FSU football has two offensive linemen committed to its 2024 recruiting class in four-star offensive tackle Jonathan Daniels and three-star offensive tackle Tye Hylton.
While this is considered a weaker offensive tackle recruiting cycle, the Seminoles feel like they have two solid prospects that could build around in the future.
In trying to acquire Daniels and Hylton, there were two offensive linemen who FSU missed on in four-star offensive tackle Manasse Itete and four-star interior offensive lineman Jason Zandamela (both committed to USC).
Itete is from Central Catholic High School in Modesto, California. The connection to USC makes sense, given he lives in California. One aspect of Itete’s recruitment that kept him interested in the Seminoles was his relationship with FSU General Manager Darrick Yray.
Yray did a tremendous job getting Itete to unofficially visit multiple days from April 14-16. FSU got him set up for a follow-up official visit on the loaded June 23rd weekend. Unfortunately, USC got him on campus for an official visit during the June 2nd weekend. He loved the visit so much that he decided to commit to the Trojans shortly after.
Itete’s situation was certainly different than Zandamela’s. Itete was a California who had only visited the Seminoles once and because of his relationship with an off-the-field staff member.
Zandamela plays at Clearwater Academy International in Clearwater, Florida. He was former high school teammates with true freshman offensive tackle Lucas Simmons. Not to mention, he had visited the Seminoles three separate times in the spring back in January, March, and April.
Similar to Itete, Zandamela officially visited the USC Trojans on the weekend of June 16th and fell in love with the university. But this asks the question: Will Zandamela move across the country to play for USC?
I believe that the recruitment is finished for Itete given that he is a California native and the only relationship on staff was with Yray.
However, the Zandamela recruitment could be far from over as he has not utilized his official visit to the Seminoles, and the thought of playing with his high school teammate Lucas Simmons and playing with a coach (Alex Atkins) that he has a great relationship with could be enticing.
Zandamela is a position of need for the Seminoles given that FSU needs to find viable candidates to effective snap the football. Redshirt juniors Maurice Smith and Darius Washington are only in Tallahassee for another season after 2023.
FSU needs to prepare for life without both individuals snapping the football. Maybe the Seminoles could turn to redshirt sophomore Bryson Estes and/or redshirt freshman Qae’shon Sapp. They could even explore the idea of acquiring a veteran transfer to fulfill the responsibilities.
However, Zandamela could be a perfect match considering that he was starting center at Clearwater Academy International.