Florida State football news 11.05.13: Running back becoming bigger need in recruiting?

Mike Ehrmann

Running back just became a little more important for the 2014 Florida State recruiting cycle.

Florida State's James Wilder tells recruit he might turn pro - NFL.com
Florida State's James Wilder told a recruit that he and Devonta Freeman could turn pro after this season, the recruit tells 247sports.com.

The Wilder stuff is not new at all. I've long maintained that he would turn pro. Freeman, however, is a bit of news. But it does make sense for him to declare, as well.

Consider that he on pace for the best season of any Florida State running back since 1996. He is not going to get faster by staying at Florida State. He is already a very good pass protector. And due to the short shelf live of the NFL RB, taking more hits in college is a negative.

5 up, 5 down: Stock rising on Fresno State QB Derek Carr - NFL.com

Florida State has three very talented running backs but Freeman was the key contributor in the Noles' 41-14 pasting of Miami on Saturday night. He piled up 78 yards and two scores on the ground, and he also caught six passes for 98 yards and another score. He was outstanding in the screen game, setting up blocks and showing an explosive burst in the open field. In the run game, I was impressed by his combination of quickness, elusiveness and power.

Plus, the 2015 draft will be absolutely loaded at running back with guys like T.J. Yeldon, Todd Gurley and Mike Davis.

And while I don't know his current financial situation, he did work three jobs at the age of 13.

Devonta Freeman worked three jobs when he was 13 years old to help his mom as his dad was not around due to legal trouble (great audio from the Jim Rome show).

Of course, all of this basically means that Florida State needs Mario Pender to become eligible again for 2014 to pair with Karlos Williams and Ryan Green, and to land an elite back in recruiting. And it is good that the info came out when it did, regardless of what happens with Wilder and Freeman, because it furthers the notion that an elite running back recruit can come to Tallahassee and play early.

Let's check in on some of that news.

Running backs feeling FSU

Did FSU pull even with Wisconsin and Oklahoma for Joe Mixon? ($) -- Noles247

"They are right up there with Oklahoma and Wisconsin now," he said. "The coaches were all down to earth and the players were real cool. My host was Karlos Williams and he was a good guy to be around. That was one of the loudest stadiums I've ever been to. The fans were loud all game and they were into it."

Devonta Freeman being used so much in the passing game has to help with Mixon, who is one of the best pass catching running backs I have ever seen. Will distance be a factor for the California star?

FSU is also very much in the mix for Dalvin Cook, of Miami (Fla.) Central. Cook visited for the N.C. State game. He is currently committed to Florida.

Junior Jacques Patrick on Miami, FSU, Gators, 5,000 yards, missing playoffs - Orlando Sentinel

"It was impressive. I think Miami was No. 7 before the game and for Florida State to beat a team like that ...," Patrick said. "But that doesn’t matter too much when it’s two teams like that and both teams are ranked high and stuff. Both are Top-10 quality teams so one team beating another team really doesn’t matter."

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