‘I have to do what’s best for me’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — state of Florida hosted four-star Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater Texas running back commitment Cedric Baxter Jr. on campus for an official visit over the weekend. This is Baxter’s second straight home game visit in Tallahassee. By all accounts, the former FSU standout enjoyed himself again on this trip.

“I had a great time,” Baxter said after the visit. “Meeting with the coach [Mike] Norvell and being around the staff watching the game. I had a great time.’

Since the trip was an official visit, Baxter had a chance to experience more on campus.

“Take it easy with some players,” he said of what he was given the chance to do. “Because I want to major in sports communication, I met a professor there. Meet AD.” [athletic director Michael Alford] — talked about new devices. I’ve done a lot.”

The highlight of the trip? His arrival on campus.

“As soon as I walked in the door when I first came here, the whole staff — from the GA all the way down — was there to greet us,” Baxter explained. “I think that was the main highlight.

One of the main reasons for the trip was that he wanted to see the FSU offense again. Despite FSU’s loss against Clemson two weeks ago, he still liked what he saw — especially from FSU’s running game.

“I feel like the main thing is I wanted to see them again – the attack and all that,” he said. “I came to the Clemson game last week, they lost, but like I said before, they played great — they ran the ball effectively.

Norvell and Baxter even talked about what the master plan is for their offense — specifically running back — entering Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech.

“The main thing Coach Norvell preached about the game yesterday was that he was going to get his back in space,” Baxter explained. “I feel like he would [Lawrance] Toafili showed a good example of having almost 140 universal [yards] — 70 on the ground, 80 receiving. I think that was the main thing.”

Baxter was so impressed that he let Norvell know what he thought of his attack on the attack.

“I told Coach Norvell I saw how I was running that offense — the plays and stuff,” he claimed.

Off the football field, Baxter had some great experiences with FSU players and coaches along the way. FSU being so genuine — regardless of whether the coaches were there — stood out the most to Baxter.

“I think the main thing I saw was one time we went to lunch or something and Coach Norvell wasn’t there and the rest of the staff was there,” he explained. “They were very goofy, just talking and talking regularly, not really about the ball. And then when he came to the next dinner. They stayed the same. They didn’t change just because the coach was around. I think that got my attention.”

Another reason for taking an official visit to FSU this particular weekend for Baxter centered around his plan to play for a high school state football title in December — when most programs want him to take an official visit.

“I took an official here this weekend because everybody wanted me to come in December — like Florida, Texas A&M and a lot of schools want me to come in December,” Baxter said. “But I told them all that I plan to play for the state title in December and then I don’t want to take any officials. So it’s now or almost never.”

FSU’s five-star wide receiver Hykeem Williams Baxter even had it in his ear on this trip that she would join him in Tallahassee.

“He was just trying to see how I was enjoying the time,” Baxter said of Williams. “He’s kind of trying to recruit me. He didn’t want to bother me with that because he knows the recruiting process himself because he’s a highly recruited player.”

The Seminoles seem to have checked every box for the talented ball carrier. Baxter said it was a “business decision.”

“They did what I wanted to see,” he admitted. “Playing smart, meeting with the coaches – everything I wanted to see they did. Now, like a lot of people are saying, it’s a business decision. I just have to do what’s best for me.”

With Baxter still committed to the Texas Longhorns, he admitted that “the Noles are on his mind.”

“It’s hard not to think about it,” Baxter said of FSU. “I feel like if a recruit came in here and they were married somewhere else and they said, ‘I’m still committed, firmly committed,’ I feel like they’d be lying to you. Of course, it’s going to be in the back of my mind. I’m not saying, that I’m going to flip or none of that, but of course I’m going to think about it.”

Despite a busy high school football schedule, Baxter believes he will return to FSU at some point before signing his letter of intent in December.

“I’ll probably be back. Even if he’s there for a game or a home visit or whatever. It’s not the last time I’ve seen it before I put pen to paper.”

He is said to not be planning any further official visits at this time. He used his official visit to Texas in June. He has three ways left.

According to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings, Baxter is ranked No. 29 overall and No. 2 running back in the nation.


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