In the wake of FSU picking up its 10th commitment (Holmes Onwukaife) I began to think about the importance of the new efforts in FSU’s recruiting. Most of the praise goes to Fisher and Coley, and rightfully so, but Bob LaCivita should get an assist here. As you may or may not remember LaCivita was hired in ’07 to the position of Football Director of Player Personnel, a position he previously held at NCState and, more recently, UF. LaCivita’s job entails overseeing administrative duties relating to recruiting and assisting on day-to-day football activities.
More after the jump.
As soon as LaCivita showed up in Tallahassee so did Seminole Showtime. Former players were actively pursued and asked to come back to FSU to participate in events. Non-FSU NFL players were recruited to join others and put a stamp on FSU as the place to be. The best thing about Onwukaife’s recruitment is that each point listed above can be seen in his recruitment.
Onwukaife is a recruit from Texas and while he never named a final five he did note he was looking at UCLA, UVA, UNC, Michigan, Texas Tech, and Colorado among others. I’ve also heard people comment that Texas and/or OU might offer him. Would he had ever looked at FSU? Would FSU had ever looked at him? It’s hard to say. However, Seminole Showtime got him on campus and created a great environment for him and his parents to explore the school, meet the coaches and players, and get a general feeling about what FSU and it’s football program is all about.
Former Players Come Home
One of the strongest reasons for a kid to come to FSU as a football player is the amount of Seminoles that show up on draft day each year. However, potential recruits never got a taste of that while exploring FSU as an option. It was always just a vague concept. Since LaCivita was hired former FSU players have been asked to come back to Tallahassee. They’ve been asked to participate in events, like games, practices, Seminole Showtime, and roasts.
Miami has always had a strong tie to its NFL players. How many times have NFLers skipped their team’s training camp to train at Miami? FSU is starting to build a similar relationship with its former players. This not only furthers the family atmosphere at FSU but always brings home what a recruit can accomplish with FSU’s help. Former NFL players are on hand at events like Seminole Showtime to give advice to current and potential Seminoles as Steve Ellis reports. Former players and coaches are encouraged to come back and roast their former coach. That might not seem like a lot but it keeps FSU and its successes in the news.
Hey, remember that time Jerry Rice caught that pass from Charlie Ward? No? Me neither.
Jerry Rice might seem like a weird participant at the inaugural Seminole Showtime but it put a stamp on a new event. It was a way of telling recruits that Seminole Showtime is worth the trip even if you aren’t interested in FSU. The toughest part in marketing is getting a potential customer in the door. Players like Jerry Rice do that. This year we had Derrick Brooks on campus amongst other former FSU players. How many times does a kid walk onto a college campus and meet a NFL Hall of Fame or Pro-Bowl player?
Certainly LaCivita has done more for FSU than just recruiting but his main reason for being hired was recruiting. Combining his work with the relentlessness of coaches like Fisher and Coley has proven to make FSU a dangerous recruiting center when many other factors (NCAA investigations, sub-standard play, and questionable coaches) should hurt FSU’s chances.