Chris Parson quelled rumors about his status as a Florida State verbal commit with a simple answer to a question related to the topic.
“Yes sir. Absolutely. I’m here,” said Parson, referencing the meaning behind his presence at the Elite Camp hosted by the Seminole football program Saturday.
The three-star quarterback in the 2023 recruiting class indeed made a positive statement of sorts by coming to Tallahassee, which is approximately 500 miles from his high school, Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood.
More FSU football recruiting: Sizing up Florida State’s 2023 class as major recruiting month begins for football
Parson decided to leave nothing up to interpretation anyway, participating in an on-the-record interview for the first time in weeks to tell a batch of reporters that he remains firm on his verbal pledge to FSU.
Message-board speculation about Parson surfaced after the Seminoles recently made known their intentions to sign two quarterbacks this cycle. On May 24, they extended scholarship offers to a pair of 2023 quarterbacks in Baton Rouge (La.) Woodlawn’s Rickie Collins, who is committed to Purdue, and Memphis (Tenn.) Lausanne Collegiate School’s Brock Glenn.
Then Parson announced the offers he received from Mississippi State (May 28), SMU (May 28) and California (June 2). But Parson now appears to be finished with heavily considering other options. He said he does not have any visits to other schools planned.
“Yes, I’ve talked to the coaches. We both understand what’s going on,” said Parson about FSU’s plan to add a second 2023 quarterback. “As long as we are good, that’s all that matters.”
Beyond their quarterback board expanding, the Seminoles have experienced a couple of other significant changes since Parson pledged to them last July. Parson’s primary recruiter at FSU, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kenny Dillingham, took the same job at Oregon following last season. That move left the Seminoles with two openings.
FSU head coach Mike Norvell looked internally to promote offensive line coach Alex Atkins and offensive analyst Tony Tokarz to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, respectively. Atkins and Tokarz have seemingly made a solid impression on Parson, who is expected to return for an official visit later this month.
“I love coach Atkins,” Parson said. “Him and I, we built a relationship even before he was promoted to offensive coordinator. Whenever I visited during the season or first came on my visit back in June (of 2021), him and I built a relationship. So he’s a cool guy to be around. He’s also a really good coach.
“I got the opportunity to be in the meeting room with him and the other offensive linemen that we were trying to get. It’s great to be around him. I like him a lot.
“So I’d like the chance to play for him some day.”
Florida State coaching Chris Parson for the first time
Parson didn’t need to prove himself to FSU at its Elite Camp.
The Seminoles already considered Parson as their prized quarterback in this class. Still, Parson wanted to take the two-hour camp seriously. His other five trips to campus didn’t offer him the rare opportunity to receive on-the-field coaching, which is permitted at recruiting camps.
“I just wanted to learn,” Parson said. “I told coach Tokarz before, ‘I want to treat this like a real practice. Show me what you guys do, and I’m going to learn and apply it.’ So that’s what I was focusing on today. They were giving me pointers throughout the day. Every rep, I was trying to apply it all.”
More than 50 recruits received the same benefit by attending FSU’s Elite Camp, which was held in its indoor practice facility and outdoor practice fields. Eight recruits who are verbally committed to the Seminoles were in attendance.
Wide receivers Vandrevius Jacobs and Darren Lawrence, tight end Randy Pittman, defensive end Lamont Green Jr. and Parson were the 2023 pledges present. The 2024 commits that competed were quarterback Luke Kromenhoek, wide receiver Camdon Frier and running back Kameron Davis.
Jacobs and Frier stood out with their playmaking ability in space. Jacobs recorded the catch of the camp, hauling in a jump ball in circus-like fashion while a defensive back heavily contested the play. Frier flashed solid short-area quickness and consistently created separation.
Davis, one of the top recruits in his class, certainly looked the part with his stunning athleticism.
“It was awesome,” Kromenhoek said. “I loved being out here with the guys, getting to know some of those big prospects in the 2024 and 2023 class. And just getting out here and working with some elite talent and getting a better relationship with the coaches, of course.”
Kromenhoek and Parson showed off their impressive arm strength throughout the camp. And they left with some guidance to consider.
“We were just talking about footwork within the offense,” said Parson on what he learned from FSU’s coaching staff. “How they change their footwork based on routes, concepts and things like that. That’s really what we were focused on today.”
Luke Kromenhoek receiving interest from a lot of other schools
Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss each extended a scholarship offer to Kromenhoek last month.
But Kromenhoek shut down the possibility that he will consider those options, along with programs that have shown interest in him recently like Oregon, Georgia, Oklahoma and Virginia.
“I mean, they are cool,” said Kromenhoek of his latest offers. “But I’m committed to Florida State. So I’m all in.”
FSU’s early pursuit of Kromenhoek paid off. The Seminoles hosted Kromenhoek for a recruiting camp last June before offering him on the same day. He had yet to hold another Power Five offer when verbally committing to FSU in March.
Kromenhoek still hasn’t started a game for Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine Military School. He spent his first two seasons as the backup for Holden Geriner, a four-star quarterback in the 2022 class who signed with Auburn.
Florida State commit @LukeKromenhoek showed a lot of arm strength at today’s Elite Camp.
He told us the last time he measured his arm strength — which was two years ago — he threw the ball 68 yards. pic.twitter.com/4rw61PBHWV
— Carter Karels (@CarterKarels) June 5, 2022
So the Seminoles assumed some risk when offering Kromenhoek and accepting his pledge. They were banking on Kromenhoek translating what he showed at their recruiting camp.
“I had no film. At all,” Kromenhoek said. “So it was definitely off my performance at that camp. They went from the camp. Then we had another meeting and another visit. We formed a relationship. They got to know me, and I guess they liked what they saw.”
Through the end of the 2024 cycle, Kromenhoek’s recruiting profile and offer list should only continue to expand. FSU figures to be rewarded for being the first Division I program to express legitimate interest in him.
“I chose Florida State because I love the family,” Kromenhoek said. “I love the vision that they have here. The coaches are unbelievable. The program is amazing. I just love what they are doing. They are rebuilding everything.
“I feel like coach Norvell and coach Tokarz can really bring this team back and get them back to the No. 1 spot in the nation.”
Reach Carter Karels at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @CarterKarels.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FSU football recruits Chris Parson, Luke Kromenhoek give important updates