Patrick Surtain Sr. stands out from South Florida athlete Ricky Knight III on his long Friday visit to FSU – 247Sports

Patrick Surtain Sr. stands out from South Florida athlete Ricky Knight III on his long Friday visit to FSU – 247Sports

TALLAHASSEE — North Palm Beach (Fla.) The Benjamin School’s three-star junior athlete Ricky Knight III spent eight hours State of Florida on Friday. The 6-foot, 170-pound athlete was impressed with everything he had seen and learned about the Seminoles, who offered him the first team a week ago.

“Honestly, it was a great experience. It was really amazing to meet all the coaches. Everyone was loving and caring. They all really moved me,” said Knight III. “The city and town is just amazing. Everything is so compact and you could just see everyone and the way they work, it all feels like family. In practice [conditioning], everything was intense. You could tell they were trying to get better and move as a unit.”

The visit provided Knight III with an opportunity to sit down with the new defensive backs coach Patrick Surtain Sr. Knight III is the first recruit to have this opportunity since Surtain Sr. was hired earlier this week.

“Coach Surtain is a very cool guy, a very cool guy,” Knight III said. “We talked about 7 against 7. We talked about school and football. It just felt like I’d known him forever.”

Knight III featured on both sides of the ball at Benjamin School last season. He is listed as an athlete. He clarified that FSU is recruiting him as a defender and that is his preference in terms of the position he would like to play at the next level.

“Not many people can go out and play defense. Some people always want the ball, they don’t want to be the ones who take the ball from the other team. You want to be the one to get a touchdown,” Knight III said. “Well, you can also score a touchdown on defense. Defense, it takes a lot of heart because you will be beaten. You’re a defensive player, you have to step back, guard someone who knows where they’re going, so you have to have heart, you have to have that mentality. And not everyone has that.”

Surtain Sr., an 11-year NFL veteran with high school and NFL coaching experience, is someone who stands out from Knight III in terms of what he brings to the craft.

“So he started in high school and also has a son growing up. You can also say that he knows his stuff. Especially when he’s in the NFL,” Knight III said. “As we chatted, he told me that he came back here because he really wanted to develop a player. The NFL boys are already making millions of dollars, he wants to develop someone who can make millions of dollars.”

The visit also gave him the opportunity to sit down and speak with the head coach Mike Norvell.

“I didn’t know Coach Norvell was such a cool guy. Coach Norvell is definitely a cool guy. He’s a loving guy,” Knight III said. “He wants them to be the best they can be.

“We sat in his office and talked. It was a great time,” Knight III said. “We spoke about the expectations he has for his players, who he is looking for and what he would like to do to improve the team not only on the field but off the field as well.”

Knight III went out of his way to praise the Territory Recruiter as well Ron Dugansdefense coordinator Adam Fullerdefensive analyst Gregor MossDirector of University Relations Ryan Bartowand Director of Player Relations Keiwan Ratliff to all who influenced him during his visit on Friday.

When he finished the visit, it was clear that he was very impressed with the Seminoles.

“FSU is amazing,” said Knight III. “It’s going to be really hard to top that.”

He added that FSU was “heartwarming” to be the first team to offer him and that he appreciated that they were the first school to take notice of him. He also shared that the very first college he attended as a young child was a trip to Florida State.

On Saturday he will visit Miami. The Hurricanes also offered. He plans to see Penn State and Pitt in March while also returning to FSU for spring training in March.

He doesn’t have a decision timeline in mind, but he does know what he wants to find in his college home.

“I really want to be a part of something that is family and not just a team. I want to connect with those people outside of football,” Knight III said.

There are no predictions for the 247Sports.com crystal ball.

He is ranked the nation’s #75 athlete for the 2024 class by 247Sports.com.

In addition to soccer, he also does track and field at a high school level.