Florida State wrapped up a massive weekend of official visits that included eight recruits and their families on Sunday afternoon. Top 2023 running back Daylan Smothers was one of the prospects in attendance. The trip was the third time that Smothers has been in Tallahassee this year.
"It was a great experience as always, my third time being back here," Smothers said to NoleGameday's Dustin Lewis. "It's a great feeling and the energy is always good down here."
This visit was a little unique because his parents were able to join him at Florida State for the first time. It was crucial for Smothers to have his family experience a program where he could spend his college career.
"They always heard that Florida State is a top school and they just got to experience what I was talking about," Smothers said. "For them just to get to see all of this and the people around, feel the vibe I've been feeling since my first two, it's good and they can actually see it."
His mom really enjoyed the weekend and Smothers pointed out that she teared up at multiple moments, including in coach Norvell's office. He was happy to see his family enjoy themselves.
"She's been tearing up honestly," Smothers said. "It's been a great experience for her. She really got to feel the love. Like I said, she teared up in coach Norvell's office. It's just been a great feeling honestly."
Throughout the visit, Smothers spent time with head coach Mike Norvell, running backs coach David Johnson, offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Alex Atkins, and Director Of High School Relations Ryan Bartow.
During his recruitment, Smothers has built a tight relationship with coach Johnson. He knows he'll be in good hands if he chooses the Seminoles.
"It's crazy. The way he [Johnson] carries himself he's just like a true mentor," Smothers said. "He doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low and he genuinely cares about you not only as a football player but as a young man. If I did come here and be in the room with him, I know I'll be in good hands with lessons on the field and off the field."
The Florida native was also able to connect with some current Seminoles such as wide receiver Ja'Khi Douglas and running back CJ Campbell. The two explained more about the program and coaching staff to him.
Interacting with Douglas, Campbell and other players helped Smothers determine the genuiness of the people around the program.
"You really get to see, not only what the coaches are talking about and what they're building, but you get the point of view of that with the players," Smothers said. "You get to ask them questions, chill with those players, and see what makes them love Florida State."
"It lets you know that this is real. This is how the coaches are all the time," Smothers continued. "That's basically the response I was getting from them, those guys are not faking it just because of a visit. That's the reason they have no problem with the coaches. You know, with coach Norvell being brought in, some of the guys that was here from the previous coaching staff, they said they trust him. They said they know they're going to be loved and developed. It's not fake."
The coaching staff has a plan to use Smothers in a variety of ways within Florida State's offense. He knows that it would be a big opportunity for him if he chooses to take it.
"It's something big being a running back here at Florida State," Smothers said. "They take pride in that and let me know plenty of ways how I can get the ball and how I can fit into the offense. It's a running back dominated offense. When FSU has a great, dominant running back, it's a great year."
Smothers and his family sat down with coach Norvell for a meeting before he departed from campus. It's the consistency of the head coach that stands out with Smothers.
"The consistency as a head coach," Smothers said. "You know, some head coaches don't come out of that comfort zone and understand their job to recruit a player but he doesn't mind. He brings the energy, the love, the passion. It's more than just being a recruit for Florida State."
Coming out of the weekend, the Seminoles remain near the top for Smothers alongside Oklahoma, North Carolina State, and Alabama. A July commitment is likely on the books for Smothers after he discusses the decision with his family.
"Honestly, you know I've been high on Florida State," Smothers said. "It just keeps rising, stock keeps rising for them. They're in my top-4 I would say."
The 5-foot-11, 182-pound is regarded as the No. 219 overall prospect, the No. 9 running back, and the No. 9 recruit in the state of North Carolina in the 2023 class according to 247Sports.
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