Yesterday I asked our members to take on a little project. Today, we will discuss the development of players from the 2006 and 2007 classes in an attempt to figure out what the Noles are doing well and what areas still need a lot of work. PLUS, I have a few exciting recruiting links, and more thoughts on the Jimbo to Auburn deal. This is a big update, so have a look.
Your assignments are due. Let's get to this. Discussion throughout the day. What can we learn from this exercise about player development and the recruiting pratcices at FSU in the 2006 and 2007 seasons?
Links about prospects (lemme know if you have any non-premium links)
Remember when I said that the rumor was the defensive guys had lost their authority to decide who gets an offer? The rumor said Jimbo now had that power. We might just be seeing the first signs of this as I am hearing that FSU has offered ESPN's 77th ranked CB (scouting report there). This offer could be the indication that the staff changes have happened.
He's also being recruited by NCSt, Arkansas State, Ball State, Buffalo, Kent, Western Michigan
I'm not in love with this prospect, but I am absolutely giddy over the idea that Chuck Amato could be gone. Democrat Reporter insinuates that Amato needs to surrender the title of Executive Head Coach
One important area is the matter of team policies where players have told us behind the scenes, that at times, the delivered messages from the staff are mixed.
Ultimately, Bowden is the boss. But Bowden has always delegated many of the day-to-day dealings to his staff. In recent years that has come with a title of executive head coach. Kevin Steele owned that title and the duties that come with it before heading to Alabama. Now it belongs to Chuck Amato.
This recomendation [sic] has nothing to do with execution of that role but as a matter of practicality. The final voice on such delegated matters should belong to Fisher and there should be no confusion about that. It's one of the missing links in making this transition work.
I'm not paid to make readers happy like Ellis is, so I'll go ahead and say that Amato is easily the guy the insiders complain about the most. They consider him a clown, a fraud, a total has been who is drawing a charity paycheck, and someone who has zero hope of ever landing another decent D1 head coaching job. Rumor has it that he is the one who frustrates jimbo the most. Hopefully Chuck "The Clown" Amato has recruited his last kid for FSU.
It appears O'Dell Haggins got back to doing what he does best: Recruit. The guy who Pete Carroll called "the best 3-technique tackle prospect I've ever seen", and who ESPN has as the #3 DE prospect Nationally, Demonte McAllister, has canceled all his remaining official visits and reaffirmed his commitment to FSU.
McAllister said he's scratched plans to take other visits because he wants to begin preparing for his career at FSU.
"I'm going to keep working out and concentrate on academics," McAllister said.
It seems that ODell Haggins stopped by to see McAllister this past weekend and did quite the sell job to further cement the initial pull of WR Coach Lawrence Dawsey.
CJ Mizell was named one of the top 12 Linebackers in the Nation. Everyone knows about this kid's troubled past, but I am very happy that we are getting him. Assuming Nigel Carr can stay eligible until 2010, we will have quite the lineup of Juniors and Sophomores at the LB spots.
JC Shurburtt for ESPN.com on Jimbo Fisher's recruiting
Fisher has a good reputation as a recruiter, having earned it as an assistant coach at LSU under Saban and Les Miles and continued the good work at Florida State. With the agreement in place for Fisher to take over as the Noles' head coach when Bobby Bowden retires, recruits evaluate how they feel about Fisher as much as any other part of the FSU program when they examine it. So far, the evaluations have been positive.
Working for Saban has helped many coaches learn recruiting organization, so you can expect similar structure in a recruiting plan for whatever school Fisher is the head coach at, regardless if it's FSU eventually or Auburn. Expect a Fisher staff to also have good recruiters who are accountable for their performance in that area. He understands what must be done to get the necessary talent.
I bolded that for a reason. We will be a recruiting monster once we establish some accountability and cut the now far below acceptable (from a recruiting standpoint) pieces of this staff : Once we jettison Chuck the clown Amato, Bobby Bowden, Mickey Andrews, Dexter Carter (read Sunday's update for more on that, ugh), and Jodey Allen. Jimbo can't currently hold those guys responsible for their recruiting failures/ laziness. Replacing some of the slackers will show some in 2009, but the real impact will be felt in 2010, 2011, and beyond. Think about this: FSU has stayed decent despite really not even making a straight-faced attempt to compete at an elite level in 7 years. All but a handful of programs would have been completely crumbled. We didn't for two reasons: we had a very long way to fall and women (quite the recruiting tool to have the talent of Tallahassee and FamU). The overhaul is coming folks, but slowly.
Could Dan Mullen be headed to MSU?
I (for the purposes of this specific update "I" will represent "MattDNole") have thought Charlie Strong would make a better candidate.
1. What did the scouting report say about this player's potential?
2. What did the scouring report say this player needed to work on?
3. Has this player improved in the problem area and has he met his potential?
Answers from here: 2006, 2007
1. Has potential to be an excellent corner. Great physical tools.
2. "He relies so much on his natural tools and needs to work on technique and not take false steps or stop his feet out of the break."
3. He has improved some with experience, though some will argue that he still relies far too much on his natural talents. Critics say that he's as good now as he was at 18 years old and if he is receiving quality coaching, it hasn't shown in his development. Still, though, a very good college corner.
2006 Damon McDaniel- 4th rated receiver in the country. Lots of talent. Transferred after one year at Florida State. Also recruited by UF, LSU, MIAMI, VT, OSU
2006 Daron Rose- 12th rated offensive tackle prospect, very talented. Started in 2007. Fairly promising. Flunked out. Rumored to be at USF for 2009.
2006 Anthony Leon-- 17th rates safety. Size and speed, fluid. Needed coaching. "Has upside to be as good as his cousin-- Sean Taylor" Transferred/ Flunked Out/ Something. No longer here. Recruited by Miami, UF, LSU.
2006 Tim Rawlison- #39 LB prospect. Good size, decent speed. Projected to be a good college player, but not great. Not at FSU, unsure where he went. Grades maybe?
2006 Evan Bellamy- #50 Guard. Bellamy is a player with a nice upside. He is physical and has the frame, but needs to continuing working on technique and consistency. He had a very unfortunate blood clot this offseason, and nobody knows for sure if he will return.
2006 Tyler Graves #91 OL Roster filler. Not an impressive report. "with work, he could become a division 1 player". Still, LSU and Bama offered him. Fairly sure he is not on the roster any more. Probably a good thing.
2006 Brandon Paul. #14 WR. Is a huge threat as a returner and can exploit a tiny crease to take it the distance. Is decisive, can reverse field, cut against the grain and is fun to watch. Size is just marginal for a full-time running back, and durability could be an issue until he adds bulk and strength to his frame. Overall, Paul can be a "hold your breath" type player. Paul had a ton of talent in high school, but by many accounts was lazy at FSU, and thought he could coast on his Lincoln Reputation. Inadequate as a RB and lost in the shuffle at WR, he and the team parted ways early this season, amidst rumors of off-field trouble (never charged with anything).
Desman chipped in 2 evaluations-- thanks, Des!
2006 Dekoda Watson was off the radar as a recruit with a grade of 40 by ESPN. Sence becoming a Nole DW has made a name for himself being named to the ALL ACC Fr team and playing in 12 games in 2006. in 2007 he started all 12 games and was ranked 5th on the team w/ a single-season career-high 50 tackles. DW came in to Talla 6-2, 206lb and ran a 4.62. He is up to 227 as a Jr and I feel he has become one of the best parts of the Def. I think he will come back and become a leader on the Def. The only problem we have had with him that I have found is that he was part of the cheating scandal.
ed note: DW has potential to be really freakishly good as a senior as he is an absolute beast of an ethlete. One of the few hidden gems in 2006
2007 Dionte Allen is a 5'11 175 CB from Saint Mary's Prep School (MI), and was an ESPN top 150 (#5 corner prospect in the country). He tore something in spring practice and was not able to get in as fast as we wanted. He is the guy behind Tony carter. He RS in 2007. I don't know what he did this year because TC & PR were always in. From the looks of his report maybe we should have had him in if he was healthy. The bad thing is hes kinda short at 5'11. The scout report says hes the man with speed and agility. Basically this guy is going to be a great CB. Only time will tell with him. I thought he had some playing time this year but I'm not 100%. We should see him on the field as a starter next year.
ed note: I think the main knock on Allen is his inability to stay healthy. Let's all hope that he shakes this and stays healthy enough to contend for a top spot in the spring.
ChileanNole brings us the following about one of our talented linebackers:
2007 Kendall Smith
1. The evaluation of Kendall is that "Smith is an athletic linebacker prospect, but he is at his best between the tackles defending the run. He has good lateral movement and does a good job of taking on blocks. He has a good motor and hustles to the ball. He has good speed and displays a bit of a burst to the ball carrier. He is solid in his zone drops and can survive in space. Smith though is at his best near the line of scrimmage and taking on the run."
2. They said that "he will drop his head at times. He does a good job of using his hands to work over the top of blocks and get to plays on the perimeter. He is not a true sideline-to-sideline linebacker, but he does take good angles to the ball in pursuit. He needs to add some bulk to continue his physical style at the college level, but should be a good linebacker in college especially in running situations."
3. Reading the evaluation they project Smith as a fill in the hole run stopper LB. So far that seems to be the case. Of course. He has not seen the field as much yet with our depth at the position. They also say that he needs to bulk up to continue to improve and perfect his coverage skills. From all reports is seems as he has put on some weight and should continue to develop as a run stopper with increased playing time next year. The coverage skills are what concern me a bit. In the past, our LBs (with the exception of Ernie Sims who when asked could shut down a TE if not ask Kellen Winslow, Greg Olsen and Heath Miller) have been exploited in coverage. We seem to rely too much on our CBs and Safeties to fill in that role and good playcallers have taken advantage of it. Although I like the bigger more aggressive LBs, that aggressiveness has been used against us and with the proliferation of the spread and misdirection offenses, it is my opinion that we should ask our LBs to aid more in pass coverage situations. The only ones that did a good job at that in the current roster are Verdell and Ingram, both are converted safeties to LB.
evenflow58 brought us two more evaluations.
2006 Caz Piurowski
1. Should be an excellent all around TE at the college level, but needs to add weight. Good with the ball in the air and in pass blocking situations. Tough to bring down.
2. Needs to work on route running, which is solid but could improve.
3. The report doesn’t really say much bad about Caz. I believe he’s a better blocker than receiver at this point in his career but I think that has to do with the teams necessity than anything else as he’s often held in for blocking. He’s probably not athletic enough to play TE as a primary pass catcher but has seen his role increase along with the improvement of the Oline. Based on the scouting report he has not met his potential as a receiver but has definitely met it as a blocker.
2007 Bert Reed
1. "…An electrifying speedster in space and a nightmare to handle one-on-one in the open field." Projects as a WR even though he played QB in high school. Displays initial quickness, elusiveness, and "an impressive second-gear in the open field". "Smaller Percy Harvin." Tough and not afraid to lower his shoulder. Always in control.
2. Needs to add bulk in the weight room.
3. So far so good for Reed. He does need to add more weight to his frame but that’s expected for somebody of his age. The scouting report seems spot on as we’ve seen his play making ability this year. He needs to improve his blocking though. The biggest problem with Reed has been off the field. His attitude will most likely determine how far he goes more than his talent.
MattDNole evaluated three members of the 2006 class.
2006 Seddrick Holloway
1. Holloway is pretty much described as the perfect fullback. “Holloway is a well rounded prospect at the fullback position as he can run, block, and catch the ball.” They mention that he runs with a low center of gravity and can actually be effective with the ball in his hands and should be a target in the flat as a receiver.
2. His size and ability to hold blocks are the two major concerns listed.
3. I think over two years we’ve seen exactly what the ESPN scouts saw. In 2007 Holloway seemed to have 3 or 4 dive plays that he turned into long runs. I believe the only thing that hindered him this year was the presence of a healthy Marcus Sims to take away his playing time. It seems like Jimbo prefers a big running back at FB, and Holloway is a true fullback. Holloway still had a few catches this season, and even caught a TD against GT. He has grown into a bigger fullback, but I don’t think we run enough I formation sets to truly find a problem in his blocking skills.
2006 Ochuko Jenije
1. Ochuko’s most positive quality is that he is a consistent player. Not so much spectacular, but a workman who will do what he needs to in order to get the job done. They mention that he is better suited for safety because of a lack of speed, but that he would do very well as a FS who could read the quarterback and make plays.
2. " (he) lack(s) the acceleration and quickness" to play corner in college. He is a good tackler, but not very powerful.
3. Well… hope they were wrong, because Ochuko will probably be a starting corner for us next year. I think this is another failure of our defensive staff who likes to take tall, quick safeties and try to turn them into cornerbacks. Ochuko has seemed to improve as the season has gone along, and I’d even be comfortable with him as a second CB to Patrick Robinson so they were right on about his competitiveness and consistency. But I don’t think we’re going to get a lock-down corner out of Mr. Jenije.
2006 Myron Rolle
1. Can throw passes and catch them himself…. unless he defends them first.
Seriously, the hype for this guy was unbelievable. I can’t even begin to summarize the positives they had on this guy. Read for yourself.
“Spectacular is the word that comes to mind when evaluating Myron Rolle. This guy has the total package; size, speed, athleticism, toughness and versatility. He could be an impact player immediately at three different positions; running back, safety or cornerback. We project him as a corner or cover safety. Rolle is a physical, aggressive defensive back and the sky’s the limit in terms of upside. Is a big, physical and confident corner. He has elite size, strength and speed and is what every college coach wants in a corner. Shows rare quickness – hips are extremely fluid and he shows very little wasted motion when changing directions. Is smooth and has outstanding instincts and feel in coverage. Shows ability to cover opponents’ top receiver on an island and take him out of the game. His plant and drive ability is what makes him a playmaker -few have his closing quickness at his size. His lateral movement is excellent and he is an absolute playmaker. His range is excellent when asked to play zone. Shows excellent ball skills and the ability to challenge for the ball in the air. Gets into receivers bodies and shows an understanding of bump-and-run technique. Is strong at the point of attack and can turn and run with most receivers. Has good hands and also breaks up a lot of passes. Has the size and leaping ability to make plays on deep routes. Is really active in all aspects of the game. Plays with great leverage and has wonderful pop at the point of attack. Is active against the run – is a solid, powerful, wrap-up tackler. Aside from his physical ability, he is smart and has a natural feel for the game. Slated to play rover, safety and cornerback at the college level.”
2. Needed to work on? Weaknesses? What are those? I mean… can an aversion to kryptonite be considered a weakness?
3. Well obviously Myron Rolle is not a corner. Myron Rolle is not even a “cover” safety. Myron Rolle is a middle linebacker who does quite read and react as well as you’d think given his GPA. Still, he’s a brilliant guy and a great ambassador. Let’s remember him as that, and not as the second coming of Prime Time.
2006 Kevin McNeil
1. He is a very active player, can be very disruptive. At times he can be very explosive. He has a very good motor, and has the ability to be a productive pass rusher.
2. He can be out of control in space, and isnt a sure tackler in space.
3. Mcneil is a odd player to me. I think he does have the ability to be a very good pass rusher, and at times he shows flashes of that ability. He had a pretty good freshman season, now it seems he is often injured now. I think he still needs to work on being a sure tackler, but almost everyone on our d needs to. If he stays healthy i think kevin could be very productive for us next season.
2006 Marcus Ball
1. Athletic, quick feet, excellent change-of-direction skills, outstanding closing speed, physical, uses hands well, good upper body strength, comfortable dropping into zone coverage, “special athlete.” “If he can continue to add size and strength and keep his athleticism he will be a playmaker at the college level.”
2. No. Known. Weaknesses. Article mentions that good pursuit and speed make up for any out-of-position or poor angle decisions.
3. Ball “left the team” before the 2008 season. There was talk of moving him from linebacker to safety. Trouble followed him at FSU, but reports state that his locker was always immaculate and tidy in the 2007 season. I think a lot of us were excited about Marcus and were disappointed at how his story at FSU ended. That said, it was time for the kid to go.
2006 Brandon Warren
1. “Warren is one of those athletes that coaches just want to get on campus.” (Apparently.) Athletic enough to contribute at DE or TE, but “especially intriguing” at TE. Wonderful size, can get bigger, has speed to stretch the field, not afraid of contact, good balance, runs good routes, can create after catch, can outjump linebackers, releases well, potential to be good pass and run blocker. “Regardless of what position he winds up playing Warren should be an outstanding player on the college level.”
2. No. Known. Weaknesses.
3. Freshman All-American with 28 catches for 301 yards and 1 TD. Maybe I’m just a bad person, but for some reason, the image of this non-catch will always be stuck in my mind, however. Or maybe it’s because of some events that transpired after his freshman season. Brandon’s mother, who lives in Tennessee, became deathly ill to the point that she sometimes had to crawl on all fours to reach her pets’ water bowls just to slurp liquid through a straw to provide nourishment to her body (writer’s embellishment…. Brandon’s, not mine). At the same time, rumors persisted that the recruiting process for Brandon had not ended. In fact, during one investigation of Brandon’s apartment, interviewers discovered several orange-frosted half-eaten doughnuts littered throughout the premises. (University of Tennessee officials later argued that then-head coach Phillip Fulmer couldn’t possibly have had any involvement because he never would have left a doughnut half eaten. Touche.)
Fortunately, despite these pressures, Brandon honored his commitment to Florida State University. Brandon caught 10 passes for 85 yards for UT in 2008.
2006 Marcus Sims
1. Analysis focuses mostly on his ability as an ILB, but adds that he has “a talented athlete that is also a very good running back.”. As an ILB, has “great first step, can quickly get downhill and fill, and is physical at the point of attack.” Has excellent closing speed and “the quickness to compensate if he takes a poor angle.” Can drop back into zone coverage and has the hips to turn and run with backs in man to man situations. “Navigates well in traffic and is very good at slipping and avoiding blocks.” So what i’m hearing you say is….he is the second coming of his older brother?
2. They don’t offer a word of criticism in this eval
3. Well as we know, Marcus is not playing ILB at FSU but rather as a big body running back used a lot in goal line situations and often seen coming out into the flat catching passes. From what i have heard the coaches are very high on Marcus, not sure if that is the consensus or what. Marcus started slow in 2008 but i think turned in a pretty decent year despite what some will call the play (or lack there of) that ruined our season. For a big guy, he does have decent quickness and is able to catch the ball effectively out of the backfield for the most part. His pass blocking in my opinion is an area of weakness and was glaringly evident this season.
Post away, MattDNole or myself or another author will add them in to the report.
What do you see so far?