Bobby Bowden-esque close for Florida State's 2013 recruiting class?

Ronald Martinez

Get ready

Let's talk some Florida State football recruiting.

But first, let's talk Twitter. Yesterday, I tweeted something that made FSU fans angry.

To be clear, I do not like to create content out of self-created controversy. But just as Twitter was not the best way to express the idea, so too is it not the best place to clarify the idea.

What idea?

Fans on Twitter got pretty pissed about this.

And when some of my own guys called me on it, I knew I should give a longer explanation.

What I meant to say was:

I often hear from fans that Florida State doesn't need to focus on good recruiters with its coaching hires, but rather good coaches. Luckily for Florida State fans, Jimbo Fisher is smart enough to realize just how tough it is to recruit as a non-SEC team located in the heart of SEC country, and that college football is so much more about players than it is about coaching, given the limits on practice time, as compared to the NFL. If Fisher had neglected recruiting in favor of better coaching in his hires (and to be clear, he has not, as new hires Jeremy Pruitt, Sal Sunseri, and Charles Kelly are excellent recruiters, as are the likely remaining targets for the two open offensive positions), FSU could absolutely expect to struggle to recruit against the SEC. To be sure, some coaches are true studs at both, but they are few and far between and aren't easy to get.

Does that make sense? Hopefully, it does. It also took 867 characters, or, if you prefer, seven tweets worth of characters (Twitter limits each tweet to 140 characters).

I could (and should) have done a better job of expressing my opinion in the original tweet. The failure to make it clear that it was a hypothetical (and one that won't happen, at that) is just not good tweeting on my part. I consider myself very good at Twitter and social media (almost 15,000 of you ), but even Barry Bonds struck out once in a while.

But the better strategy would have been to simply discuss it in an article because it's a complicated issue and ill-suited for twitter.

Now, let's talk about the final month of Florida State recruiting leading up to National Signing Day on February 6.

Here's something that could get you excited.

Florida State could be in line for a Bobby Bowden-esque close to its 2013 football recruiting class.

Have your attention? Good.

Florida State currently has 17 commitments (read, as it includes discussion, the recruiting board, and the recruiting needs).

One is a consensus five-star, and another six are consensus four-stars. Ten are rated three-stars. It's a good class, and considered to be one of the 10-15 best in the country by the various recruiting services.

But it's about to get a lot better

Those seven four/five-stars? That number could double in the next month. Easily.

It's true.

Florida State either leads for or has a legit shot to land the following recruits (number of consensus stars in parenthesis):

RB Alex Collins (4)
WR Stacy Coley (4)
WR Jordan Cunningham (4)
TE Arshad Jackson (4)
TE Jeremy Kerr (3), current Miami commit
OL Denver Kirkland (4)
OL Na'Ty Rodgers (3), Under Armour All-American
DE Tashawn Bower (4), currently committed to Auburn
DT Keith Bryant (4)
LB Matthew Thomas (5)
LB Yannick Nagokue (4)
DB Eddie Jackson (3), offers from Bama, FSU, LSU, Arkansas
CB Jalen Ramsey (5), currently committed to USC

The late flourish by the staff is very atypical of what we've seen from Jimbo Fisher's crew in previous years, in which they've had much of the class sewn up by now. It's quite similar to what Bobby Bowden did on an annual basis, closing with a crazy flourish of commitments, often on signing day.

I believe the reasons for that are three-fold.

  1. Many recruits were wait-and-see about FSU's season. 12 wins, a conference title and and Orange Bowl victory helped to show FSU was not all hype.
  2. Florida State spent a lot of time closing out the 2012 class. It paid off, with players like Ronald Darby, Eddie Goldman, Reggie Northrup, Colin Blake, Menelik Watson and Jameis Winston coming aboard in the final week. That left less time for developing relationships with 2013 kids than some other schools had. The approach was absolutely correct (See also: results), it's just the reality of the situation.
  3. Staff turnover. FSU lost 5 of its 10 coaches. Recruiting is about relationships, and they aren't easy to develop so quickly. FSU enjoyed great staff stability in 2010 and 2011, but it had to pay the piper after 2012.

And just as FSU's coaching staff will be changing, so to will its class. Some current commitments will likely take off as better players commit and the tea leaves are read.

In fact, I could see 40-percent (11) of FSU's eventual 27-man class being players who are currently not committed to the Seminoles.

Let's talk recruiting. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I assure you they aren't stupid, and people will not insult you for not constantly following recruiting. We understand many of you only follow it during the final month or so


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