Yes, FSU has been here before, on the cusp of greatness, only to flounder to a mediocre season. With 2011 however, things could, and SHOULD go a whole lot differently. It starts with the Number 1 recruiting class in the nation. While having a crop of Freshman and JUCO transfers seems to be merely bragging rights, at least, for a couple years until those players have matured enough mentally and physically to compete at the Division 1 College Football level, they do provide valuable depth to the team and maybe a few, actually win their way into starting jobs.
Let's take a look at some of the more herald recruits in this class. Karlos Williams, the Number 1 Saftey in the entire nation. To say that FSU had porous play from their safeties would be an understatement. Nick Moody for the "big hits" he had, makes for great YouTube videos. As for his actual play, it wasn't out of the ordinary for him to be out of position, taking bad angles, and generally getting burnt in coverage. Williams being 6'2 210lbs is already physically ready for football, it will be the mental aspect that Nole fans will be watching closely. If Karlos can put his nose to the grind stone and learn the massive play book defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has implanted, Williams will be an absolute threat to either decapitate a receiver or just take a pick straight to the house. Is Karlos Williams "better" than Moody as of right now? Probably not. But with hard work and dedication, it would be almost a certainty that he will take the position and own it for 3 or 4 years.
Cornelius "Tank" Carradine. The nickname "Tank" is with good reason. The JUCO Defensive End stands an intimidating 6'5 and weighing a cool 260 lbs, is quite the monster to handle if you are an Offensive Lineman. He lead his Junior College team in a number of statistical categories. While he will be learning a new system under Mark Stoops, he is almost assured a starting spot taking over for Markus White, who is graduating. Tank has all the physical tools to be a disruptive force off the end, and with Brandon Jenkins on the other side, teams will have to pick their poison as who to block.
While recruiting is an integral part of a program, it's not the only aspect of FSU football Jimbo Fisher has been improving since he became the head coach in 2010. Bobby Bowden as great of a coach as he was, did not take the "hands on" approach that Jimbo has taken. Fisher likes, no, LOVES having his hands on every aspect of the program. Not to say that he doesn't trust his staff, as he has acquired some of the best coaches as his assistants, i.e. (James Coley, Rick Trickett, Mark Stoops, Greg Hudson) but Jimbo Fisher loves to coach. While that may sound a little...well..obvious. This day in age where money is the root of everything evil. Jimbo has turned down multiple offers for larger amounts of money while being the "head coach in waiting" at FSU under Bowden. Now, that Jimbo has taken over as "The Head Ball Coach" at FSU, not only are fans buying into what he is doing, but more importantly, the PLAYERS are buying into his way of coaching. That, could be the weapon that FSU uses to rise yet again to the top of college football. ANY school can recruit great players, it's all a matter of preference , but, if you have a coach that players want to play for, want to work for, and want to succeed for, there isn't a game plan or strategy for heart, determination and good ole "want to". Jimbo Fisher "wants to," wants to coach, wants to build young men, wants to work hard, and absolutely, wants to win. Unfortunately, for any team that plays FSU, the players also want to work hard, want to become great men, and want to win.