Highly touted OL Qae'shon Sapp hits ground running with FSU Football
It wasn't easy for him during the spring. While most of the incoming Florida State recruiting class was already enrolled, getting acclimated to college life and college practices, four-star offensive line prospect Qae'shon Sapp had to watch from afar.
He was still finishing up his senior year at Lee County High School in Leesburg, Ga. (the same alma mater as Buster Posey and former FSU two-sport athlete D'Vontrey Richardson). And he had to wait to officially become a Seminole.
The most difficult days were when he would come down to watch FSU practice in the spring.
"It was kind of hard being around Coach Atkins, and not being able to jump into that fire sometimes," Sapp said in reference to offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Alex Atkins. "I wanted to be in it so bad, because you’re being able to work with the guys that you’re going to be with for the next three to four years while I’m here. ...
"Being around those guys and watching them through the practices in the spring just made me want to go out there and play along with them because those are my brothers, people I am going to build a brotherly bond with. It was really hard trying to just sit on the side and watch when I wanted to participate as well.”
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Sapp gets to participate now.
He was one of the highest-rated recruits in the Seminoles' Class of 2022. Rivals ranked Sapp as the No. 12 guard in the country, and he was listed as one of the top 25 players in Georgia regardless of position.
He is listed by FSU at 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds. But he admits that number is a little off.
Sapp said he got to campus earlier this summer and weighed right at 350 pounds. A little less than two weeks ago, when he talked to the media for the first time, he said he weighed 339 pounds. So, his weight was heading in the right direction while he's also improving his strength numbers weekly.
"It's a really good transition," Sapp said of FSU's summer workout program. "And it's really helping me out. It’s telling me that they’re willing to help me get where I want to be to succeed.”
Like all of the other offensive line recruits in his class -- and there are a lot of them -- Sapp spoke glowingly of Atkins. He said FSU's offensive coordinator has become like another parent in his life.
He said they rarely, if ever, talk about football away from the field. It's always more personal than that.
"Me growing up without a father, it just made everything click more," Sapp said. "Because [Atkins] is a person I can look up to and I can call if I need someone to talk to about certain things. Personal things in my life that I am dealing with, like adversity and stuff."
Sapp said he had a close cousin pass away in June of 2017, and five years later he's still struggling with the pain of that loss.
"I have had a really hard time dealing with that," Sapp said. "And he's been telling me the stuff that he has been through. He's not going to tell me stuff I don't want to hear or that won't help me. ... Listening to him and learning from him will help me a lot. I'm not out here by myself. I have somebody I can count on. As a father-figure and as a coach."
On the coaching front, Sapp said he knows what to expect from Atkins. He watched from the sidelines during his visits to campus in the spring, and he's already experienced weeks of it now that he's enrolled at Florida State.
Atkins is no-nonsense on the field. He's tough. He's going to hold players accountable at every step along the way.
All of the linemen understand that. Even the new ones, some of whom Sapp said he played a role in bringing to Tallahassee as a grass-roots recruiting coordinator for the Seminoles.
And now that they're all finally here, Sapp said, they are embracing the college journey together.
"I recruited a lot of offensive linemen in my class," he said. "That's why we had a lot of guys. Over the years, all of us are going to become brothers and build that bond together. ... It gives me a chance to take every bits and pieces from each player, their talents. It helps me learn from different things."
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