As National Signing Day is less than a half year away, I thought it wise to take a look at receiver recruiting. FSU is doing very well on that front, with two four-stars in Tony Stevens and Isaiah Jones, along with slot man Jesus Wilson.
There are varying ideas on how many receivers Florida State should take in this class. Some of those more extreme ideas are simply nonsensical and evidence a lack of understanding of roster construction.
Florida State is not a spread team. Jimbo Fisher is not a spread coach. Neither is attempting to become one. As such, there comes a point where it becomes a poor use of resources to carry a bunch of receivers. How many is a bunch? That's up for debate.
This year, Florida State has 10 on the roster. After 2012, FSU will lose Rodney Smith to graduation, and the roster will look like this:
C. Green* (WR)
R. Greene (WR)
K. Benjamin* (WR)
M. Bracy (WR)
T. Stevens (WR)
I. Jones (WR)
J. Wilson (WR)
2013 WR commit
I expect two of the listed seniors to leave the program for playing time or other reasons. Florida State would then return 7 receivers, with four newcomers added to the list. That makes 11. Is 11 too many? Probably not, but it's right up against it. Taking five in this class doesn't make much sense when one looks at what will be available in 2013. Taking six is downright crazy.
But what about the 2014 team? It's important to look two years down the line in recruiting.
@EasySquidsJR Strongly disagree with that. Taking 4 means 2014 will have 8 non-frosh at the position + any incoming 2014 frosh.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) July 25, 2012
I'll expand on this Twitter conversation just a bit, because 140 characters does not lend itself to a complete argument.
FSU projects to return eight in 2014, before any incoming recruits, assuming no attrition.
But what if Rashad Greene or Kelvin Benjamin turns pro early? What if Marvin Bracy gives up football to run track professionally? What if any of the kids make dumb mistakes and are no longer around? What if someone gets hurt? What if one of the players coming in as a receiver is actually going to play cornerback? It's possible.
Still, even if two were to leave (a pretty liberal estimate), FSU would still have six returning receivers who are not freshmen. That is not a bad situation. At all. It might be if FSU were a spread team, but the 'Noles are not.
And that's not even mentioning the three or four extremely talented kids Florida State will bring in as freshmen in the tremendous class of 2014.
Is it a horrible mistake to take five receivers in this class? No, but it might not be the optimal use of scholarship resources, either.
It's easy to be amazed by really fast, undersized kids wearing shorts in a camp setting. It's hard to temper the enthusiasm, realize that overloading one position, particularly a position of low injury risk like receiver, means another position group will be deficient.
I'm not convinced that taking a Rashard Fant or Levonte 'Kermit' Whitfield, if the take moves FSU to a total of five or six, is the best course of action. I think FSU would be better served taking a flier on a developmental tight end, another running back, or a defensive player.
Then again, if Florida State knows or suspects that one of the above scenarios is going to happen, the move would make sense.