Florida State has a major need along the defensive line in the class of 2014, and if all goes as planned, it appears that it will have met that need with a significant amount of talent, particularly at defensive end.
Nnadi is one of the more sought after defensive tackles in the nation. The four-star recruit attends Ocean Lakes (Va.) High School and hails from Virginia Beach. Listed at 6'1 and 305 pounds, he is considered the 101st-best player in the country, ranking as the eighth-best defensive tackle and the fifth-best player in the state. Nnadi claims offers from Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Florida State and Notre Dame, among others.
Out of Middletown (Md.), how Leonard didn't have more offers is a complete mystery. He has great length and good quickness on a 6'7, 260-pound frame. Earlier in the month, I called Leonard the most underrated player in Florida State's class. And at three-stars, I'll stick with that. Leonard could contribute early on in his career.
Christmas, who comes to Tallahassee from Bradenton's Manatee High School, is one of the ten best defensive tackle prospects in the nation. The 6'4, 287-lb. tackle has been committed to Florida State since October 2012. He also made an appearance on our Class of 2014 All-Name Team. He never wavered in his commitment to Florida State, and has a great relationship with defensive line coach Odell Haggins. Christmas has an excellent blend of power and quickness. FSU beat out most of the major schools in the Southeast for his commitment.
The commitment of rangy defensive end Lorenzo Featherson was not expected by anyone. Featherson, who played high school football at Greensboro, N.C.'s Page High, was long thought to be leaning heavily toward Clemson, but the 6'7, 220-lb. pass rusher announced his intention to attend FSU on New Year's Day. He is a consensus four-star recruit, and held offers from Miami, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech. I do not expect him to play early:
Featherston is a bit of a project. He is attractive as an edge rusher because of his quickness off the edge and his length. Featherston is not a player who is expected to contribute early. He must first recover from a knee injury that kept him out of the Under Armour All-America Game, and then gain at least 30 pounds.
The nephew of one of the best linebackers in Florida State history (Marvin Jones), Fred Jones is the lowest rated position player in FSU's class (remember, the Seminoles do have a long snapper). Out of Miami Central High School, he is barely a consensus three-star player, and when I watched him in the state title game, I came away unimpressed. Others say he had better games on the year, but I believe he is a long way from contributing. Jones is 6'2 and 275 pounds.
Torres is an athletic defensive lineman with a high motor out of Lake Mary (Fla.) High School. He is a consensus three-star recruit and comes in at 6'4 and 280 pounds.
Arthur Williams is a talented defensive lineman with excellent size (6'4, 295) and athleticism out of Fayetteville (N.C.) E.E. Page High School. He is a consensus three-star recruit, and there is real uncertainty about his ability to become academically admitted. Miami and South Carolina also pursued Williams down the stretch.
McDowell is one of the top prospects in the Midwest, and one of the best defensive ends in the nation. Listed at 6'7 and 290 pounds, he attends Southfield (Mich.) High School and hails from Detroit. He is considered a five-star prospect, ranking as the 32nd-best player in the class and the third-best strong-side defensive end as well as the best player in the state of Michigan. McDowell claims offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State and LSU, among others.
Wideman is Florida State's sole 2014 recruit from South Carolina. Out of Saluda (S.C.), the 255-lb. defensive lineman is ranked among the top 5 players in the Palmetto State, and picked the Seminoles over the state's two BCS programs, South Carolina and Clemson, as well as Florida and LSU. He has the versatility to play defensive end or tackle.
Lorenzo Carter is another big-time prospect available for the 2014 class. Listed at 6'5 and 232 pounds, he attends Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga. He is considered a five-star recruit, and is ranked as the 18th-best player in the class, as well as the second-best weak-side defensive end nationally among players in the class of 2014. He holds offers from Florida, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida State, among others.