Florida State Still Fighting Recruiting Woes of Previous Coaching Staff

To those who are regular readers here at Tomahawk Nation, this statement comes as no surprise.   

I have decided to start a series called "What Really Grinds My Gears". which is a blantant ripoff of a regular segment by a very well respected and trusted news person on a highly educational program.

In today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Andrew Carter  takes a look at  Where is Florida State's recruiting class of 2007 now?, and to quote him, "it's not pretty."  Please read Carter's article and then come back here.

Who's to blame?

Even though we are talking about the 2007 recruiting class, we must remember that these players were recruited by the 2006 FSU coaches.

But before we start talking about the recruitment process of these players, let's just take a minute to recall our offensive struggles before the wholesale changes were made to the coaching staff after the 2006 season.

Florida State was known for its explosive offenses while putting together 14 consecutive top-five finishes in the Associated Press poll from 1987-2000, but the Seminoles have struggled to move the ball ever since. Here's a look at the Seminoles' final annual NCAA rankings in total offense, scoring offense and rushing offense since 2000, the last time Florida State played for the national title. The numbers in parentheses indicate yards per game or points per game.
Year Total Offense Scoring Rushing Offense Passing Offense
2000 1st (549.0) 3rd (42.4) 33rd (165.0) 1st (384.0)
2001 26th (426.1) 21st (33.9) 54th (159.6) 26th (266.5)
2002 32nd (398.1) 32nd (30.6) 35th (187.0) 62nd (211.1)
2003 37th (402.9) 25th (32.2) 77th (133.2) 25th (269.6)
2004 61st (372.5) 57th (25.2) 50th (162.0) 63rd (210.5)
2005 59th (376.6) 44th (28.9) 109th (94.0) 18th (282.6)
2006 70th (330.3) 45th (26.5) 103rd (96.5) 29th (233.8)


That is what lead to this. Or was it really?

Tight ends coach John Lillywas the only holdover from 2006 and he left in Januarly of 2008.
Position 2006 2007
Offensive Coordinator Jeff Bowden Jimbo Fisher
Ofensive line coach Mark McHale Rick Trickett
Quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey Jimbo Fisher
Running backs coach Billy Sexton Dexter Carter
Wide receivers coach Jeff Bowden Lawrence Dawsey
Tight ends coach John Lilly John Lilly

Linebacker coach                                                                                   Kevin Steele                                               Chuch Amato


I decided to do a little digging to find out which coach was responsible for the recruitment of which player, and this is the best I could come up with. I think we can all appreciate that injuries are part of the game, so we should take it easy on those who have yet to contribute because of injuries.   After each players name, I have listed the coach  who was responsible for their recruitment.  Let's start with 

The departed

CB Bernard Brinson-Jody Allen

DE Brian Coulter-Mickey Andrews

OT Will Furlong-Mark McHale and Billy Sexton

OT AnthonyGrosso-Rick Trickett

TE Jonathan Hannah-John Lilly and Chuck Amato

OG Zach Hillery-Mark McHale

OL Jatavious Jackson-John Lilly

ATH Brandon Paul-Kevin Steele

Yet to contribute

CB Dionte Allen-John Lilly
C A.J. Ganguzza-John Lilly

LB Aaron Gresham-Jody Allen

LB Maurice Harris-Chuck Amato

DE Jamar Jackson-John Lilly and Jody Allen

WR Cameron Wade-Lawrence Dawsey listed but apparently lured by Jeff B.


OT Antwane Greenlee-Jody Allen listed but apparently flipped by Trickett

Difference makers

WR Taiwan Easterling-Jimbo Fisher 

OG Rodney Hudson-Rick Trickett

WR Bert Reed-Lawrence Dawsey

LB Kendall Smith-John Lilly listed but apparently Steele and Amato were involved

Finally one more Contributor  who was missed by AC is

Shawn Powell-Jody Allen


You might have wondered what I meant by this statement earlier, regarding the wholesale changes made to the coaching staff, when  I stated


That is what lead to this. Or was it really?


Now here is the sad part. 

Although Florida State posted its worst record in 2006 since a 5-6 finish in Bowden's debut season of 1976, the poor results didn't necessarily spur our coach into making the necessary changes that were so desperately needed to be made.

Bowden instead decided to make the moves only after his son Jeff resigned under pressure following a much-maligned (aka piss poor) stint as the Seminoles' offensive coordinator. 

"You know what's funny is you won't do things a lot of times till somebody makes you," Bowden said. "If I hadn't lost my son as offensive coordinator, I never would have done this. But Jeffrey resigned. I felt, 'Gee whiz, if it's going to get this drastic, this is my last shot. I'm going to make it the best I can make it. I'm going to get the best coaching staff I can get in here.' "


There was complete oblivion and  recognition that a problem even existed.  We would still be continuing down this path of irrelevance that we were headed for 6 long excruitating years, merrily, merrily, merrily,  if we had not demanded that changes be made. 

We the Seminole Nation should be very proud of the pressure that was put on Jeff Bowden to resign.  Apparently if not for his resignation, these wholesale changes in the coaching staff would never have taken place and we would continue to be a slightly over .500 team. 

In addition, for every 20 of our recruits who commited, 8 (possibly 9 with Wade) could still very possibly be well out of our program withing 2 years of signing their LOI.  That equates to 40 to 45% of our 2007 scholarships that never contributed one iota to this program.

Now as the remaining coaches are churned out, we can celebrate when the New Seminole Coaching Generation take over.  A smile comes to my face as I wonder what Fisher. Coley, and our new staff, could have done with those additional 8 or 9 "lost" scholarships. 

I ask you, Where would we be today? 

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