Have Florida State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Thursday for the Florida State DieHards recruiting mailbag to discuss Seminoles recruiting. This week, we discuss a potential side effect of Florida State’s loss to Miami, 2018 QB options, the potential early impact of one 2018 OL pledge and a peek at a particular group of 2019 recruits from the state of Georgia.
Florida State’s recruiting efforts never slow down, so lets take a look at some of the burning questions on the minds of Seminoles fans this week. Here we go.
Brandon, this is an interesting question. First, a little bit of data to chew on.
Over the last four recruiting cycles, Florida State has signed 99 recruits, according to 247Sports. Of those 99 players, 54 are from the state of Florida. That figure includes five players signed from Florida prep powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, but only one of those players — defensive end Joshua Kaindoh — was not originally from the state of Florida.
So from those numbers, more than half of Florida State’s last four classes come from its home base.
Florida is quite possibly the most-loaded state in the nation when it comes to talent, so it makes sense that fans and coaches would want to emphasize recruiting in the Sunshine State.
Florida State seems to have employed a strategy of recruiting the state of Florida first and then cherry-picking other territories across the country in an effort to find the nation’s best talent.
The loss to Miami certainly puts a damper on the run of success Florida State has enjoyed under Jimbo Fisher in terms of on-field success versus the Seminoles rivals, but I don’t think it will have a drastic change to the Seminoles overall recruiting strategy.
It’s hard to argue with the wealth of talent that Florida State has recruited in recent years and the NFL prospects that have emerged from Tallahassee in the same time span.
Florida natives such as former running back Dalvin Cook, former defensive end Demarcus Walker and current players such as safety Derwin James, corner Tarvarus McFadden and quarterback Deondre Francois were all once top-100 overall recruits that the Seminoles won out for on the recruiting trail.
Despite the Seminoles’ on-field struggles, I expect that trend to continue with Florida State finding success in its backyard under Fisher.
With 5-star quarterback and top overall prospect Justin Fields now committed to Georgia, Florida State is now left with precious few options if they choose to take a quarterback in the 2018 cycle.
As we mentioned last week, including Fields, Florida State has only offered seven passers in this class. All of them are currently committed to other programs. Of that group, the only one that appears to be leaving the door slightly open in his recruitment is 4-star Lawrenceville [Ga.] Central Gwinnett quarterback and current Kentucky commit Jarren Williams.
I expect Fisher and his staff to circle back on all of the options they really like in the 2018 cycle, just to do their due diligence — with Williams included among that group.
The Seminoles could also choose to expand their board in this cycle and offer someone new. Some names to watch there include 3-star Tennessee commit Michael Penix, 3-star Riley Smith and 3-star Carter Bradley.
Yet another option would be to pass on quarterback this cycle and turn the focus to the 2019 cycle. A name to watch there is 4-star Texas A&M commit Grant Gunnell.
Babamp, if there’s one position where you rarely see true freshmen come in and earn playing time, it’s offensive line. The physical and mental toughness that position requires is simply a tall task for an 18-year-old to undertake in his first year on a college campus.
Florida State has three offensive linemen committed in the 2018 cycle. The only center they currently have pledged is 4-star Bradenton [Fla.] IMG Academy standout Verdis Brown. The 6-foot-3, 294-pound interior lineman is originally from Chicago and he’s scheduled to be an early enrollee, which could help his chances to find early minutes in the rotation.
However, in looking at Florida State’s depth chart at center, the Seminoles currently have a pair of fourth-year juniors lining up in starter Alec Eberle and backup Corey Martinez. Additionally, a pair of redshirt freshmen — Baveon Johnson and Andrew Boselli — were once-touted recruits who have battled injuries since arriving on campus. Assuming all of those players return, that would be a lot of bodies in front of Brown to get to the top spot.
The situations at tackle — where the Seminoles have a senior and a fourth-year junior manning the starting spots currently — are more-friendly options for a player to come in and potentially make an early impact.
Brandon, Florida State currently has three players from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga,. already committed in the 2019 cycle that are a part of the True 19 game.
Those players are 4-star offensive tackle Wanya Morris, 4-star safety Kenyatta Watson II and 3-star defensive tackle Tru Thompson. A fourth Grayson player — 4-star athlete Ronald Thompkins — was committed to Florida State, but recently reopened his recruitment.
However, the momentum that in-state power Georgia is enjoying on the field this season has certainly transferred over to the recruiting trail and it could end up playing a role with some of the kids in the next cycle, just from a timing standpoint.
Florida State’s struggles also aren’t helping its efforts in that regard, but there’s still a long way to go in this season on the field and in the current cycle. That picture should clear up over the next few weeks and months.
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