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Three-Star DE Chooses Noles Over Tigers

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 6:11pm

When it comes to football recruiting, especially within the regional confines of the ACC, Clemson and Florida State are giants. Recently, the two programs went heads up, once again: the Tigers and the Noles were the two finalists vying for the services of Rick Nelson, a 6-7, 270 pound defensive end from Middletown, Maryland.

This recruiting battle went to FSU and head coach Jimbo Fisher. On Tuesday afternoon Nelson took to his Twitter to announce the commitment:

Nelson, who is ranked by 247Sports.com as the <No. 22 strong-side defensive end in the nation>, has ties to Florida State. His father and grandmother both received degrees from the school. These connections were not necessarily what guided him to Tallahassee, though. If you want to find out why Nelson chose the Noles, look no further than their coaching staff.

The stud defensive end prospect had scholarship offers from schools all over the country; however, the Seminoles emerged as the leader for Leonard after he , according to Noles247.com. This visit allowed him to participate in the Jimbo Fisher Football Camp, and talk to the head coach.

Following that visit, it was clear just how highly Leonard thought of Fisher.

"I learned so much. Just everything you do," Leonard told Noles247.com. "The little stuff. He knows his stuff and he is a good coach. The biggest thing he told me was to stay low, because I am so tall and when I come out of my stance I just naturally want to stand up, so he just said stay low. I probably spent two hours breaking down film with him and he really knows his stuff."

During this visit, Leonard was also able to visit with several current FSU players, who had a very positive impact on him, too.

As a junior in 2012, Leonard racked up 67 tackles, including 18.5 for loss. He is now the 24th commit of FSU's loaded 2014 class. According to this highlight tape, 2012 was his first season playing football. If so ... wow.