142 overall prospect, No. 8 IOL and No. 25 recruit at Florida State in the class of 2024 according to 247Sports.
READ MORE: Seminoles stand out for four-star WR TJ Abrams after two days on campus
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