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From the moment Florida State football coach Mike Norvell opened the doors to Doak Campbell Stadium at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, things were different.

After a nearly 15-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA is once again allowing colleges to conduct in-person recruiting with prospects, and the Florida State Seminoles wasted no time getting started with their “Midnight Madness” event in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

Elite prospects arrived at Doak Campbell Stadium from all over the country, and at the forefront as usual was five-star prospect and FSU commit Travis Hunter.

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The top-ranked “athlete” in the nation, Hunter was finally able to help the Seminoles’ coaching staff impress other recruits by using his strong personal skills in person.

“Oh, it’s a blessing,” Hunter said. “It’s a blessing to get everybody here, talk to them in person, and see what we’ve got to offer.”

After a tour of Doak Campbell Stadium, players gathered on Bobby Bowden Field, where Norvell wowed them with a flashy entrance, complete with a souped-up new garnet-and-gold Polaris Slingshot.

Once the players and their families arrived back in front of the stadium, the stylish ride reappeared in front of the pack.

In it were just two passengers: Norvell and Hunter.

“They see coach’s new car,” Hunter said with a smile. “So they see what we can do. … And it’s fast. I was just in it.”

Hunter arrived at the Midnight Madness event alongside wide receiver/tight end Jaleel Skinner and spent a lot of time with the 2022 four-star.

Hunter also had a few public messages for all undecided prospects that were in attendance on why FSU might be the school for them.

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“You get a chance to put a team back on the map, and your name could be a main focus,” Hunter said. “Come play with the greatest. Come be great with us.”

When he was asked which players in attendance on Tuesday that he was pushing for the hardest, Hunter responded with, well, everyone.

“All the recruits that wasn’t committed. I target all of them,” he said. “I want all of them to come see what we got to offer.”

While the battle to gain new commitments is the top priority, Florida State’s coaching staff was clearly excited just to spend time with Hunter, a cornerstone of their 2022 class.

Hunter felt the same way, and appreciated the face-to-face interaction with the FSU staff.

“It was really good because it was a new coaching staff. They knew the same things I knew,” said Hunter. “We got to learn more together.”

Now that he has grown even more accustomed with the Seminoles’ coaches, Hunter says he plans to get to know the current 2021 roster of players during his visit this week. He plans to be in town for several days.

“I’m going to come up to the school and just bunk with the players,” Hunter said. “I am going to get up with the players that are on the team right now and just talk to them, see what everything is really about.”

*ALSO SEE: 4-star TE/WR Jaleel Skinner calls FSU visit a ‘dream’ come true

As the night … er, morning … was winding down, Hunter spoke further on how he thought things went for Florida State.

“Players like this,” the five-star prospect said. “They come in and see that this is the only school that really [does] something to get the player’s attention — make them want to commit.”


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