Florida State's coaching staff has been holding various camps throughout the month of June to get prospects on campus to work out. On Wednesday, the Seminoles held their final 7-on-7 and Big Man Camp of the slate. By the end of the afternoon, the program wrapped up a stretch that included 13 camps in 18 days with July's dead period approaching.
While it was the third and final big man camp, the session didn't lack talent as top 2023 OL DJ Chester was in attendance. The Seminoles offered Chester in April and he's been to Tallahassee three times since then including twice this month.
A few weeks ago, Chester worked out for offensive line coach/offensive coordinator, Alex Atkins, in the nonpadded Elite Camp. At the Big Man Camp, he was able to put on uppers during the final hour of the session and displayed some of the physicality that makes him a coveted prospect. Chester enjoyed his second experience on the field with coach Atkins.
"I like it. He's a real good coach," Chester said to NoleGameday's Dustin Lewis. "He's like hands on. Whenever I ask him a question, he answers it and he explains it. So, he's a good coach."
At certain points throughout the afternoon, coach Atkins pulled Chester to the side following reps and gave him instruction. Chester learned a few things from the crafty coach.
"When I was coming off the ball, my hands were outside and I need to tuck them in. And staying low," Chester said. "That's really it."
Why was it important for the Georgia native to work directly with coach Atkins again?
"So I can know how he's like when he's coaching because I know he's the same person just from this camp and how he's coaching his players."
Chester has been developing a relationship with coach Atkins since he was in middle school. The two speak multiple times a week and their conversations rarely involve football.
When things do shift to the gridiron, coach Atkins gushes about Chester's versatility. The Seminoles believe he can play tackle, guard, or center. That's something they'll focus on if Chester chooses to sign with the program.
"Me and coach Atkins have been talking since I was in like eighth grade," Chester said. "Nothing has really changed. The stars didn't change him and they didn't change me."
"He calls me or I call him. We never really talk about football," Chester continued. "Football is what just brings us closer."
The Eagles Landing Christian Academy product toured the campus and met with the coaching staff on Tuesday alongside his high school teammates. The Seminoles have the benefit of relationships in Chester's recruitment.
"They're where everybody else is at," Chester said. "I love them, same with everybody else."
Over the past few weeks, Chester has officially visited LSU and Auburn. Florida State is vying for one of his final three official visits but he's not quite sure on his destinations at this time.
Chester says that no teams are standing out right now and that his decision won't be made public until the Adidas All-American Bowl on January 7, 2023.
"I still don't know," Chester said. "I'm nowhere near making a decision yet so I don't know."
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman is regarded as the No. 189 overall prospect, the No. 18 OT, and the No. 18 recruit in the state of Georgia in the 2023 class according to 247Sports.
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