Tarvarus McFadden had a few tricks up his hat for his college commitment announcement Friday at Plantation American Heritage.
McFadden, a 6-3, 200-pound cornerback rated as a five-star prospect by several media outlets, announced his intention to attend and play football at Florida State University, but not without giving close friends and online viewers a tease.
Sitting next to his parents, McFadden worked his audience by picking up a white FSU hat, putting it down, picking up a Georgia Bulldogs hat and moving it toward his head before pulling out a garnet FSU hat from inside and placing it on his head.
“When I visited [FSU], I loved everything about it,” McFadden said. “I see myself being able to play early. My parents and my family liked it. It showed me everything I really liked in a school.”
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McFadden, who took his official visit to FSU on Oct. 18 for the Seminoles’ down-to-the-wire victory against Notre Dame, chose to become a Seminole over the possibility of reuniting with former Heritage teammates Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie at Georgia. LSU was also in McFadden’s list of final schools.
“I guess I just picked the right game to go to, because that game was just over the top,” McFadden said. “Ultimately, that’s what it came down to.”
McFadden’s announcement comes the day after the No. 2 Seminoles rallied from a 21-0 deficit to beat Louisville 42-31 behind Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and touchdowns by highly touted freshman players from South Florida – Dalvin Cook (Miami Central), Ermon Lane (Homestead) and Travis Rudolph (Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer).
In the past month, McFadden said he has had many sleepless nights trying to make his decision.
“It’s tough knowing that you have school the next morning and you can’t sleep,” McFadden said. “I knew it was for a reason. I know this is a big stepping stone in my life. In the next three-four years, it’s got to be what I love because I can’t turn my back on it after I sign that [National Letter of Intent].”
McFadden becomes the 20th commitment in Florida State’s 2015 football recruiting class and third from South Florida, joining Miami Central safety Calvin Brewton and Hallandale linebacker Sh’mar Kilby-Lane.
Before being in attendance for the FSU-Notre Dame game, McFadden said he was leaning toward joining his close friends and former teammates at Georgia.
“It was very hard telling [Michel and McKenzie] that I’ll be going elsewhere, but they were really excited for me,” McFadden said. “They still wished me the best.”
McFadden, who took an unofficial visit to Georgia on Aug. 30 for the Bulldogs’ 45-21 win against Clemson, said he has tentative plans to take his official visit to Georgia on Nov. 15 for the Auburn game. He also wants to officially visit LSU and Central Florida.
McFadden said convincingly it will take a lot to sway him from FSU, but does not want to renege on commitments he made during the recruiting process.
“I still want to get out and see other schools,” McFadden said. “Over the process, I’ve created great relationships with other coaches, too.”
National Signing Day for the Class of 2015 is Feb. 4.