Smithfield: Sports

August 11, 2014

Princeton running back Johnny Frasier makes verbal commitment to Florida State

Princeton running back Johnny Frasier committed to play for Florida State, the defending national champion. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound back ran for nearly 3,000 yards as a junior and scored 45 touchdowns.

Johnny Frasier thought he was headed to the state of Florida two years ago when his family considered moving back to his mom’s home state. Now, it appears the Princeton High School running back, a four-star prospect and the top-rated running back in the class of 2015 in the nation by, is bound for the panhandle next fall.

Frasier verbally committed to join Florida State, college football’s defending national champion. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound back ran for about 3,000 yards as a junior and scored 45 touchdowns.

He called it a “soft commitment” and said he would continue to talk with five schools – Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, South Carolina and Alabama – but liked the class the Seminoles were putting together and really felt comfortable on his visits to Tallahassee.

Neither recruits nor schools are not bound by verbal commitments or offers. Players can officially sign national letters of intent on Feb. 4.

Frasier informed FSU special teams coordinator/runnings back coach Jay Graham of his decision Sunday night, then kept the decision quiet until he could tell his Princeton High teammates on Monday.

“He told them, then told them they could put it on Twitter,” Princeton coach Derrick Minor said. “I think that made them just as happy.”

Frasier is one of three Triangle-area running backs – along with Wake Forest’s Bryce Love and Garner’s Nyheim Hines – who have drawn recruiting raves from the nation’s biggest programs.

Frasier’s mix of size and speed helped him burst onto the national recruiting scene as a junior, just two seasons after he started playing football.

“Johnny is going to play regardless of where he picked to go to school,” said Michael Clark,’s college football recruiting analyst for the Carolinas and Virginia region. “Yes, Florida State is loaded in the backfield, but there is no weakness in Johnny’s game. He can run the power, the sweep, can catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s got so many different tools, he looked great when I saw him at the Shrine Bowl combine. There are no weaknesses in his game.”

Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State had all been very active in their recruitment of Frasier, but his family ties to the state of Florida proved strong.

“The in-state schools did a good job of recruiting him, really pushing hard for him,” Clark said. “But he’s from that area, still has family down there. It’s a national championship program. There are a lot of things that make it the perfect spot to him.”

Frasier said a string of quarterback commitments in the past week also influenced his decision. “It’s a class I want to be a part of, guys I know and want to play with.”

The Seminoles have verbal commitments from two four-star quarterbacks – Deondre Francois of Bradenton (Fla.) and Kai Locksley of Baltimore – and one from three-star recruit De’Andre Johnson of Jacksonville (Fla.).

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