Willie Taggart and the Seminoles signed 14 prospects for their 2019 recruiting class on Wednesday. One of those prospects was four-star linebacker Jaleel McRae.
McRae joined “XL Primetime” on 1010XL Radio to discuss his choice.
“I woke up early Wednesday morning and I had my mind made up that I was going to come to Tallahassee,” McRae told 1010XL. “This class is going to come to Tallahassee and we are going to change everything.
“We are going to bring the swag back. We are going to bring ACC championships back and we are going to bring national championships back.”
McRae, (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) is originally from New Smyrna Beach, but played last season at IMG Academy in Bradenton. McRae is among the top 15 outside linebackers in the nation and signed with Florida State over offers from Florida, Georgia and LSU among others.
McRae says he enjoyed getting to know Taggart through this recruiting process.
“Coach Taggart is the man and I can see him as a father figure,” McRae said. “Just being around him every time, I just fell in love with the university. He’s a good guy and he’s a family coach.
“My mom can go to sleep every night and know that her son is in good hands with Coach Taggart and his coaching staff.”
What is FSU getting in a linebacker of McRae’s caliber.
“Number one, they are getting a leader on and off the field,” McRae said. “I can drop back in coverage if they need me to and I will also come down hill and hit you.”
McRae attended IMG Academy in Bradenton which has become a football factory for some of the best high school football players throughout the country. McRae was asked to explain his experience at IMG.
“IMG is not for everybody,” McRae said. “You have to have tough skin to be at IMG. You wake up every day at about 5:30 in the morning and you don’t get back in your room till late and by the time you get to your room you’re ready to go to sleep.
“It gets you ready for college because that is the college life. You have study hall with the team at night and you’re watching film with the coaches all the time.”
Finally, one of McRae’s teammates at IMG, five-star running back Trey Sanders, announced yesterday after he signed with Alabama that he anticipates winning the Heisman next season, or at the very least being a finalist for the award.
What was McRae’s reaction to that?
“My guy Trey Sanders, we competed in practice every day and he got me better as a linebacker and as a football player,” McRae said. “I’ve played with him on the field and I know what Trey can be and I know what he can bring out.
“Alabama is getting a heck of a running back in Trey Sanders and I hope he goes there and has a career like he wants to have.”
McRae was the highest-rated defensive prospect to sign with Florida State on Wednesday and he is one of three linebackers currently in the Seminoles 2019 recruiting class.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)