On a day that saw Florida State address its future by securing commitments from three promising recruits, the 'Noles must deal with their past as yet another member of Jeff Bowden's disastrous final recruiting class has thrust Florida State into the news for the wrong reasons.
Florida State redshirt sophomore linebacker Maurice "Smiley" Harris was arrested Monday night for 2 felonies relating to driving a stolen vehicle and a traffic violation. No matter the nature of the charge nor his guilt or innocence, he has brought bad press to the University.
"Smiley" is another example of the failed 2007 recruiting class, a class cobbled together by Lazy recruiter and soon (in late 2006 early 2007) to be fired offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden. Of the 20 member class, only 12 remain. Cameron Wade and Maurice Harris are very likely to be booted from the team within the coming year because they lack talent, are lazy, and are undisciplined. Frequent readers will remember that we called for Cam Wade's dismissal because he is not a team player, doesn't have D1 talent, and is a general drag on the program undeserving of a scholarship that could be given to someone with you know, "actual talent." FSU should not have to honor scholarships for the recruiting failures of Jeff Bowden. They have not bought into the new demands of Jimbo Fisher and the new staff. Of the 12 remaining players (current juniors or redshirt sophomores), only 4 are starters. OG Rodney Hudson (recruited late in the process by FSU offensive line coach RIck Trickett- not a Jeff Bowden recruit), WR's Tiawan Easterling (recruited in the final week before signing day by Jimbo Fisher- not a Jeff Bowden recruit), Bert Reed, and LB Kendall Smith.
Let's be clear: Smiley is a bad player. He is tiny and cannot play linebacker on the division one level. He didn't get the job done in the weight room to gain the necessary size and was really a questionable recruit by the 'Noles in the first place. He was a backup with no chance of seeing meaningful playing time.
Jeff Bowden's terrible work ethic continues to haunt FSU to this day. His dad can't control the misfits he brought to the program, while by comparison, Fisher's kids have been considerably better behaved.
There's another problem with Harris, however, and that is that besides being a woefully undersized immature non-contributor, he is LB Coach Chuck Amato's only South Florida recruit in his second stint with the 'Noles. Sure, he was a member of the final Jeff Bowden class, but Amato is the "recruiter of record." Amato is supposedly a great South Florida recruiter, but he has only one south Florida commitment in his three years back (Harris). Cutting Harris would be an embarrassment for Amato, who has already drawn criticism for his poor linebacker coaching, allowing his backers to be consistently undisciplined. Chuck is in charge of discipline on the team, but will he act for the greater good or will he go for the ego play? Can he risk everyone realizing that his only South Florida recruit in three years, questionably talented at the time, has already failed? Without his South Florida recruiting prowess or linebackers who are producing for him, Amato would be reduced to little more than a glorified maid, requiring that player's lockers be straight at all times.
Smiley is garbage and should be off the team. Players who are marginal at best cannot embarrass the team and must be made an example of. Double standards exist for a reason. FSU's boosters should not tolerate this trash. Hopefully we can all celebrate when his scholarship is rightfully given to a deserving player with talent and work ethic.