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Making the Case: Five-star OT Julian Armella


Five-star offensive tackle Julian Armella has released his top four and it could be an interesting ride until the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas standout makes his decision.

There are still some unknowns as Florida and LSU are looking to hire new coaches and that could alter things once staffs are in place in Baton Rouge and Gainesville.

LSU was considered an early frontrunner and Armella’s father, Enzo, has connections to Ed Orgeron. After it was announced that Orgeron would not be retained following the 2021 season, the Tigers remain a contender but maybe not as high.

Armella is a Florida State legacy and he’s taken many visits there over the last few months to get more comfortable with the coaching staff and the direction of the program.

Alabama has also been mentioned as a top team and it will be interesting to see where the Crimson Tide fall as Armella’s recruitment shakes out.

In today’s Making the Case, experts from around the Rivals network make an argument for a particular school and then National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney issues his verdict as to where he sees Armella ending up.

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ALABAMA

There has been a lot of mutual interest between Alabama and Armella for the last few years. Armella took an official visit with the Crimson Tide on Nov. 5-7. The biggest question with Alabama right now is how many additional offensive linemen will it take in this class?

Alabama currently has three commitments on the offensive front and will likely take one more. Four other offensive linemen have taken official visits to Alabama this fall including Kiyaunta Goodwin, Devon Campbell, Earnest Greene and Neto Umeozulu. Greene is coming off a great trip with the Tide. Alabama has really amped up its recruiting efforts with him.

Alabama has also been pressing hard for Goodwin and Campbell throughout the year. The chances of Armella joining Alabama’s class seem unlikely. – Andrew Bone, BamaInsider.com

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FLORIDA

Armella will not end up at the University of Florida. For one he is an FSU legacy, and though kids constantly try to make it seem like that is not a big deal in every cycle it does play a role in the decision-making process.

Secondly, Florida has no head coach or offensive line coach. The Gators just fired Dan Mullen on Sunday but one week before that they fired offensive line coach John Hevesy. So not only does he not know who will be coaching the team but he also doesn’t know who will be coaching his position.

With a commitment looking like it could be nearing for Armella there is virtually no chance that he pulls a Chris McClellan and commits to a school without a head coach as well as his position coach. – Conner Clarke, GatorsTerritory.com

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FLORIDA STATE

There is a very good chance Armella ends up at Florida State. He has developed an excellent relationship with his position coach Alex Atkins and with Mike Norvell. Armella also wanted to see improvement on the field from Florida State this season and he’s seen that at least in the last two weeks with wins over Miami and Boston College.

Beating Florida this weekend would be huge since the Gators are also one of his four finalists. The five-star is also not only a legacy at FSU, but he grew up cheering for the Noles. The coaching situations at LSU and Florida are in flux and Alabama has had other priorities on the offensive line so all of this leads me to believe FSU is in a great spot. – Michael Langston, Warchant.com

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LSU

Armella had an offer sheet of the who’s who in college football as the top overall offensive tackle in the nation. He has LSU in his top four, and seriously flirted with the Tigers earlier in the fall and summer, but with Ed Orgeron on his way out, I’d be shocked to see Armella end up in Baton Rouge.

Armella’s dad visited by himself to meet with the coaching staff and there is a long relationship between Enzo Armella and Orgeron. I would say that at one point LSU seemed like the favorite, but as we approach the Early Signing Period that isn’t the case any longer. – Julie Boudwin, TigerDetails.com

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THE VERDICT

The pick today would be Florida State. There is just too much uncertainty at Florida and LSU especially with the Early Signing Period so close to believe that Armella is leaning toward the Gators or the Tigers at this time with no head coach or position coach in place.

I’ve been told that Alabama has been interested in Armella but might have other targets as well so I don’t see that situation playing out, either.

Florida State is certainly not a fallback option for him since Armella has shown serious interest in the program for a long time and that coaching staff has not only made him a top priority but done a great job managing through his recruitment to keep the Seminoles high on the list. It looks like it could pay off. – Adam Gorney, Rivals National Recruiting Director



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