Top football recruit’s unexpected official visit to USC shakes up FSU’s recruiting plans

Florida State offensive coordinator Alex Atkins greeted the spring football practice of the 2023 season on March 10, 2023. FSU football has been hosting major targets on official visits since last week, with six players arriving on campus in recent days. The majority of the top targets are scheduled for visits on June 23. However, one of these targets, Manasse Itete, officially visited the University of Southern California, leading to several crystal ball projections indicating him leaning their direction.

Itete, a blue-chip prospect from Modesto, California, first visited Tallahassee in April, promptly setting up a June official visit with FSU. Florida State even obtained a crystal ball projection after Itete’s April visit.

Coming from the west coast, it makes sense that Itete’s official visits are predominantly with west coast schools besides FSU. He has an official visit to Oregon State planned for June 9 and another visit to Utah on June 16, before visiting FSU on June 23. Questions remain on whether Itete is heavily influenced by recent events, considering his near-commitment to FSU during his April visit.

Following visits to the other two west coast schools, will Itete update on his position? Will he proceed with his June 23 visit to FSU? If so, will the coaching staff prioritize him, or has he moved down their recruiting board? Over the weekend, FSU hosted a higher-ranked player, Nyier Daniels, who ranks as No. 156 overall and No. 10 offensive tackle nationally, while Itete holds No. 314 overall and No. 28 offensive tackle ranking.

It’s crucial to note that Alex Atkins is the primary recruiter, and his judgment is highly trusted. Itete’s swift projections to USC following the official visit have intrigued analysts. If he cancels his FSU visit on June 23, it may indicate the coaching staff’s shifting focus to other recruits, reflecting their selective approach to offensive linemen this recruiting cycle.