Receiver Javonte Seabury committed to Florida State before signing with Western Michigan. (Special to Detroit News)
Javonte Seabury is making it known he is the fastest high school football player in the state of Florida, a reason Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck is looking forward to him being on the field at Waldo Stadium this fall.
Seabury is among the talented players who made Western the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference according to Rivals.com. Now, Fleck has to get busy to make that translate into victories after a 1-11 season his rookie year in 2013.
Seabury, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound receiver from Orlando, picked the Broncos over national champion Florida State.
“I’m so excited to be going to Western Michigan,” said Seabury, who committed last weekend after taking an official visit. “It’s such an energetic atmosphere with the coaching staff. I felt like I’ve known the staff forever in just that one weekend.
“Coach Fleck is the coolest coach I’ve ever encountered and that includes Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. He’s amazing and made me feel loved, like I was one of the family. I just really had a great time on my visit, one of the best times of my life. It’s a beautiful campus and they have a very good business school which I plan to take advantage of.”
So, how fast is Seabury and how does Fleck plan to use him?
“Coach Fleck wants to get me in space and let me use my speed to make things happen,” Seabury said. “I ran a 4.3 at LSU and a 4.33 at Miami. I ran a 10.4 100 meters, which is No. 1 in the state.
“When I got offered at Florida State, I committed a couple of days later (in July). I changed my mind (in August). I want to get on the field right away and make things happen. On my visit there were a lot of commits there. They were great guys too. Quarterback Chance Stewart was there and I told him, ‘I can’t wait until you start throwing some passes to me.’ ”
Chance Stewart, a 6-5, 210-pound quarterback, committed to Wisconsin, but changed his mind after Bret Bielema left for Arkansas. He then committed to Western before his senior year at Sturgis.
Stewart is ranked No. 11 on The News Blue Chip list. Seabury was ranked No. 22 on the Orlando Sentinel’s Super 60.
Stewart will have some talented receivers to work with in Seabury, Jaime Wilson and Corey Davis. Wilson missed the 2013 season with a leg injury.
Lonnie Johnson from Gary, Ind., is another prized recruit. He is a 6-3, 190-pound wide receiver/safety who decommitted from Ohio State in the fall.
Lineman Nick Matich of Division 1 state champion Clarkston (News’ No. 16), Chukes Okorafor of Southfield (No. 20) and receiver Asantay Brown of Muskegon Mona Shores (No. 24) are three more quality recruits. Okorafor had offers from Florida, Iowa and Arkansas.
And, don’t forget Chicago Catholic League Player of the Year Robert Spillane, a 6-2, 220-pound tailback/linebacker and grandson of former Heisman Trophy award winner Johnny Lattner (1953, Notre Dame). Running backs Jarvion Franklin (Tinley Park, Ill.) and Jamauri Bogan (Union High, N.J.) also can make things happen. Still, it could be Seabury who is the catalyst.
“He’s going to be a big asset to WMU’s program,” said Jimmy Buckridge, Seabury’s head coach at Timber Creek. “He’s a speed kid and a tough kid who likes to work. We put him in space, used him in bubble screens and reverses and he made things happen.”
WMU’s class — 57th in the nation — is the highest-ranked class in MAC history according to Rivals.com rankings. It is the first time a conference school ever finished in the top 60. Kent State’s 2009 class was No. 62 and WMU’s was 65th in 2008.
The Broncos signed 14 three-star recruits, more than double of any other MAC team this season. They have seven of the top 40 players in The News Blue Chip list, including lineman Jordan VanDort (Zeeland West, No. 28), defensive lineman Ken Finley (Muskegon, No. 32) and tight end Lucas Bezerra (Troy Athens, No. 40).