Have Florida State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. You can tweet @Sanjay Kirpalani or @NolesDieHards with your questions. Join us every Friday for the Florida State DieHards recruiting mailbag to discuss Seminoles recruiting. This week, we discuss …. where things stand with potential commitments, especially at defensive end.
First up this week, Brent Michael asks what is the biggest selling point for the staff in trying to convince recruits to attend Florida State.
That’s actually a great and fascinating question, Brent.
And I actually have two answers.
I’ll start with one single thing — the excitement and enthusiasm new coach Willie Taggart and his staff have brought to Tallahassee.
Having been around the program since Taggart’s arrival, I sense an excitement similar what was in the air when Bobby Bowden’s best teams were the kings of college football in the 1990s. I’m not saying the program back to that level, but just the excitement and sense of where the program is headed feel a bit nostalgic thanks to Taggart embracing the tradition and welcoming coaches and players from that era.
It’s a big change from the last year or so of the Jimbo Fisher era, when it felt like everyone involved with the program was laboring to the finish line so they move on from the season.
Taggart has brought a breath of fresh air in so many ways. He’s loose and fun-loving, but the foundation of his program is preaching accountability. It’s early, but it appears as if the players are buying in. Recruits appear to be doing the same as the buzz surrounding the program has spilled over to the recruiting trail.
The second way I’d answer the question is simply the combination of benefits Florida State offers as a university. The Seminoles are one of a few programs nationally that can boast a winning tradition, a recent history of recruiting and developing NFL-caliber talents, championships, location, and a quality education all in one university.
That’s a lot to sell and why the job will always be one of the better ones in college football.
Next, we have Russell Menefee asking about how Taggart and his staff will try to fix the shortage of receivers on the roster.
Russell, I think Taggart and his staff took the first step toward rectifying that shortage by signing five wide receivers in the 2018 cycle.
That will bring the number of available receivers on the roster to 10 this fall.
The next task for the staff will be to even out the distribution or receivers across classes in the next few cycles. That’s important so that Florida State won’t be in a similar position in future cycles.
That means the Seminoles will likely take at least three receivers in the 2019 class.
Last week, we covered a few names that could occupy the top spots on Florida State’s receivers board. So far, Florida State has gotten three standout prospects — 4-star Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna receiver John Dunmore, 4-star Saint Simons Island (Ga.) Frederica Academy receiver Jashawn Sheffield and 4-star Nashville (Tenn.) Franklin Road Academy receiver Lance Wilhoite — on campus within the last month.
Finally, Jeff Burrows asks about the expected turnout of recruits for Florida State’s spring game next month.
Continuing the theme of getting recruits on campus, my short answer to this question would be a resounding yes.
While the visit list is far from set, my expectation is that Taggart and everyone involved with the program will want this spring game to be a special one. After all, it’s the unofficial start of the Taggart era.
The atmosphere is likely to be festive, with former players from the great Seminoles teams of the past likely to be represented. There’s already a concert planned around the spring game and a big baseball series on campus that weekend.
It’s safe to say fans will be juiced to get their first glimpse of what “lethal simplicity” actually looks like on the field.
What better opportunity to showcase the program to recruits will come around in the near future? The answer is likely none.
I would expect the staff to push to not only get a number of top targets in the 2019 class to Tallahassee, but also prospects in future cycles that they already like a good bit.
The staff has already succeeded in getting a number of top players on campus in the early stages of the 2019 cycle, but I’d expect that activity to ramp up considerably in the coming weeks and culminating with the spring game.
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