Now that the dead period has lifted, Florida State's coaches are hitting the road and checking out top prospects from all over the country. They'll be checking to see who is really 6'6, and uncovering new recruits who showed out or who will be participating in spring ball.
-A lot of commitments have been happening in the last week all over the Southeast. But most were not big-time Florida State targets. Let's look at which players with FSU offers have committed elsewhere and the impact of those commitments. It's less than you might expect.
Alabama picked up three players with Florida State offers during its spring game: Calvin Ridley, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Shawn Burgess-Becker. FSU was one of many teams with interest in Fitzpatrick. Ridley and Burgess-Becker were always considered a package deal. I don't know anyone who seriously believed Fitzpatrick (New Jersey cornerback) would come to FSU, and the Ridley/SBB pair choosing Alabama over the perceived favorite Miami Hurricanes is probably good for Florida State. They never gave the Seminoles much of a look.
Safety Ben Edwards, of Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian flipped from Ohio State to Auburn, but he is not being pursued by Florida State. Ditto Jordan Cronkite, of Miami (Fla.) Westminster Christian, a running back who has an FSU offer but is not high on the board.
Tuesday, D'Anfernee McGriff, of Tallahassee (Fla.) Leon will announce and is expected to pick Auburn after a recent visit. I like McGriff, as does FSU, as a big back/h-back type at 6'0, 230. He really enjoyed his visit to Auburn and even FSU cannot keep them all.
-I expect the battle for the top overall class in the country to primarily be between Alabama and USC.
-FSU guard commit Cole Minshew, of Georgia, got the UGA offer he's been looking for and it would not surprise anyone to see him flip to Georgia.
-I don't want to give the impression that FSU's class is lagging behind. It's not. I expect the Seminoles to land another fantastic class, just a they have done in every year under Jimbo Fisher. And the Seminoles aren't going to finish behind teams like Clemson, Tennessee or Penn State -- teams that some rankings currently have them trailing. That said, fans tend to overestimate how much winning and losing impacts recruiting. Florida State built its national championship team in 2010 and 2011 when it was coming off some of the worst seasons it had experienced in 30 years.
I expect FSU to land an impact pass rusher (perhaps Josh Sweat), a solid (and much needed) defensive tackle pair (Darvin Taylor and perhaps a JUCO), a very good offensive tackle pair (Christian Pellage and perhaps Abdul Bello), the best pair of running backs in the country (Johnny Frazier and Jacques Patrick), one of or the best group of defensive backs nationally (FSU already has two elite players here in James and Cole, plus Brewton, who is pretty good), a very good pair of tight ends (Williams and Wilkerson are both very realistic), and at least a trio of very talented receivers. And I'm always confident in Jimbo Fisher with quarterbacks, given his track record.
-Speaking of Christian Pellage, here's my recent scouting report on the four-star tackle. I also took a look at five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson (Florida Baker County) and five-star defensive end Jashon Cornell (Minneapolis), both of whom FSU is after, but for whom I would classify FSU as a long-shot.