The past two weekends have given Florida State's staff a chance to get a number of recruits on campus that they recently offered. That's exactly the case with 2023 linebacker Caleb LaVallee, who picked up a scholarship from the Seminoles on January 5 and took an unofficial visit on Saturday.
LaVallee visited Florida State in the fall for the North Carolina State game but this trip gave him an opportunity to spend more time with the coaching staff.
“It was awesome," LaVallee said. "I came down here last November for the NC State game but I had a great time, I got a lot of questions answered, and had a great time with my family.”
What were the questions that he wanted to be answered? And did he get what he was looking for?
“Is this a place that I could truly see myself being at and thriving at? And the answer is yes after spending all of that time with the coaching staff and coach Norvell and coach Shannon.”
One of the reasons that the Seminoles are in the door of LaVallee's recruitment is due to his relationship with Director of Player Relations Kenyatta Watson. He's known Watson for a long time. Lately, he's also gotten to learn more about head coach Mike Norvell and linebacker's coach Randy Shannon.
“I’ve talked to coach Shannon a lot, he likes me at any of the linebacker positions," LaVallee said. "He loves me, we talk about every other day. Coach Kenyatta Watson has been on me for a while too. I’ve known him for a while.”
“I actually got to sit down and talk to him [Shannon] and he went over my film with me," LaVallee continued. "He showed me little things and areas where I can improve. It made me take a step back and think that I can have this every day. So that’s a big factor.”
Along with Shannon, LaVallee had a meeting with Norvell in his office. He enjoyed their conversations and how the head coach got to know his family.
“It was awesome," LaVallee said. "He harped on family a lot and what that truly means to him and how this program centers around that. He really got the time to know my family.”
The Georgia native said the environment was one thing that stood out about Florida State. He can see himself fitting into the program.
“The environment," LaVallee said. "I loved all of the coaches and what they were preaching to me about family. I think it would be a great fit here.”
While LaVallee didn't name Florida State the top school in his recruitment at the conclusion of the visit, he does have them in the mix. He'll return to Tallahassee in March or April with the goal to release a top list over the summer and commit prior to his senior season.
“I like them a lot," LaVallee said. "It’s definitely one of those top schools that I’m considering now, especially with this visit right here.”
As a junior, LaVallee played both ways for Whitefield Academy. He recorded 118 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and six sacks on defense. On offense, he totaled 104 carries for 695 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns along with eight catches for 95 yards and another score.
Stick with NoleGameday for updates on Florida State's recruiting over the next few months.
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