Jacob Pugh, Tallahassee Godby, FSU comit

Tallahassee Godby linebakcer Jacob Pugh became the 11th commiment to the Florida State Seminoles 2014 recruiting class Wednesday (May 29). (CHRIS HAYS/ORLANDO SENTINEL)

Florida State has gained the services of a player whom Tallahassee Godby football coach Ronnie Cottrell is going to hate to see leave his program.

Linebacker Jacob Pugh committed to the hometown Seminoles on Wednesday, and the rising senior obviously has a big fan in Cottrell.

“He’s a tremendous family person and his family is real important to him and he loves his team and he told us before the spring even started that he wanted to get this out of the way,” Cottrell said of Pugh’s decision. “He didn’t want to take away from the focus of Godby High and that speaks volumes about the kind of person he is.”

It wasn’t an easy decision for Pugh, but he makes it sound like it was simple. His final three schools were Florida State, Alabama and Florida.

“I didn’t really think anything about all of that,” Pugh said early Wednesday evening, talking about the stature of the three football powers. “I just made my decision. I knew I had to come to a decision soon. It’s a big relief to get it done. I’m just kind of relaxing right now. I’ve been receiving phone calls all day. I’m kind of tired now.”

His relationship with FSU assistant coaches Charles Kelly and Jeremy Pruitt proved to be one of multiple factors Pugh said that led him to choosing FSU.

“It was a whole lot of everything,” Pugh said, “the coaches, the distance … everything.”

The distance was a selling point as well. Pugh said the FSU campus is “about eight minutes” from his house, which will make mom happy.

“Oh yeah, she’s happy about it,” said Pugh, who was about talked out after all the interviews he did on Wednesday.

Cottrell however, can fill in the blanks for his prized 6-foot-4, 220-pound linebacker. Pugh was a big part of the 14-1 Godby team that won the Class 5A state title last season. He had 98 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and two interceptions.

His skills will give the Seminoles an extremely versatile athlete on the edge.

“He has a very special ability to be able to play in space,” Cottrell said. “He has great length and is very disruptive out there with the length of his arms and his height and he also has the ability to pass rush.

“He had three tremendous schools looking at him and when you have Florida Sate and Alabama and Florida, three of the best programs in the country, recruiting you, that was a very, very difficult decision for Jacob.”

Interestingly for Pugh, he grew up being a Florida Gators fan, which can make for a bit of an outcast in Tallahassee.

“Yeah, it was kinda weird, I guess,” said Pugh, but also said that never factored into his recruiting judgment. “No, not at all.”

Now he can focus on the real reason why he wanted to get his decision done early.

“I want to win another state championship,” Pugh said.

Cottrell said it will be a difficult task to repeat, but he’ll be more comfortable trying to do so with Pugh on the field.

“He has been phenomenal this spring. He’s a great  leader and the captain of the defense,” Cottrell said. “He’s just a very unselfish player and I haven’t had many guys like him in my career. He’s just a special individual.”