No. 1 Recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux Visited FAMU; What Other FCS Schools Can Pull This Off?

Kayvon Thibodeaux was in Tallahassee visiting Florida State this past weekend when he dropped a bombshell; he was going to visit FAMU.


Whether or not he actually goes and plays for the Rattlers remains to be seen, and it’s probably unlikely, but it can’t be understated how important this is for HBCU and FCS schools. Instead of getting one-star guys they could pull in two to three-star guys just because the number one recruit visited an FCS school.

How? Well for one, the fact that the #1 kid in the recruiting class visited FAMU makes news as a novel occurrence and becomes a place that gets considered by at least a few other players who would never have thought of it otherwise.

With that in mind, we wondered what FCS schools could benefit from being close to an FBS school and maybe snag a visit from a recruit? We know that FAMU’s overall tradition and status as an HBCU had a lot to do with this particular instance but work with us anyways.

We set the perimeters at FCS schools within a 15-minute drive of an FBS school. Also, a couple of these schools are more basketball-leaning, but would still get the same “in-the-shadow” benefits.

Norfolk State

The Spartans are 11 minutes from the campus of Old Dominion. While ODU isn’t snagging top of the line recruits, they’re on the up-and-come, and maybe some of the guys visiting them could also be interested in checking out NSU. If for some reason ODU didn’t work out, they could transfer right down the street and play right away.

North Carolina Central

This would probably matter a lot more to an Eagles basketball team that has a pretty strong postseason history for such a small school. NCCU is only eight minutes from Duke, so could the Eagles get some ACC caliber recruits to visit? I think the potential is there, if only from a “it’s right down the road, might as well” standpoint.


Now that UAB plays football again, perhaps the Bulldogs can start looking for the Dragons recruits to visit their campus only 11 minutes away. All of the perks of Birmingham, none of the “we have to play in this stadium?”

San Diego 

This is maybe pushing the boundaries a bit, as San Diego is 19 minutes away from SDSU including traffic, but I’m told that by California standards they are “basically next door”. We will just say they are 15 minutes away without traffic, and there are worse problems than getting even closer to the beach, right?

Tennessee State

“S-E-C, S-E-C” that’s what they chant at Vandy right? The Tigers are seven minutes away from Vanderbilt’s campus; maybe just maybe an SEC caliber guy takes a visit to TSU and learns about their recent success against FBS teams. Giant killers come in many shapes and sizes.


Our site owner is from Pittsburgh and confirmed that these schools are close enough that a good-armed QB could probably throw a TD bomb from the edge of one campus to the other. With the Dukes a mere four minutes from the campus of Pitt, the Duquesne staff (especially, again, in basketball) could attract some Pitt recruits to visit since they’re literally right next door. Once they do they will see that Duquesne is a moderately successful program with all of the same geographic perks (that tuition, though).

Houston Baptist

The Huskies are a relatively new program, located a mere 15 minutes away from the University of Houston. Nobody thought Houston could pull a guy like Ed Oliver until they did, whose to say that HBU might not work the same magic from some recruit wanting to be “the guy”? If they do… OH BOY.

Texas Southern

Texas Southern has a leg up on HBU in that they are quite literally spitting distance from the UH campus. They have a lot of the historical perks that FAMU does as a fellow HBCU, and also are pretty good at that shooty hoops thing.

Incarnate Word

The Cardinals are 15 minutes (without traffic) away from UTSA. Sure the big names are unlikely to visit UTSA, but they get bigger names than UIW currently gets.


This one surprised me, the Vandals are nine minutes away from Washington State despite being in a different state. I had no clue Pullman and Moscow were so close. Idaho just dropped to FCS, which can’t be too good for recruiting; if they can snag some Wazzu guys, it would be a huge boost.

Now, does any of this mean FCS schools will get a 5-star commit? No. But if more guys like Thibodeaux take visits at FCS schools, recruiting two-three star guys or maybe even a four-star becomes slightly easier for the smaller guys.

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