Florida State recruiting mailbag: Where will Seminoles’ class finish in rankings?

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 the ceiling for Florida State’s 2018 class rankings-wise, 

First up this week, we have Jim Puccio who asks about where Florida State’s 2018 class will finish in the rankings.

Let’s start with the bad news. Florida State’s 2018 class has just 9 commitments and currently ranks No. 48 nationally and No. 10 in the ACC. About a month ago, the Seminoles had a top-10 class that only trailed rival Miami in the conference.

So the coaching transition has hurt the Seminoles in that regard.

However, you have to expect attrition anytime a new coach is hired. Eventually, there will be additions to replace them. In some cases, there might be players rated higher than the ones who left the class.

While he’s yet to land his first commitment, coach Willie Taggart has done a good job firming up the pledges of top players already in the class such as 4-star corner Anthony Lytton, 4-star defensive tackle Robert Cooper and 4-star linebacker Amari Gainer.

Additionally, as this weekend’s visit list shows, he’s done a great job in turning the tide with top targets such as 4-star receiver Warren Thompson, 4-star corner Isaiah Bolden and 4-star defensive end and current Oregon commit Malcolm Lamar.

The Seminoles sit in a good spot for those players.

Assuming Taggart can close strong, I believe the Seminoles can and will jump back into top 15 of the rankings with top 10 not being out of the realm of possibility. I don’t see top 5 being realistic.

Next, Lance Clark asks about quarterback recruiting and who could be options for Taggart at that spot.

I think Taggart wants to land at least one quarterback in this class and maybe two if he can.

With 3-star Tampa Bay [Fla.] Tech quarterback Michael Penix earning an offer from Florida State on Sunday and subsequently parting ways with Tennessee after being a Vols commit since April, the Seminoles have a shot to land him.

Indiana and South Florida are also in the mix with him. Penix took a mid-week visit to see the Hoosiers and was scheduled to visit Tennessee this weekend. With his weekend now open, Taggart could push to get him on campus since he’s deciding next week and will be an early enrollee for whichever school he chooses.

The other quarterback on the board for now is 4-star Montgomery [Ala.] Lanier passer James Foster. Regardless of what happens with Penix, I expect Taggart to pursue Foster.

If Penix heads elsewhere, I expect the quarterback board to expand.

Finally, Antwonne Teddy McCloud asks about Miami’s efforts to lure away 4-star Fort Lauderdale [Fla.] St. Thomas Aquinas corner and current Seminoles pledge Asante Samuel Jr.

The Hurricanes definitely have tried to make this recruitment interesting. Samuel visited Miami unofficially last month when the Hurricanes put a beat down on Notre Dame.

Additionally, Miami coaches visited him this week in an effort to get him on campus this weekend.

Not to be outdone, Taggart paid Samuel a visit as well and the trip resulted in him scheduling an official visit to Tallahassee this weekend.

For now, that’s a win for the Seminoles. But it’s a strategy that could backfire if he opts to go the distance with his recruitment, as he plans to currently do per David Furones of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

I would expect Taggart and his staff to try and get Samuel to re-think that plan and give their best effort to persuade him to try and commit in the early signing period.

If he does take his recruitment the distance, the Hurricanes chances of flipping him would get a boost.

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