High school football is getting close to wrapping up around the country with the state semi-finals and championships being played in the coming weeks. Recruiting season is in full swing as the majority of 2022 prospects will sign during the Early Signing Period. After that, the focus will turn to the upcoming 2023 class.
One recruit that has set himself up for a major rise throughout his senior season is Florida State defensive end commitment Lamont Green Jr. He put together a dominant junior year and helped lead Gulliver Prep to the quarterfinals in the playoffs.
"My junior season went great," Green Jr. said to NoleGameday's Dusti Lewis. "I think it went even better than my sophomore and freshman year. I'm pretty sure I got more sacks, more tackles for loss, and more quarterback pressures. Through that, I think you can kind of see the improvement over the years and all of the hard work."
The legacy commitment ended the season with 84 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, and 32 quarterback pressures. That included a five-sack performance in a 43-0 playoff win over Booker T. Washington High School
"I'm not going to lie to you, I was also kind of surprised when I saw all my stats," Green Jr. said. "For me, I've just been playing the sport and having fun. All of the stats just came from having fun. I saw the improvement."
Green Jr. is the longest-standing commitment for Florida State in the 2023 class. He made his pledge to the Seminoles back in February. Since then, he's been building a connection with head coach Mike Norvell, defensive line coach Odell Haggins, and defensive ends coach John Papuchis. His main contact is with Haggins as they have a relationship dating back years.
"It's been getting better and better," Green Jr. said. "Getting to know the coaches better through time, getting a great connection with coach Norvell and coach Odell, coach JP also. The connections are being created and solidified."
As for #Tribe23, Florida State currently has four prospects committed in the class; Green Jr, Chris Parson, Randy Pittman, and Vandrevius Jacobs. Green Jr. is excited to keep building on the solid foundation that's been established.
"I've seen quite a bit of them at Florida State games," Green Jr. said. "Some of us talk a bit, some of us don't. From what I've seen, everyone has a good vibe around them. I think if we can get those said players in, Florida State will be great."
The Florida native has visited FSU countless times throughout his life with his father. He was back in Tallahassee in November to watch the Seminoles take down Miami. The atmosphere left an impression on him.
"The energy was immaculate," Green Jr. said. "Going to that game, you got to see what type of life, what type of community that Florida State has. You got to see people in their 80s coming to the game, children riled up and ready for the game. The energy you see out there is incomparable to anything else, especially during a Florida State vs Miami game."
The Seminoles started off the season 0-4 before going 5-3 in their final eight games. The team began to find its footing during the second half of the year and showed some positive signs heading into 2022.
"As the season went on, they got better," Green Jr. said. "They started working together more, they started making more plays. I definitely think they solidified as a team, one unit, and as they did that, they all got better collectively. I think if we keep continuing to work together better, Florida State will be very good during the upcoming years."
Grad-transfer defensive end Jermaine Johnson turned into the star of the team and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year during his one year at Florida State. Green Jr. is confident that the staff will be able to develop him after seeing what they did with Johnson. His rise could be a big selling point for the coaches moving forward.
"Yes," Green Jr. said. "I entirely believe that they can transform me into a better player after seeing what Jermaine was able to do."
Two schools that are still going after Green Jr. include Mississippi State and Ole Miss. It's going to be hard for a program to make him reconsider his decision.
"I would say it's almost impossible to flip me," Green Jr. said. "Full 'Nole."
Interestingly enough, the Gulliver Prep product is high school teammates with one of Florida State's top targets, wide receiver Jalen Brown. The two are friends and Green Jr. says they've talked about playing together at the next level.
"That's pretty much the top priority right there," Green Jr. said. "If anyone gets him, that's like the jackpot. If we can get him there [to Tallahassee], that'll be fantastic."
"We've talked about it before [playing together in college]," Green Jr. continued. "Definitely have. His options are still open so we're going to see."
Green Jr. plans to visit Florida State multiple times this offseason. It's also possible that he visits somewhere else outside of the state but he's not sure yet. Outside of that, he'll be continuing to train and has a goal to add more weight to his frame.
"My main goal is always the same, get bigger and stronger so I can do better the next season," Green Jr. said. "Come senior year, I want to try and at least be 230 so I can go into college a decent weight instead of trying to put it all on at once."
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound defensive end is expected to develop into one of the top prospects in the 2023 class. Stick with NoleGameday for the latest on Green Jr. throughout his upcoming senior season.
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