Florida State men's basketball's 2021 recruiting class got a major boost on Tuesday, earning the commitment of four-star shooting guard Matthew Cleveland of Atlanta. Prior to Cleveland's commitment, FSU's class consisted solely of fellow blue-chip SG Bryce McGowens, and it was ranked No. 25 in the country and No. 4 in the ACC. Not bad. The Seminoles' class of Cleveland and McGowens is now the nation's No. 5 class, behind only Baylor, USC, Louisville, and Michigan. That's what commitments from two of the top six players at a position will do.
Some context: Florida State's 2020 class, comprised of five-star Scottie Barnes, the highest ranked commit in program history, and three-stars Sardaar Calhoun and Quincy Ballard, ranked 43rd, nationally, and ninth in the conference.
Leonard Hamilton is truly recruiting at an elite level-- and to wit, the 'Noles had to beat out some top-tier programs to secure Cleveland's services. In the attached video, he addresses his loyalty to FSU when North Carolina and Kentucky came calling, as well as a top five that included Kansas, Michigan, Stanford, and NC State.
Cleveland touches on even more in this exclusive interview with Jason Jordan, our Director of Basketball Recruiting. As we've heard from other Seminoles, the family atmosphere Hamilton has cultivated at Florida State played a big part in Cleveland's commitment, as did the 'Noles being in so early on his recruitment.
Now that he's an FSU commit, Cleveland is taking on another role as well: that of recruiter. He speaks about how McGowens and he are after another blue-chipper in Ryan Mutombo. Yes, of that Mutombo family.
When asked about his role with the 'Noles, Cleveland begins with defense; yeah, he's gonna fit in just fine with Hamilton's philosophy.