Florida State Seminoles Sign Nation's Top Recruiting Class

It's official.  FSU signed the top recruiting class in the country.  At the start of the season, nobody saw this coming.  But considering how hot Florida State finished the 2010 recruiting season, maybe this 2011 class should have been expected.  Jimbo Fisher and his staff of ace recruiters have been the best over the last thirteen months.  FSU started strong and FSU never faded.  Florida State had most of its excellent class locked up before February and looked to protect that haul and add another piece or two on signing day.  The Seminoles did just that, adding Tim Jernigan, the second-rated defensive tackle in the country, along with some more linemen.

Service
ESPN 1 17 7
247 3 13 9
Scout 4 9 13
Rivals 2 11 12
Does not include junior college players as not all services rate JUCOs, of which FSU signed two of the best in the country.

And linemen were the theme of the 29-man class.  As Jimbo Fisher said, "There is a reason they have weight classes in boxing.  We are not looking for fat guys, we are looking for big players who maintain their athleticism."  When Fisher took over Florida State, there were no three-hundred pounders.  This year FSU will have 13.    Today the 'Noles signed 12 players who are at least 6'4" and 280 pounds.  

In all, FSU signed 15 offensive and defensive linemen.  Granted, one will certainly end up in junior college due to grades, and another will delay enrollment until January, but 13 is a very large number of linemen.  It's a number that signals just how similar Fisher and his mentor, Nick Saban, are in recruiting philosophy.  

And the large number of linemen make earning the honor of #1 class all the more impressive, as recruiting ranking services often don't assign high grades to linemen because they are difficult to properly evaluate.  

TEAM ESPN 247 SCOUT RIVALS COMPOSITE
FSU 1 2 1 2 1.50
BAMA 2 1 6 1 2.50
TEXAS 5 3 4 3 3.75
AUBURN 3 5 2 7 4.25
USC 4 6 5 4 4.75

Florida State isn't the unanimous #1 among the four services, but the 'Noles are #1 by two of the four services, and #2 in the other two.  And its composite score is considerably less than that of #2 Alabama.  This is far and away the best-rated class in the country.

It isn't just the highly-rated kids that make this class special.  FSU jumped on two kids in Josue Matias and Tre Jackson relatively late in the game, but before teams like UF, Alabama, UGA, and Miami offered.  Both players check in at 6'4" and 300 pounds and both proved themselves healthy late in the game after missing time with injury.  The offers flooded in late, but FSU was at the front of the late crowd, secured visits from both, and landed both.  People in the Moore center will tell you that those two guys are just as good as any of the higher-rated kids FSU signed.  

This is Florida State's best class in a decade and serves notice to the rest of the college football world that FSU will soon be back and contend at the highest level.  And it serves notice to the other 11 other ACC programs, who cannot hope to compete with the Seminoles talent if FSU continues to stockpile in this fashion.  

And where did that talent come form?  Home, sweet, home.  Florida State inked 27 high school prospects.  All but one of those high schoolers were from Florida or within a 275mi-radius of Tallahassee.  When Fisher arrived here, he declared that FSU would attempt to fill all its needs with players from that base, and not chase national kids unless they filled a specific need.  

No, this class won't bring a national title as true freshmen, but national titles are built on recruiting classes like this:

Florida State 2011 Recruiting Class

Cornellius "Tank" Carradine
Defensive End
Butler Community College (Butler, KS)
Enrolled in January
Jacob Fahrenkrug
Offensive Line
North Dakota College Of Science
Enrolled in January

6' 5" / 250 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN: Does not rate JUCO players
-    247:/ #1 JUCO DE
Scout:/ #1 JUCO DE
Rivals:/  #1 JUCO DE

6' 3" / 320 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN: Does not rate JUCO players
-    247:/ #2 JUCO OL
Scout:/ #1 JUCO OL
Rivals:/  #1 JUCO OL

Karlos Williams
Safety
Ridge Community (Orlando Area)
Josue Matias
Offensive Tackle
Union City HS (New Jersey)

6' 2" / 210 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #1 Safety
247:/ #1 Safety
Scout:/ #2 Safety
Rivals:/  #2 Safety

6'5" / 300 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #13 OT
- 247:/ #18 OT
Scout:/ #27 OT
Rivals:/ #25 OT

Kelvin Benjamin
Wide Receiver
Glades Central HS (Belle Glade, FL)
James Wilder, Jr.
Running Back
Plant HS (Tampa)

6'6" / 215 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #22 WR
-    247:/ #13 WR
Scout:/ #8 WR
Rivals:/ #8 WR

6' 2" / 220 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #4 Athlete
- 247:/ #4 Athlete
Scout:/ #3 OLB
Rivals:/ #2 RB

Keelin Smith
Defensive Back
Treasure Coast (Port St. Lucie)
Lamarcus Brutus
Defensive Back
Treasure Coast HS (Prt. St. Lucie)

6'2" / 188 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #5 Safety
-    247:/ #14 Safety
Scout:/ #28 Safety
Rivals:/  #34 Corner

6'0" /195 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #14 Safety
247:
Scout:/ #33 Safety
Rivals:/ #37 Safety

Nick O'Leary
Tight End
Palm Beach Dwyer HS
Giorgio Newberry
Defensive End
Ft. Pierce Central (Ft. Pierce)

6'3" / 235 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #2 TE
-    247:/ #1 TE
Scout:/ #3 TE
Rivals:/  #1 TE

6'5"/ 250 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #3 ATH
-    247:/
Scout:/ #18 DE
Rivals:/  #10 DE

Rashad Greene
Wide Receiver
St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale)
Bobby Hart
Offensive tackle
St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale)

6'0"/ 170lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #20 WR
- 247:/ #20 WR
Scout:/ #10 WR
Rivals:/  #29 WR

6' 5" / 300 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #4 OT
-    247:/ #16 OG
Scout:/ #4 OT
Rivals:/  #8 OT

Tim Jernigan
Defensive Tackle
Lake City Columbia (FL)
Nile Lawrence-Stample
Defensive Tackle
Nova HS (Ft. Lauderdale)

6'2" / 280 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #2 DT
247:/ #1 DT
Scout:/ #4 DT
Rivals:/  #2 DT

6'1" / 295 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #13 DT
247:/ #15 DT
Scout:/ #37 DT
Rivals:/ #29 DT

Jacob Coker
Quarterback
St. Paul's (Mobile, AL)
Ruben Carter
Offensive Line
Miami Jackson HS

6'5" / 210 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #70 QB
-    247:/
Scout:/ #44 QB
Rivals:/  #18 QB

6'4" / 280 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #93 Offensive Tackle
- 247:
Scout:/ #42 OT
Rivals:/ #29 OG

Derrick Mitchell
Defensive Line
First Coast HS (Jacksonville)
Eric Beverly
Running/Fullback
First Coast HS (Jacksonville)

6'5" / 290 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #18 DT
247:/ #8 DT
Scout:/ #28 DT
Rivals:/ #20 DT

5'9" / 215 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #30 RB
247:
Scout:/ #65 RB
Rivals:/  #11 All-Purpose RB

Arrington Jenkins
Linebacker
Coral Park (Miami)
Tyler Hunter
Defensive Back
Lowndes Co HS (Valdosta, GA)

6'2.5" / 220 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #9 OLB
-    247:/
Scout:/ #71 DE
Rivals:/  #43 LB

6'0" / 200 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #10 Safety
247:/
Scout:/ #43 Safety
Rivals:/  #33 Safety

Devonta Freeman
Running Back
Miami Central HS
Enrolled in January
Jordan Prestwood
Offensive tackle
Plant City HS (Tampa)
Enrolled in January

5' 9" / 200 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN:/ #15 RB
-    247:/ #5 RB
Scout:/ #9 RB
Rivals:/  #10 RB

6' 6" / 280 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #10 OT
-    247:/ #4 OT
Scout:/ #10 OT
Rivals:/  #28 OT

Nick Waisome
Cornerback
South Lake HS (Groveland, FL)
Enrolled in January
Terrance Smith
Linebacker
Southwest Dekalb HS (Atlanta)
Enrolled in January

5' 9.5" / 170 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #2 CB
-    247:/ #2 CB
Scout:/ #8 CB
Rivals:/  #8 CB

6' 4" / 220 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #26 OLB
-    247:/
Scout:/ #21 DE
Rivals:/  #18 OLB

Trey Pettis
Offensive Line
Deland HS (Deland, FL)
Enrolled in January
Sterling Lovelady
Offensive Line
Navarre HS (Navarre, FL)
Enrolled in January

6' 5" / 305 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #8 Center
-    247:
Scout:/ #10 Center
Rivals:/ #13 Center

January Enrollee

6' 2" / 280 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #15 Center
-    247:/                    
Scout:/ #13 Center
Rivals:/ #7 Center

Tre Jackson
Offensive Line
Wayne CO HS (Jesup, GA)

6' 4" / 295 lbs
Commitment Story w/ Scouting Report & Highlights
Rankings:
ESPN/ #50 DT
247:Not yet rated
Scout:/ #54 OG
Rivals:/ #60 DT

Players Signed & Placed In JUCO

Terry Bell, Defensive Tackle, Lakeland Tenoroc HS

Players Who Accepted Deferred Enrollment

- Austin Barron, OL, St. Thomas Aquinas.  Barron is 6'3" 280 and will look at add weight and enroll in Spring.  He is an interior offensive lineman.  Barron will be on scholarship, but there just isn't any reason to start his eligibility clock until January.

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