Tomahahawk Nation will be reviewing each position of Florida State's recruiting as National Signing Day approaches. We realize that for some, this information is already known. But others only follow recruiting around National Signing Day, and for those Florida State fans, it should be pretty useful. Sunday, the focus is on linebackers.
I considered writing this entire article in large font, but thought better of it because it would look horrible on mobile devices. But I think you get the point. Florida State needs size at linebacker, and it went out and got it with the 2014 recruiting class -- one of the best groups of linebackers in the country.
Jacksonville Sandalwood HS
6'3 235 | 4-star
Like Pugh, Daub was another battle between Florida State and Alabama. The Seminoles won on April 6, but there wasn't much doubt, because Daub played for Sandalwood High School and coach Adam Geis, who is extremely tight with then defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt (now at UGA). I would never bet against Pruitt landing one of Geis' players.
But enough about how FSU got Daub, and more about the player himself. First, know that he is already enrolled at Florida State. There are some concerns as to whether he will be able to participate in spring football as the NCAA has to sort out credits from at least three high schools, but he is already taking classes. And focusing on academics for a semester wouldn't be the worst thing that can happen to the freshman.
Daub has very good size and length, and should play in the middle for Florida State. He has decent instincts, and is a strong tackler. I do wonder if he is closer to his ceiling than some other players in the class, but even if he is, there is still a lot of reason to be excited about a player who can in time be a major force against the run in the middle and potentially a multi-year starter. Time will tell if he can be a three-down backer who is also adept against the pass.
Tallahassee Godby HS | 6'4 230 | 4-star
Jacob Pugh is a very important get for Florida State. A local product from a school that FSU has not had a ton of luck at until recently, he was heavily pursued by Alabama and Florida, but chose to stay close to home and play for the National Champions on May 29. Pugh has tremendous length and strength, as you can probably tell from his photo. Most consider him one of the five best outside linebackers in the country.
Florida State is fairly loaded at outside linebacker, so Pugh will have to fight for playing time, but he has the talent to do so and does profile as a multi-year starter for FSU if all goes well.
Pugh is considered extremely solid in his commitment to Florida State.
Pensacola Catholic HS
6'2 235 | 4-star
Purifoy seems to be the forgotten man in FSU's class, and I'm not sure why. Florida State fans will fondly remember Buster Davis. I think he is a very good comparison for Purifoy. Listed at 6'2, and probably closer to 6'1, he is built like a fire hydrant and he punishes ball carriers, showcasing great productivity.
Purifoy seems to have good instincts and reads the flow of the offense quite well, finding the ball carrier with ease. He brings his feet on contact, and has good core strength and bend to get the running back on the ground. He is not afraid to stick his head into a scrum and take on blockers, but because he is not very long, he will need to get better with his hands so that offensive linemen don't get into his body.
In pass coverage, Purifoy is OK, but not great. He will need to improve in this area if he wants to be a three-down linebacker.
Purifoy is a solid blitzer who seems to have a knack for timing up the snap and getting through creases, playing low.
This group is a home run. FSU needed to sign three linebackers, and it did just that, filling the need with excellent talent. Math says that one or two of these guys won't be multi-year starters, but they all truly have the potential to be, even on a defense as good as Florida State's.