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Florida State Wednesday Open Recruiting Thread 06.24.09

Welcome back.

As always, our recruiting coverage here at Tomahawk Nation is based on the:

2010 Big Board

*If you have a simple recruiting question (i.e. Where is Jeff Luc leaning?), please do not waste a fanpost.  If you have questions such as these, I direct you to the BIG BOARD when there is not a recruiting post open.

Tomahawk Nation's Florida State Seminoles Recruiting Map

View Tomahawk Florida State Seminoles 2010 Recruiting Map in a larger map

Again, if you haven't yet given us your zip code, please do so.  We will add you and you can see what players Florida State is targeting in your area.  More info on the map and the project here.  Help us band together and provide the best free Florida State athletics coverage on the net.

Let's get to it!  Today is a big update!

We told you not to worry unless FSU started accepting commitments from scrubs.  This week the 'Noles grabbed three big comitments from the Sunshine State.



  • Corey Lemonier, DE. 
  • Zach Allen, LB


  • Cory Phillips, DB, no interest.  Impact:  Minimal.
  • Derek Owens, DB, commit to UGA.  We did not show interest.  Impact:  Owens is a good player out of Jacksonville, but we weren't going to offer his teammate just to get him as the Dogs did.  He was at best the 'Nole's 7th rated corner prospect.
  • Morgan Bailey, OL, the lifelong Georgia Tech fan committed to the Yellow Jackets.  Impact:  Minimal.  FSU only plans on taking 2 offensive linemen this year and they already have ESPNU150 Watch List OT Ed Christian from Lowndes.  Bailey is a good player but not someone who will make or break a class.  
  • Reid Webster, OL, committed to Clemson.  Impact:  Again, Minimal.  We're not losing any prospects we really need.
  • Mark Wilson, LB, Tallahassee Lincoln.  Committed to Illinois.  He's a marginal prospect, but we do need linebackers.  Impact:  undetermined.  We'll know more when other LB prospects emerge.
  • Nate Askew, TE, San Antonio.  Committed to Texas A&M.  Impact:  FSU needs a tight end, but this kid was a long shot from Texas. 
  • Brent Benedict, OT, Jacksonville.  Committed to UGA.  Impact: HUGE, because it keeps him away from UF.  FSU had little shot with him from the get-go.
  • Ralph Williams, LB, Miami.  Committed to Tennessee.  Impact:  Minimal.
  • Richard Leonard, CB, Miami.  No interest.  Impact:  Minimal.


  • Greg Dent, from WR to CB.  Why?  Dent isn't a wideout at a major D1 college but has shown considerable coverage ability in recent camps.  I posted a fanshot about Dent about a week ago.  Hopefully we start showing interest.


  • Florida State commit Ed Christian will take visits to other schools, but I am told not to worry.  He's a Nole and just wants to get wined and dined during his four other visits.  I bet that he keeps recruiting for FSU.  Can he pull Telvin Smith?
  • Corey Lemonier might seriously consider the 'Noles.  I'd be shocked if he went anywhere other than Miami, but I heard that he will give everyone a look.
  • Do not worry about Christian Green and UF.  He recently named UF his leader, FSU will be too strong in the end.  Longtime 'Nole recruitniks remember that Nigel Bradham and Jacobbi McDaniel also named UF their leader at one point in the process.  In fact, confirmed that he has no leader, but rather that he likes FSU, UF, AND UGA in some order
  • Brandon Gainer:  it's us against Tennessee.  He'll be an early entry so expect a decision before September. 
  • Eduardo Clements is playing games.  That being said, I do not expect him to end up here..  
  • Preliminary list of prospects attending Florida's Friday Night Lights camp courtesy of Tharinger (6/23).  He's getting us an FSU list soon.
  • The next commitment?  I think either Haggins or Joyner.
  • Byrnes DL Brandon Willis attended a UNC camp.  Those there still feel he and Corey Miller are 'Noles.
  • CB Keion Payne is looking hard at Miami.  We might have waited too long with the offer. 
  • Speaking of Merrill Noel, he shut down highly coveted Georgia commit Da'rick Rogers at the huge 7 on 7 back in March.
  • Another note on Noel:  Who is he going up against in practice?  De'Joshua Johnson, Chris Dunkley, and Fred Pickett.
  • I am starting to think we take Jeffrey Godfrey if he wants to come.  However, USF has promised him the starting job next year, and he is listening.  If we do not take Godrey, we will not take a QB this cycle.
  • We show Brandon Gainer enough interest, he is a Seminole.  We can only hope.
  • Does anyone have any film on Pahokee LB Zach Allen (6'2' 200 4.6)?  ESPN is very high on the kid.  Portions from ESPN Scouts, Inc: Coveted disruptive presence on defense and is a guy who can get after the quarterback and make a lot of plays near the line of scrimmage. Tall, Long and rangy. A good vertical attacking and projects best in heavy pressure defense. Quick, long and disruptive off the edge even in a two-point stance. Covers a lot of ground quickly in the short-range and can redirect sharply mirroring the ball carrier. Chases and pursues very well from the backside with his long wing spin and good closing burst. An effective reach and grab type of tackler who pursues with a high motor. A sideline to sideline guy with good range and speed. Very effective pass rusher; displays good first-step quickness, knows how to work the edge/half the blocker's body and bend flat down the line of scrimmage. Simply can get after the quarterback and collapse the pocket with speed and high energy. Shows fluid hips for a taller, vertical guy. Very active with his hands at the point of attack separating and stringing out the run to the sideline; difficult to seal on the perimeter run.  His ability to sift through the fast moving traffic laterally is a question mark as well. He flashes good ball skills and athleticism at tight end making us think he can develop that facet of his game. Overall, Allen has a sought-after blend of potential size and fast-twitched athleticism and can simply rush the passer and make plays off the edge. Will need some polish and work in a fulltime weight training program but his upside on becoming a disruptive perimeter presence at the major college level is very promising.  ESPN has him rated as a better prospect than teammate Richard Ash who many seem to be cooling on.
  • Strong DO NOT WANT DOG for Demar Dorsey.  Kid is a headcase with bad grades and character issues.
  • Ohio H-back Dan Schnieder has legit interest.  gahnki has the in here, and is high on the kid.  It will probably be him or Basford for that spot.
  • Florida will most likely not offer CB Terrence Brooks (Dunnellon HS, FL).  Good news.  Charles Fishbein reports that the kid is built like a tree trunk (not unlike Janoris Jenkins, on the field).


Cliff Coleman (Boyd Anderson HS), 5'11 170, 4.4.  Runs the 100m in 10.5 seconds:

Coleman is starting to grow on me.  Rumors have us the team to beat, but that was before Miami coach Randy Shannon personally offered him.  Certainly a long strider, with long arms, Coleman has enormous potential at the position.  However, we want to see more out of him.  Right now, I would take him over his headcase teammate Demar Dorsey.  I can't wait until senior film comes.


Pernell Williams (Coffee HS, GA), 6'1 170 4.5

 UF likes this kid.  He tried to commit to them back in April (ala Tavaris Barnes) but was stonewalled by Meyer and the UF coaching staff.  He has nice size, and good enough quicks.  I want to see better film; however, this will be another senior season evaluation by our coaching staff.  Another South Georgia stud?


New Prospect for 2011:  Tony Jackson (RB)

One of our newer writers, TarponsandNoles caught up with Taylor County HS (Perry, FL) head coach Shane Boggs to discuss Jackson:

Tony Jackson (Taylor County HS, Perry FL)

HT: 5'9''
WT: 180 Lbs
40: 4.4
G.P.A: 2.8

The state of Florida has a number of 2011 recruits that have been talked about lately. The RB position has especially been thrown around. However there is 2011 RB that is somewhat unknown outside the North FL area, and hasn't been hyped by the "big" scouting sites. Tomahawk Nation has the exclusive on him right now.

Tony Jackson plays RB for Taylor County HS, in Perry FL. A team that doesn't have heavy talent each year; he may just be something special. Tony runs tall, never really dropping his center of gravity even on cuts, much in the same manner as Adrian Peterson. He has a quick stride and makes the first defender miss, but keeps his legs going once someone has a hold of him, often times gaining the extra 2-3 yards. He has no problem running between the tackles, cutting back into the lane when he sees something positive. Tony possesses excellent lateral movement as well. Because of his athleticism he can dance a little bit too much behind the line of scrimmage and never gets to the hole, but when he does he explodes through it and gets North-South quickly. Although that may have been because of the penetration the defense was getting time and again in the footage I saw.

I spoke with his head coach Shane Boggs about him, and he had nothing but good things to say. He assured me that Tony was a good student who has a 2.8 GPA and won't have a problem qualifying. He told me that Tony can power clean an impressive 285 lbs, and that when he coached Ernie Sims at NFC, Ernie was power cleaning 295 his senior year. Tony just completed his sophomore year. Finally he told me that he has coached 25 D1 athletes and that Tony fits in well with all of them.

To recap:
Biggest Strengths: Excellent lateral movement, explosive burst, good vision.
Biggest Weakness: May need to improve ball skills to become a legitimate passing threat out of the backfield on the next level.

Tony Jackson is a legitimate RB prospect in the state of FL for 2011. He has the size and speed to play D1 in the future. On top of that he has good enough vision and explosiveness to make impressive cut backs; given our need for that and our offensive line scheme I think we should recruit him. Tony is close to the Tallahassee area, and a lot of coaches will get a chance to see him in the next two years.

A big thanks to TarponsandNoles for the update and the film should come this week.  If any members have any info, on any 2011 prospects, tell us!


A shift in recruiting philosophy:  Jimbo Fisher's increased influence- building an Saban-style defense.

This comes to us from TomahawkNation writer (and famed wordsmith) CaStauch.

It has been rumored that Florida State defensive ends coach Jody Allen stressed to keep both of his defensive ends under 250 pounds for some inane reason. Recruiting a 6'5 260 pound junior in high school that can be easily seen as a 6'5 275 pound player by his sophomore year is an incredible step forward and a very clear indicator that Jimbo Fisher is asserting his influence and desires on the defensive side of the ball - at least via recruiting - and that our defense under his stewardship will be much more modern, much bigger, much stronger, and most importantly much more coherently structured.  Not only will we be playing with great pieces, but we will have great pieces that fit together.

Returning from our roster for 2010 (remove the Seniors from link), and I'll risk a guess based on what they've managed thus far and how I perceive their frames / work ethics:

*All Weights are 2010 projections

Weakside Defensive End (WDE)
Markus White, RSSr 6'4 265
Brandon Jenkins, So 6'3 250
Jamar Jackson RSJr 6'4 240

Strongside Defensive End (SDE)
Everett Dawkins RSSo 6'2 265
Toshmon Stevens RSSo 6'6 240
Dan Hicks 6'4 So/RSFr 6'4 260

Defensive Tackle (DT)
Demonte McAllister So 6'4 280

Nose Tackle or Nose Guard (NT/g)
Moses McCray Jr 6'2 300
Jacobbi McDaniel So 6'1 290

While most of us typically look at depth charts strictly in terms of numbers returning, I prefer instead to look at it in terms of effective depth returning. Sometimes, you need to be realistic and hazard an assumption that a player won't be the player you thought he was in high school. Effectively, with White being a junior (according to FSU, though there is some question as to his Senority), we really only have one returning weakside defensive end. Now, Jackson could still prove me wrong, but up to this point he's been nothing but a dart board for the verbal lashings of our coaches - even when healthy.  And in only one spring practice, Brandon Jenkins has wowed people with his talent and work ethic.

Additionally, there are circumstances during the game where it'd be beneficial to play 2 hybrid WDEs, or 2 SDEs, or an orthodox alignment, etc. For these, flexibility is key.  In these situations, Markus White at 265lbs (2010 growth projection) will undoubtedly line up at the SDE position in pass rush situations, especially if Jenkins can prove effective in spite of his youth.

So, should we be so lucky, bringing in Corey Miller and Corey Lemonier serves all purposes.  It gives us an immediate injection of considerable talent at weakside defensive end as well as two players that could conceivably harbor the flexibility aspect with ease. Miller is already 6'4 and 250, and has like size 22 feet or something. I'm usually not one to dig too deeply into bone prospectus, but that's a good sign.  Additionally, Miller has a legendary worth ethic and is one of those guys the coaches have to kick out of the gym (he never leaves).

Moving down the line, our numerical and talent-considered depth at SDE looks to be rapidly improving. Hopefully, Everett Dawkins is moved outside to stay. He was lucky to pick one of those mercurial "injuries" and was awarded a medical redshirt year for 2008 despite playing in a few games.  I hope a kinder fate chooses Darious Cummings.  Anyone and everyone has said that they doubt he'll be able to hold much more weight beyond 270, and most services list him as a defensive end.  His "jump out at you" characteristic is his quickness.  Toshmon Stevens, though a recipient of praise from Stroud, cannot be considered to be anything more than a project at this point. Granted, he may emerge from his initially 205 pound cocoon an Andre Wadsworth (from walk-on to 3rd pick in the NFL draft), but recall how rare players like Andre come around, and also recall that Wadsworth put on something stupid like 45+ pounds in 7 months and had a Deion-like work ethic and dedication.

In a 43 under scheme, the two outside positions are just as important as the two inside alignments. It was fashionable to cuss and sling mud at our interior DL for their inability to stop the run last season; but our lack of an SDE certainly didn't do them any favors, nor did our one-trick pony at WDE (even if his one trick was good enough to land him in the NFL - keep in mind that most NFL scouts recognized Everette Brown's limitation and prefer him as "only rush the passer LB" in a 34).

With the recruits coming in and if we properly orient and develop the ones we currently have, we'd obtain the flexibility and necessary talent to relieve pressure from the 3 tech (DT) and 1 tech positions (NT). We'd have enough size, speed, and size-speed to match up against whatever the opponent threw our way. And we'd have competition.

Moving to 3 tech DT. This position is isolated for one on one matchups in the 43 under (see TrueCubbie's piece linked below).  It would follow, then, that burst off the ball, the ability to initially engage and rid oneself of a blocker, and technique would be preferable to a lumbering size. This is, of course, contingent upon the 3 tech having the luxury of lining up next to a true 1 tech that can sustain the blocks from two OL. While there are doubts beginning to rumble from sub-par camp performances, I love Brandon Willis' talents at the 3 tech at least from his film. For me, these highlights are immeasurably more telling than camps - mainly because camps do very well to mitigate the detrimental weaknesses that some linemen have while emphasizing skills that won't come through in a game. Richard Ash is a prime example. Those who have seen him in games remark mainly about his disappearing act. But then he goes to a camp 30 pounds lighter than everyone else and in shorts, and runs circles around them. ZOMG! Sorry, but the spacing found in camps is rarely available in the trenches. And, it's much easier to use your speed when you're in shorts.

Shawn Green is another possibility here, so too is Calvin Smith. Amp McCloud I would prefer to slide over to the 1 tech, but he's a player that could give you flexibility in the interior and play situationally at either.  (McCloud is rumored to be 275lbs right now and had had blood pressure concerns).  Regardless, I think we need to bring in 3 players here to promote competition and depth behind the player Pete Carroll (2nd greatest mind in 43 under history) said was, "The Best 3 Tech DT I've ever seen in High School" - Demonte McAllister.

We haven't had a true 1-tech NT in some time. I believe, especially given his SEC upbringing under Saban, Fisher wants this to be changed rather quickly into his era.  Nobody knows a defense better than the offense that faces it every day, and Fisher's offense destroyed the FSU defense this spring.  He understands the desperate need for a 1-tech NT.  Moses McCray is a talent. He has the wrestling pedigree that denotes hand strength, speed, and coordination (heavyweight champion wrestler). These skills are essential for the engaged technique 1 tech Nose Tackles need. They need to be able to sustain contact with 2 players and hold their position while doing so. Leverage and technique, besides size and lower body strength, allow the 1 tech to achieve this goal. McCray has the size, strength, and the technique.  Jacobbi McDaniel also, for me, has these abilities. If one is to believe him, he's anywhere from 280-290 currently.  Amazing technique, dominating leverage, and dedication. After going through like a 6 year famine at the position, FSU could very well find themselves fat and happy here.

[Uncensored interjects:  I think McDaniel is a 3-tech DT at FSU.  To me, he's a penetrator, excelling at getting penetration by getting small and using his quickness through defenders.  He'll never have the bulk to absorb double teams.  I think FSU takes another 1-TECH NT, or one more then CaStauch thinks we take.  Time will tell.]

Still, I think we need to bring in 1 more true NT for competition and to ward off stagnation from the aforementioned.  Damien Jacobs or Elliot Porter, from the fertile (and especially so re: NTs) Louisiana muddy waters, would both come in with something to prove against the highly rated above them.

So that's my take. I would honestly like 8 DL in this class.

2 SDE (that can cross train over)
3 DT
1 NT

in 2004, Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban signed 7 defensive linemen at LSU.  This DL class won them the 2006 Sugar Bowl and 2007 national championship.  They were returning 2 more interior DL than we are in 2010.  All of the players they brought in were heralded and most were drafted.  I think this class and its successes is certainly something Jimbo can sell to any DL recruits that may worry about the numbers we plan to bring in. Depth and competition didn't sap Marlon Favorite, Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, or Charles Alexander of their pro prospects: it stimulated it.

For more on defensive line play, make sure to also check out TrueCubbie's piece on defensive line techniques and fits.

For more on what FSU has been doing wrong on defense, see :  Size Matters, Part I & Part II


A shift in philosophy:  How two of the most fertile recruiting state's top programs squandered talent for a half decade. 

This is a Miami article, but the premise is enitrley relevant here.  It was sent to me by FrankDNole.   UM: Burned by Web hype, recruiters go with gut -- South Florida

"I used to go in the coaches' offices and sometimes they would literally have up on their screen," said Matt Shodell, who covers UM and its recruiting for "I won't name the coaches, but they would be writing names down on pieces of paper. I don't know how much film they were looking at." The Hurricanes have since turned to their eyes as the best evaluators of talent. Recruits now commonly say they have yet to receive a UM scholarship offer because coaches haven't seen film. Hurtt said the staff also avoids highlight tapes that often appear on recruiting sites. Even those can provide false hope. "The big difference is we're evaluating game film now," Hurtt said. "A lot of times it was highlight tapes, highlight tapes, highlight tapes. That could be just a big teaser for you. You watch it and all of a sudden people are geeked up. Then you find the actual game tape, and he doesn't know where he's going on the field and things like that. You find out things in the game film."

You really need to read the article to get the full meaning, but these things absolutely happened at FSU.  I've heard that Fisher was appalled when he got to FSU over our lazy recruiting practices.  Things have really changed now.  I've spoken at length about how FSU is still recovering from Bobby Bowden's recruiting failures in 2006 and 2007, borne from a lack of scouting and due diligence.  Just use the search feature for "failed 2006 or 2007 class".  Needless to say, they were disastrous. Those two classes comprise our upperclassmen, and of those, there are only 10 starters (7 from 2006 and 3 from 2007, the class compiled mostly by the lame duck Jeff Bowden staff).  Two recruiting classes producing only 10 upperclassmen starters is a failure by any measure.  Thanks Jeff.

Remember that recruiting rankings are overwhelmingly accurate on average, but as FSU and Miami showed over the last half decade, each player must be individually evaluated.  See Here, and Here.  Failing to look at game film and conduct proper due diligence on a kid's character is completely unacceptable.  Luckily, Jimbo and company (Coley, LaCavita) have brought the world-class Nick Saban model of organization.  Simply put, FSU is putting in more man hours now and they have better talent evaluators doing the work.  They are setting FSU up for the future and once we have an ounce of leadership at the top, the 'Noles will roll.

The Current Class

*= optional slot

Position Name Hometown (High School) Ht/ Wt/ 40yd Rating

De'Joshua Johnson Pahokee, FL (Pahokee) 5' 10"/ 150/ 4.36 ESPNU 150 Watch List/ Rivals 4* (5.8) #27 WR, Rivals 250 member.
OL Ed Christian Valdosta, GA (Lowndes) 6' 5"/ 290/ 5.27 ESPNU 150 Watch List/ Rivals 4* (5.8) #24 OT
SDE Tavaris Barnes Jacksonville, FL (First Coast) 6' 5"/ 250/ 4.69 Not Rated/ Not rated
DL Darius Cummings Titusville, FL (Astronaut) 6' 2/ 256/ 4.8 ESPNU 150 Watch List/ Rivals 4* (5.8) #24 DE
CB Merril Noel Pahokee, FL (Pahokee) 5' 8"/ 170/ 4.37 ESPN 78/ Rivals 3* (5.6), #38 corner
S Chad Abrams Lakeland, FL (Kathleen) 6' 0"/ 190/ 4.6 ESPNU 150 Watch List/ Rivals 3* (5.7) #21 safety

Great Member Generated Content:

We're really growing and just recently hit 700 active members.  We'll have a nice "new member guide" up soon (still looking for help on this).


Get to Seminole Showtime!  July 18th!  At the Doak!  Tallahasseee!  be There!

That's right.  Seminole Showtime is the 18th.  Come out to see the past, present, and future Seminole greats.  Show out in force and encourage these kids to commit.  Show them the love.  Let them know that they are the final piece to the puzzle.

Question of the Day:  How would you grade Florida State's 2010 recruiting at this point in time?



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