Mississippi State has locked up defensive coordinator Geoff Collins. Per a source, Collins was someone Florida State's Jimbo Fisher was considering for the defensive coordinator job. The pay is about $600K per season, which is fully within Florida State's range, considering Senior Associate AD Monk Bonasorte confirmed on Radio last week that FSU did match the $850K given to departed DC Jeremy Pruitt by Georgia.
What we don't know, given that Jimbo Fisher is running a very tight search, is where Collins sat on the board for Fisher. There is likely a candidate or two about which we do not know.
I still believe linebackers coach Charles Kelly, someone with a lot of experience coaching the back end of a defense and also defensive coordinator experience, is a strong candidate for the job. And not only does he have strong credentials, but he helps with staff continuity, already having a good working relationship with coaches Sal Sunseri and Odell Haggins.
If Fisher decides on Kelly, I would expect that the hire is made fairly soon.
Florida State tight ends (and national recruiter) coach Tim Brewster will visit Malik McDowell today in Michigan. Noles247.com is reporting that coach Odell Haggins will also visit the five-star defensive tackle target.
Speaking of five-star defensive linemen, Florida State is expecting an official visit this weekend from Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington defensive end Chad Thomas. Thomas is committed to Miami. Ryan Bartow reported this on Noles247.com as well this morning, and was at Booker T to get the story. This is interesting news on a number of fronts. First, Thomas is a long-time and very vocal Miami commitment. With work from Booker T. getting out on a Tuesday, folks from Miami will have plenty of time to convince him not to make the trip. Second, Thomas is the teammate of quarterback/athlete Treon Harris, an FSU commit who is also now looking at a number of schools. We'll see if Thomas makes the trip.
Two other uncommitted five-stars in Malachi Dupre (Louisiana receiver) and Lorenzo Carter (Atlanta defensive end) are also expected in over the weekend. Even with excellent visits, I would not bet on FSU signing either of the pair (LSU and Georgia, respectively).
C.J. Worton, a Florida State receiver commitment took his official visit to WVU over the weekend. I was told that he enjoyed the visit. Worton also has interest in UCF (where his brother plays) and Florida, which is switching to the spread offense. I think Worton is higher on FSU's board than most and that the Seminoles would like to keep him. But with one elite player already in (Travis Rudolph) and another seemingly a lock to get on in Ermon Lane, Worton may see the writing on the wall with respect to early playing time.
He also joked around (I think this is joking around) about visiting Oregon.
Lol should I Official Visit to Oregon???— CJ worton (@kiss_a_baby9) January 21, 2014
Florida State currently has 29 commitments, and has at least 15 players left on its board with whom it has somewhat regular contact. There could be some serious shuffling down the stretch.