Florida State put together a strong class during every year under head coach Jimbo Fisher, and the Seminoles are at it once again. The Seminoles' 25-member 2014 class is one of the best nationally, and is neck-and-neck with Miami in the ACC. But the Seminoles trail no team nationally when it comes to recruiting momentum, thanks to its great on-field play and a trip to the national title game if they keep winning.
In recent years, Florida State has loaded up on defense, but so far the 2014 class has 12 offensive players, 12 defensive, and a long snapper. Most of the final
five or six spots six or eight (though it is a good bet that several of the current commitments will not be on the final list) will go on the offensive side of the football. It's also possible that a current commitment or two could be asked to grayshirt if Florida State lands a lot of its final targets, delaying their enrollment until next January.
Here are some of the top players FSU has assembled at this point:
- Kain Daub is a four-star linebacker from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood High School. He is considered the 43rd-best overall prospect in the 2014 class, making him the highest-ranked player to commit to FSU. He's also the No. 3 player at his position and the seventh-best player from Florida. Florida State needs bigger linebackers for its new 3-4 defense, and Daub fits the bill. As does, Jacob Pugh, another four-star linebacker, and he's from Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla. He is regarded as the 10th-best player at his position, and the No. 137 overall prospect, as well as the 19th-best player in Florida.
- With the potential to lose all three of its starting receivers after this year, receiver is a major position of need. Four-star wide receiver Markell Pack hails from Purvis (Miss.) High School. He is the 23rd-best player at his position and the No. 144 overall prospect in the country.
- Demarcus Christmas is a four-star defensive tackle. The Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee High School product is regarded as the No. 152 player overall, the No. 13 player at his position and the No. 20 prospect from Florida.
- Saluda (S.C.) High School's Dexter Wideman is a four-star defensive tackle ranked about the same as Christmas. Wideman is the No. 161 overall prospect in the nation, the No. 15 player at his position and a top-five player from South Carolina. Wideman is not a solid commitment, as he has visited the South Carolina Gamecocks multiple times of late, and FSU is recruiting to ensure it is covered should he flip.
- Four-star athlete Treon Harris is from Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington High School. He's being recruited as a QB, but can also play defensive back or wide receiver at the college level. He's considered the 22nd-best prospect in Florida and the No. 172 overall player in the nation. Harris wants to play quarterback, and FSU will definitely give him his shot.
Florida State is totally set at quarterback and linebacker, and is unlikely to take another recruit at either position, though linebacker is more likely than quarterback.
The Seminoles still need more offensive linemen, running backs, superstar receivers (FSU has good but not great talent here, and can do better), defensive linemen, and defensive backs.
And Florida State has a lot of room in 2014, perhaps as many as 31 without any greyshirts, if it can get six prospects to enroll early.
The Seminoles would like to pick up an elite running back, like Joe Mixon or Dalvin Cook, a current Florida commitment. But the Seminoles also need numbers, and for that, would like to add a back like Donte Thomas-Williams or T.J. Harrell.
Of late, FSU has surged with Cook, who continues to have a great season. And Mixon is also very high on Florida State. The Seminoles would be extremely happy to land either.
As of yet, Thomas-Williams has not visited Florida State, but is expected to do so this weekend. Harrell has not been to Tallahassee since camp in July. Sources indicate Louisville is surging with Harrell.
Florida State knows that it likely has only one remaining season of Jameis Winston at quarterback -- a player that several draft experts have said would go No.1 overall if he were eligible to turn pro after this season. Knowing that, FSU is strongly committed to putting game-ready players around him. JUCO offensive tackles Chad Mavety and Jordan Prestwood are both college-ready, and are strongly considering Florida State. In the High School ranks, FSU is very involved with Rod Johnson, Frank Ragnow, David Sharpe, Damian Prince, Brock Ruble, and a few others. It would like to take seven or more offensive linemen, if possible. All of the players mentioned above except Ruble are roughly four-star caliber, with a few outlets giving select players five stars.
Mavety and Prestwood remain very likely to pick Florida State. Both have visited Tallahassee and know they could play right away.
Ragnow is visiting Tallahassee this weekend for the Syracuse game and is also high on Minnesota, which is having a surprising season, and Arkansas. Sources indicate that FSU is very high on his list.
Damian Prince is supposed to be visiting this weekend according to Josh Newberg of 247sports. If he follows through on the plans, that would be big news, as he has yet to take a trip to Tallahassee. He has visited Maryland many times, and most believe he'll end up at Maryland to be close to his family. Ohio State is also in the picture, and is obviously closer to the DC area than Tallahassee.
Roderick Johnson remains very high on FSU, and is believed to be the top high school tackle on the board. The in-state Missouri Tigers are pushing for him, using the momentum of their excellent season, but the confidence in Tallahassee remains high.
Sharpe is a bit of a mystery at this point. He was going to visit for the Miami game, then cancelled, and visited Tennessee last weekend. He has not scheduled an official visit for Tallahassee at this point, and recently tweeted that he was close to making a decision. Given his lack of a visit to Tallahassee, it seems unlikely that he will be committing to FSU. Florida may be the destination with Georgia fading.
Ruble did enjoy his visit quite a bit, but it's yet to be seen how much distance will factor into the equation.
FSU has been kicking the tires of Josh Allen, an offensive guard commit to UNC out of Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian.
A newer name for some casual Florida State fans is Kareem Are, an interior JUCO OL from Fort Scott (Kansas) JUCO. He also holds a South Carolina offer.
There is an outside chance that Florida State would take eight or nine offensive linemen if three are JUCO players.
Florida State has five commitments from receivers, but it wants to add more elite talents at the position. FSU faced negative recruitment for not sending any receivers to the NFL since the 2007 draft, but with its three starters at receiver playing at such a high level and being very likely to head to the draft this year or the next, major prospects are taking note. Five-stars Malachi Dupre and Ermon Lane (UF commitment) are communicating regularly with Florida State, and four-stars Travis Rudolph and Josh Malone are as well.
Lane is now likely to take an official to Florida State, Florida, Alabama and Miami, and some believe his recruitment will be impacted by what Dalvin Cook does.
Rudolph is especially likely to attend Florida State based on recent chatter. If FSU lands more than one of the above players, a currently committed recruit could head elsewhere to seek more playing time.
That player could be Ryan Sousa, who recently received an offer from Florida. Sousa was very interested in Florida before the Gators did not offer and the Seminoles did.
Florida State fans should keep an eye on the situation at Virginia. If Mike London is fired after another dismal season, FSU would be back in the mix for five-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown, and four-star offensive tackle Will Richardson.