Elite 2021 Combo Guard Jalen Warley Commits to Florida State
When it really came down to it, two major factors weighed heaviest in determining which school Westtown School (Norristown, Penn.) combo guard Jalen Warley would ultimately suit up for in college: Going where he is wanted and going where he is needed.
“It was the perfect school for me because it gave me both,” Warley said. “Florida State brought a family atmosphere for me; I was able to develop a close relationship with the whole staff, not just one coach.”
Warley picked the Seminoles over Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic halting travel, Warley wasn’t able to visit Tallahassee before his decision.
“Once I told him, he was super happy,” Warley said of informing Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton of his decision. “He told me he was about to cry. It was definitely a special moment.”
In addition to filling a void for the Seminoles, Warley said he was enticed by Hamilton’s plan to use him on and off the ball.
“They’re gonna allow me to be a basketball player,” Warley said. “They’re gonna allow me freedom and that’s another big reason of why I wanted to go to Florida State in the first place and why it’s my home.”
The addition of Warley gives the Seminoles the current No. 1 recruiting class in the country, joining Christ Church Episcopal (Greenville, S.C.) center John Butler, Pace Academy (Atlanta) shooting guard Matthew Cleveland and Wren (Piedmont, S.C.) shooting guard Bryce McGowens.
Still, despite the appointment, Warley said there’s no added pressure to live up to the proverbial hype.
“I definitely don’t feel any pressure,” Warley said. “We’re really competing with ourselves rather than competing with everyone else in the country. It’s more excitement than pressure.”