FSU football: 2023 defensive back target trending towards Kentucky?

FSU football coaches have prioritized certain segment groups in their 2023 recruiting class, but it appears the defensive back unit isn’t one of them.

Well, I should say they are not willing to allocate heavy resources to that group. For the second time in this recruiting cycle, the Noles could allow a defensive back to choose Kentucky over the Noles.

You may remember me writing about four-star safety Avery Stuart, who was an FSU lean before trending towards Kentucky at the last minute about a month or so ago? It appears the same thing is happening with three-star safety Kenton Kirkland. Kirkland has been to FSU several times, including last weekend, after unofficially visiting Kentucky a few days before.

FSU accepted a commitment from three-star defensive back Jabril Rawls, who also attended the FSU showcase last weekend. Rawls worked out, and Kirkland didn’t. Maybe that was a factor with the coaching staff seeing Rawls up close?

Maybe Kentucky is willing to pour a little more resources into Kirkland like they did Stuart? As I mentioned with Stuart, FSU has to be smart, and if there’s not a significant difference between two players, it’s smart to save those resources for players that can be difference-makers at positions that impact the games.

For instance, someone like five-star WR Hykeem Williams, who was in attendance at FSU’s camp over the weekend. Rawls and Kirkland have similar attributes and nearly the same size, and good top-end speed.

Two crystal ball predictions favoring Kentucky came on Thursday morning. Kirkland expects to announce his commitment relatively soon.

The Noles already have a commit from Quindarrius Jones, who can play safety too. At the end of the day, it comes down to a numbers game, and it looks like they may already have all the safeties they need in this class.