FSU football welcomes incoming OL rookie Julian Armella

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Cameron Erving gave Julian Armella more than his bracelet when the two met at a Florida State football camp several years ago.

Erving, a former star offensive lineman for the Seminoles, gave him advice on how a strong work ethic tends to breed success. The sentiment resonated with Armella, a schoolgirl at the time who had just started playing football.

The brief encounter inspired Armella to become one of the top offensive line recruits in the Class of 2022.

“He made me want to aspire and have goals and dreams for football,” Armella told the Democrat over the weekend.

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One of those aspirations came true on Monday when Armella arrived at FSU to begin his college football career. He followed the path of his father, Enzo Armella, who played on the Seminole defensive line in the 90s.

Julian will also look to emulate the success of Erving, FSU’s only first-round offensive line pick since the 2007 NFL Draft. The Seminoles have plenty of reason to believe Armella, 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, will replicate Erving’s academic career.

“I’m really excited for Julian,” said FSU head coach Mike Norvell. “He’s done a tremendous job throughout his high school career changing his body. Physically, he’s going to have a lot of tools to be able to compete early. He’s also playing one of the toughest positions to get in and out of. contribute early, but he is passionate about it.

“And I like the things he’s done so far. He’s tall, long, athletic and he does a great job with the physical nature of the game.”

Projected as a left tackle, Armella helps fill one of the Seminoles’ biggest positional needs. And four-star Fort Lauderdale (Florida) rookie St. Thomas Aquinas signed as one of the highest-ranked offensive linemen in recent program history.

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Rivals rates Armella as its No. 7 and No. 66 offensive tackle overall in the 2022 class. On3 ranks Armella No. 11 at the same position and No. 159 overall. Armella arrives as 247Sports’ No. 13 interior offensive lineman.

Since the Class of 2007, only Ira Denson (#55; 2013), Baveon Johnson (#45; 2016) and Landon Dickerson (#43; 2016) have signed with the Seminoles and ranked higher than Armella in the national recruitment of Rivals. rankings.

Thus, Armella’s landing by FSU should be considered one of his best high school recruiting additions in recent years. And Armella certainly knows what he can offer the Seminoles.

“I’m going to give them a dog for one,” Armella said of her tenacious style. “I will give them a lot of leadership. … I know that I will eventually become a leader. Whenever someone needs something or is down, I will be one of those players on the court that they can count on as a brother and teammate.

Julian Armella started football later than usual

Around the age of 12, Armella finally tried her hand at football.

Starting football later didn’t stop Armella from making an early impact. What Armella showed in his college movie caught the eye of Torrian Wilson, and Armella has been training with the former UCF offensive lineman ever since.

“Julian was bullying people from the start,” Wilson told the Democrat.

Wilson served as Armella’s offensive line coach for part of his time at St. Thomas Aquinas. He now works with Armella and several other high school, college and NFL players as CEO of Crafting Linemen.

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The fierce attitude that Wilson saw Armella bring to his game as an inexperienced player has not left him.

“He’s a block-finishing guy,” Wilson said. “He’s a guy you probably have to tell to let go in training or in the game. He’s a guy who ends up on the whistle. A lot of times guys end up on the whistle but not through the whistle is one of the things that is different.

“And his athleticism and the mindset that he has. His mindset is way beyond his years. The things he wants to accomplish with his game are second to none. The athleticism, the knowledge of the game – people don’t realize how smart he is about the game. He’s definitely a guy who can do it all.”

Playing the right weight has been part of Armella’s goal with Wilson and overall. About two years ago, Armella weighed 330 pounds. The Seminoles listed him at 285 pounds when they announced his signing last December. Losing that weight helped Armella become faster and more agile.

With his upcoming transition to college football, Armella has spent the last semester weighing around 300 pounds. FSU’s strength and conditioning program is expected to play a major role in Armella’s continued development.

“I’m looking forward to all the training I’m going to get at Florida State University,” Armella said. “I can’t wait to go to the weight room and all that. I invite everything into my life. FSU has been a part of my life, but this is going to be a new chapter. I will be able to transform my body on a different level. This thing will start soon.

As Armella progressed through the St. Thomas Aquinas football program, he began receiving scholarship offers from all major Power Five schools. LSU, Alabama, and Florida were included in Armella’s top four schools list.

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Armella eventually joined the first program that would have been offered to her. A program that Armella admired long before he began to bully opposing defensive linemen.

“The first thing that comes to mind when you say ‘Julian’ is loyalty,” Wilson said. “He is a child who thrives on loyalty. If you can really get close to him and build a bond, he will fight for you no matter what. It is certainly something that is true.

“He loves the people around him. He loves family. He loves people who are close to him. So the most important thing with him is that he loves loyal people around him.

Armella hopes to ‘raise the standard’ at FSU

Once Armella fully embraced football, her dad bought her a blocking sled.

“I would be in the garden with him. He would help me run and teach me all these things,” Armella said. “And he would have chosen my brain as well since he was playing on the defensive line. He was telling me some keys and things I need to look for on the offensive line.

Enzo playing college football influenced his son. And being an FSU legacy sparked Julian’s early interest in the Seminoles. But Armella chose FSU for reasons that go beyond her upbringing.

“There’s something about the culture of Florida State that makes me want to be a part of it,” Armella said. “I like what Coach Norvell is doing there. I look forward to whatever he prepares for us in the future.

“I was talking to a lot of other schools. But the main thing that struck me about FSU was the people there. It’s more than the program and what the program has to offer. It’s the people. »

Armella has more to accomplish with the Seminoles than just fulfilling her father’s legacy. He wants to be an important player and leader like Erving was. He wants to be part of the team that brings FSU back to center stage. He wants to be a first pick in the draft.

The day he arrived in Tallahassee, Armella posted a message on social media that best expresses what he hopes to achieve with the Seminoles.

“Dear FSU fans, football and coaches, there are a few things I would like to get off my chest,” Armella wrote in the post. “We are going to change the culture and become victorious in the years to come. As a STUDENT-athlete, you all have my word that I will raise the bar and give it my all.

“Some things you get from me are…. a MF DAWG! A teammate/family member. Someone who won’t stop grinding until the job is done.

“And finally, I’m extremely excited and blessed to be (part of) your family. I can’t wait to start this chapter with all of you. Sincerely, Big Ju.

Contact Carter Karels at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Carter Karels.

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