Less than a month removed from a season that seemingly pushed the ACC to the top of the Power 5 pecking order, the top uncommitted recruit in the country announced that he's going to play for one of the conference's best teams. Five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson revealed in a televised ceremony on National Signing Day that he will join Florida State.
Wilson drew scholarship offers from more than 20 programs, but he narrowed his list to five finalists in late December: Oklahoma, LSU, Florida State, Ohio State and South Florida. The Tigers and Seminoles were viewed as the two favorites for the Episcopal (Texas) High product entering National Signing Day. Ultimately, Wilson went the program that should begin the 2017 season amid a wave of national title hype.
Wilson’s decision is in keeping with the outflow of elite talent in the class of 2017 from Texas. Only two of the top 11 prospects (five-star linebacker Anthony Hines to Texas A&M and four-star center Jack Anderson to Texas Tech) in the state in this recruiting cycle chose programs located within its borders. Earlier on Wednesday, another one of Texas's most highly touted defensive lineman, North Shore Senior High five-star K'Lavon Chaisson, picked LSU over Texas.
A hulking, powerful presence in the trenches, Wilson should excel at stuffing the run and rushing the passer. Scout.com rates the 6’4", 329-pounder as the nation’s top defensive tackle and No. 10 prospect overall. He’s the most highly regarded of a trio of players at his position to announce their decisions on signing day: Lee County (Ga.) High’s Aubrey Solomon, the No. 2 DT in the country, picked Michigan and Bingham (Utah) High’s Jay Tufele, the No. 3 DT in the country, picked USC earlier on Wednesday.
Just last season, a highly coveted defensive tackle from the Houston area, Ed Oliver, laid waste to American Athletic Conference offensive linemen as a true freshmen, earning All-America honors from Sports Illustratedand drawing late Heisman Trophy buzz while starring at the University of Houston. Wilson’s immediate impact may not be quite as big, but at the very least he should provide quality depth for the Seminoles while acclimating to a higher level of competition.
Wilson will bolster a defensive line rotation that should rank among the ACC's best despite losing first-team all-conference member DeMarcus Walker to the NFL. The Seminoles bring back tackles Derrick Nnadi and Demarcus Christmas as well as ends Josh Sweat and Brian Burns. Plus, they're signing one of the nation's top pass rushers, IMG Academy (Fla.) five-star Joshua Kaindoh. The combination of experienced contributors and freshman talent will give Florida State a deep and talented front.
While the addition of Wilson is the biggest story of the day for the Seminoles, they scored another significant recruiting win earlier on Wednesday in Brookwood (Ga.) High four-star linebacker Leonard Warner.
Here is Scout.com’s complete scouting report on Wilson:
Wilson is a massive defensive line prospect who dominates at the point of attack. Possesses the strength and power to overwhelm most opponents at the high school level. Tall, long-armed, thick-trunked. Consistently gets off blocks to make plays vs. run and as a pass-rusher. Powerful bull-rusher, sometimes even when doubled. Explosion off the ball looked noticeably better on junior tape compared to sophomore film. Pursues well for such a large interior defender. Potentially scheme-versatile as even-front 3-technique DT and multi-position prospect in odd front. Can play a bit too high at times because of his height. While pursuit ability is impressive, can sometimes (understandably) get off-balance laterally. Must be ready to acclimate to a significant jump in competition going from private school football in Texas (a state ruled by public schools) to Power 5 college level. Overall, one of the top prospects in Texas—and the nation—in the 2017 cycle.