Quarterback Justin Fields is making a trip through the Sunshine State, as both FSU and rival Florida ratchet up their pursuit of the 5-star talent.
Justin Fields, a 5-star quarterback recruit and No. 1 dual-threat QB in the nation (per 247Sports) for the class of 2018 out of Kennesaw, Georgia, is finding himself in the middle of a hotly contested recruiting battle between a handful of southern programs. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound signal caller had originally pledged his commitment to Penn State, but decommitted on June 6 in order to explore his options.
While committed to Penn State, Fields reportedly took clandestine visits to Auburn University and the University of Georgia – both short driving distance from his hometown – while also visiting Florida State on April 9 and the University of Florida on May 6. Just this week, Fields took part in Florida State’s first football camp of the year where he put his talent on display in front of Jimbo Fisher and the rest of the FSU coaching staff.
“[Coach Fisher] talked about how he can develop me into becoming a great quarterback,” Fields told Noles247. “He really knows what he’s talking about. Right when he told me to do something it made my throws better.
“All the coaches and players [at Florida State] are really close. It’s great seeing that family environment.”
Fields is scheduled to compete in the NFA7v7 National Championship at IMG Academy this upcoming weekend and is then expected to make another stop in Gainesville on his way back home. According to Fields, he’s in contact with Jim McElwain and other Florida coaches each day as they continue their hot pursuit of the star quarterback. Right now the Gators are viewed as a slight front-runner to land Fields, which would be a huge pick-up for McElwain.
Ever since Tim Tebow’s departure from Florida, the Gators have struggled to find an elite quarterback to take the field every Saturday. They recently brought in former Notre Dame quarterback and graduate transfer Malik Zaire to compete alongside quarterbacks Luke Del Rio, redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, and true freshman Jake Allen. The Gators currently have depth at the position, but signing a player of Fields’ calibre would be a massive addition for a program with a proud offensive history looking to reposition itself back atop top the world of college football.
While the possibility of Fields re-committing to Penn State remains very much on the table, given his recent pattern of visiting schools in the Southeast, it appears that he may be leaning towards staying somewhere closer to his home state of Georgia. As of posting, neither FSU (currently No. 11 in the 2018 recruiting class rankings) nor Florida (No. 25) have inked a quarterback for 2018.