A week after taking his first of five official visits to Maryland, McNamara senior offensive lineman Damian Prince made the trip to Tallahassee this past weekend to enjoy the royal treatment at Florida State.
After arriving in town on Friday afternoon, Prince met up with his host for the weekend, offensive lineman Cameron Erving. Following an introductory chat, Prince made his way to the Seminoles’ practice, where he got a chance to talk with some of the redshirt players on the sideline. From there, he joined the team for their weekly trip to the movies. Inside the rented-out theater, Prince watched the film “Thor: The Dark World.”
“I never saw the first Thor, so I didn’t really understand what was going on in the movie, but it was a cool setup,” Prince said in a Monday phone interview.
Saturday was gameday, as the Seminoles prepared to take on new ACC rival, Syracuse. First, however, Prince and the handful of other visiting recruits went on a campus tour, which allowed Prince to get a better feel for the academic environment.
“We got an idea of what it would be like going from class to class,” Prince said. “It was interesting to see the student life and how interactive everything was with how they approach academics.”
The game itself turned out to be a snoozer, as the No. 2 Seminoles routed Syracuse, 59-3. But Prince was still impressed by the atmosphere at Doak Campbell Stadium and how the town came together to support the football team.
“It was surreal seeing so many people there, even for a game that wasn’t that big for them,” Prince said. “It was the first time I’d been in an atmosphere like that and around a team like that where the players feed off the fans and there’s just so much energy.”
Prince took in the postgame locker room scene, where he said he saw players joke and demonstrate a family-like bond, from quarterback Jameis Winston, whom Prince said was “cool” during a brief chat to Erving, whom he re-joined later to hang out that night.
On Sunday, Prince had a chance to sit down with offensive line coach Rick Trickett for a one-on-one talk before meeting up with Coach Jimbo Fisher.
“Coach Trickett talked about where he saw me playing on the line and kind of got a feel for what I knew about the position since this was our first time meeting,” Prince said. “Then with Coach Fisher, he’s a high-energy guy that’s easy to talk to….He’s real positive and cool.”
Though Prince has three official visits remaining and about three months until he announces his college choice on Feb. 14, it’s clear that Florida State made a strong case in its recruitment of the highly touted lineman.
“I honestly didn’t want to leave on Sunday; I wish I could have stayed there longer,” Prince said. “I had a great time being around those guys. It’s like one big brotherhood. Even though you have multiple guys who will play in the NFL on that team, they are all humble and tight knit and they don’t let anything get in the way of the goal they’re working toward.”
Prince said he plans to take his final visits to Florida, South Carolina and one other school among the remaining 10 on his list but he hasn’t set any dates yet.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 2
Lake Braddock defensive starters lost to injury in Friday’s 56-31 win against Chantilly in the first round of the 6A North region playoffs, adding to an already lengthy injury report for the area’s No. 3 team.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Check out this week’s top plays following the first full week of playoff football action.
-Undefeated McKinley Tech and Phelps, which is fielding its first football team in 15 years, will meet in Saturday’s inaugural Gravy Bowl.
-DuVal knocked off defending Maryland 4A state champ Wise to set up a rematch with Suitland in the South region final.
-Woodgrove earned its first-ever playoff win with by notching its first-ever victory against Loudoun County in Saturday’s Virginia 4A North region first-round action.
-No. 13 seed Stonewall Jackson will play the role of underdog — and potentially, spoiler — for the remainder of the Virginia 6A North region playoffs.
-In Meade’s 41-31 win against Broadneck during Friday’s Maryland 4A East region playoff game, Mustangs senior Marcus Smith had his best game of the season since switching from quarterback to wide receiver.
-Lackey’s defense has been stout in leading the team to its first playoff berth since 2009 and into Friday’s Maryland 3A South region final against Huntingtown.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Banneker vs. Wilson, 5:30 p.m. in the DCIAA volleyball final
Wilson looks to claim its 15th D.C. public school title in the last 16 years when it takes on upstart Banneker.