It's been a busy few weeks for the Florida State Seminoles on the recruiting trail. The Seminoles have added Treon Harris, Trey Marshall and Corey Martinez in July alone. That's on the heels of Mavin Saunders, Malique Jackson, Ryan Sousa, Ethan Frith and Stephen Gabbard jumping on after the June session of the Jimbo Fisher camp. The Seminoles have the top class in the conference as of this writing.
Early recruiting rankings and ratings
FSU currently holds 18 commitments, 10 of which are rated four-stars or better by a consensus of the four major services (ESPN, 24/7, Scout and Rivals).
Granted, early recruiting rankings are usually terrible. As I explained in Take Early College Football Rankings With A Grain Of Salt, the rankings come out way too early because subscription services are willing to sacrifice inaccuracy in order to have an early frame of reference, which helps to drive subscriptions. Recently, we've seen several players jump 2 or 300 spots in the national rankings. That wouldn't happen often, if at all, if the rankings were released later in the year. Remember, it's a business.
Still, players rated four or five-stars in July are almost always pretty good. They're almost certainly not going to fall off and become two-stars. The mobility within recruiting rankings is almost all upward when discussing large jumps. Some three-stars are three-stars because they hold some big offers, but have not yet been evaluated by a service. There are a good number of three-stars who will end up as four-stars. Will they replace current four-stars? No, more four-stars will be created.
With all that said, FSU is one of only nine teams with 10 or more commitments to have more than half of them rated as four-stars or better. That's very good. Florida State is in strong position to secure another top-10 class, and it has a shot at a top-5 spot. The Seminoles are going to take more than 25 players in the class, and I estimate that recruiting for the 2014 cycle is about 60-percent through.
Despite the strong recruiting effort so far, some fans in the comments section and on twitter are feeling down. I sense that this is because FSU simply isn't being mentioned by some top prospects, who simply won't play outside the SEC. FSU tried to get into the SEC last year, and it was denied. There's little FSU can do to combat the conference recruiting war. It needs to continue to win at an excellent clip on the field and sell itself. FSU will continue to be a target of negative recruiting simply because it is not in the SEC, and that is something every SEC school competing against FSU, especially Florida, will continue to sell. We've covered this before, but it's an ongoing issue that is unlikely to change in the direction desired by FSU fans, at least not any time soon.
Still, FSU only needs 20-30 recruits per year, and its recruiting is not going to fall apart. It can find good or great players who consider non-SEC schools.
The Florida State football recruiting board is up to date. We have about 15 new names on the board, and have removed some as well. There are notes on each prospect, as well as the needs for each position.
Position focus: Receiver
I'll be focusing on a different positions during every update. Today, it's receiver. Florida State needs to bring in four receivers, and it has four commitments. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.
Three of Florida State's four receiver commitments are extremely questionable.
Pack has committed, but has never made it to campus. Meanwhile, he's visited the in-state Ole Miss Rebels twice since. If he doesn't make his planned July visit, there is reason to worry. Robinson is seen as very likely to flip to the Miami Hurricanes and offensive coordinator James Coley, who originally recruited him to Florida State. Worton is also looking around, despite insisting that he is a solid commitment. Sousa is seen as solid, but if Florida were to offer, there would be reason to worry.
It would be surprising for FSU to retain three of its four current commitments. Given that, FSU is continuing to aggressively recruit the position.
Dupre likes FSU and getting him on campus will be big in his recruitment if FSU has any shot of pulling him away from LSU. At best, FSU is running fourth for Lane (Florida, Bama, Miami), and it is trying to get him on campus in July as well. Blacknall has not set a visit and I anticipate removing him from the board in the near future. FSU should be able to get Rudolph and Malone on campus soon, and there's a chance it can gain traction with one, or both. FSU also wants to get Langham up for a visit, and it knows Miami got a good one a few weeks ago.
Receiver recruiting is interesting for Florida State. Coach Lawrence Dawsey has never produced an NFL draft pick in his career as a coach, so he lacks the ability to sell kids on going to the league (this will change with Rashad Greene in the next year or two). Also, FSU is regrouping in South Florida after losing the best SoFLa tandem nationally in Coley and Eddie Gran, and South Florida is a major area for receivers.
Peeking over the fence
Miami added 12 commitments over the last month. All of them but one are rated as three-stars by a consensus of the industry. That one? Travonte Valenting, the excellent DT out of Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic. Valentine has now committed to three different teams with seven months to go until National Signing Day. Can Miami hold on to him? Will he qualify? We shall see.
Also note that the the 11 three-stars Miami landed in the last month won't all remain as three-stars. There are some quality players in the group. The NCAA botching the Miami investigation is the most important thing to happen to that program in years.
Clemson added WR Artavis Scott, of Tampa. FSU definitely liked Scott, but could not make serious headway with him. His area recruiter and (if he came to Tallahassee) position coach? Lawrence Dawsey. The Tigers have a very nice class coming together.
The Gators flipped J.C. Jackson from FSU (this was not a surprise), and added defensive tackle Khairi Clark within the last month. Clark was thought to be headed to Miami by everyone, and that was a big surprise. Clark cited wanting to play in the SEC. Note that FSU is not the only program trying to fight the SEC stuff. Clark is an excellent DT, but needs to drop the 20 pounds he's added since his junior year. He was sloppy and slow at The Opening.
At this point, none of FSU's major rivals are significantly outrecruiting the Seminoles.
Up next: Jimbo Fisher Camp
We will again be covering the Jimbo Fisher football camp from the 17th-20th.