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Florida State Recruiting Update, 09.09.09

As always, we funnel coverage to the 2010 Big Board and the 2010 Recruiting Map.  Remember to get out and watch these prospects play.  Be sure the wear FSU gear, and get noticed.  Please do not actually talk to the prospects or try to recruit them in any way.  A simple tomahawk chop will do.  Anyway, onto the coverage.

Why is following recruiting important?

This is something the recruiting team put together (FSUncensored, SWFLNole, DA-2, and NoleThruandThru, and me)

Think of your college program like an English soccer team, there is involvement on many levels.  There are the current players, but also the next round of players.  Any knowledgeable football fan knows that their current team's success is predicated on what happened 2, 3, and 4 years ago in recruiting.   For instance, Bobby Bowden hired his son to be FSU's offensive coordinator, and the lack of accountability brought on by nepotism permeating the program led to a dropoff in recruit evaluations.  In 2006 and 2007, FSU brought in 50 players.  Of the 45 who would still be eligible to play, only 18 remain.  FSU has 23 sophomores and 23 upperclassmen on its team.  Why did FSU struggle so much from 2003-2007?  Terrible recruiting evaluation brought on by crappy leadership.
The 2008 and 2009 classes, however, seem to be a lot more promising, as there have been very few surprise losses (anticipated JUCO kids are different).  FSU's climb back to the top begins with recruiting kids who are talented, but also who are of decent character and possess a solid work ethic, so that they will "stay in school".  
Recruiting represents hope to a majority of fans.  We need something to look forward and dissect while the football team is struggling.  Tomahawk Nation tries to give you the most accurate and realistic recruiting outlook, as we believe that is better than misleading fans.


Current commits: (click the links to read more)

 Class of 2011 ATH Calvin Pryor, Port St. Lucie (FL).  6'0'' 200 4.5

calvin pryor (via alexisbjones23)

The competition in this film is kind of spotty, class 1A/B football.  He dominates his competition, making All State as a sophomore in Florida.  That is impressive no matter what class you play in.  We want him as a safety.  I feel that Pryor has several desirable traits we look for in our defensive backs.  First off, he is a pretty big hitter.  He almost put two kids in the hospital last year.  Next, he can move pretty well considering his frame.  Maybe his best trait is his acceleration to the ball.  He just explodes to the ball and isn't very happy when he arrives.  Florida is looking at him.  We have been down to see him a couple of times.   


Inside -- Notes, Impact of the Miami game on recruiting, and an video interview!


  • Willie Downs is absolutely ripping up the JuCo ranks.  He had a couple of long touchdown catches last week, and also had 6 tackles and 3 PBUs.  Supposedly doing very well in the classroom (two 'B's this summer semester)  Downs is the best DB to have come of the HS ranks the last couple of years.  He has incredible instincts, range, ball skills, acceleration/explosion, recovery speed, and his hands are excellent.  He is very dangerous with the ball in his hands.  I am really trying to not get my hopes up, but it is hard.
  • STA played Upper Arlington in Columbus a couple of weeks ago.  Prospects:  Joyner looked decent.  After a rough start, he settled down and caught a 33 yard TD pass.  I didn't really get to see him play safety.  He was obviously nervous and probably pressed.  I look for much better things from him.  Gio Bernard looked absolutely fantastic.  Perfect fit for our scheme.  His balance, vision, and acceleration are elite.  The kid sees the hole and hits it.  STA RB James White really reminds me of current 'Nole Ty Jones.  Same type of runner, he looked very good.  STA had two junior receivers that looked pretty good.  Phillip Dilliard and Rashad Greene.  FSU will recruit both next year.
  • Valdosta High (Valdosta, GA) has an absolute stud class of 2011 LB.  His name is Jermaine Holmes and his nickname is The Freak.  First hand accounts say the kid dominates.  5'11'' 225.  That area just produces great football players and it is loaded for 2011.  Here is an interview of him: 
  • Rumors have September being a big month for 'Noles recruiting.  However, I have been burned by these before.  Joyner, Luc, Green, Willis, and Jones all committing in one month seems too good to be true.
  • For those worried about DBs:  We are bringing in a great crop.  I expect Joyner, Terrence Mitchell, Terrence Brooks, and Chad Abrams.  Brooks is really underrated.  I really like that kid.
  • Root for USC to beat tOSU by 40.  The nation's top DB, Lamarcus Joyner, will be on his official visit there and the Buckeyes will throw everything they have at him.
  • SWFLNole will have an excellent article on our 2011 targets tomorrow.
  • Out of our commits, Clint Trickett and Darious Cummings are FSU's two best recruiters.  They are really forming bonds with uncommitted recruits.
  • Glades Central DB Greg Dent will be a 'Nole if we offer.  Many instate are in love with this kid and his potential.  He and Gator commit (and 5*) Matt Elam were the two best players on the field in the GC-Dwyer game.
  • Booker T. Washington RB Eduardo Clements is most likely a Miami silent.  He basically told Rivals he has silently committed to a team.  Clements has been to many Miami practices.  Put the pieces together.
  • DE Corey Lemonier and OL Calvin Smith took their official visits for the Labor Day showdown.  I am told the visits went well, but do not expect them in our class.
  • We MUST hold onto FSU commit Holmes Onwukaife.  Texas and Oklahoma are still showing interest, and they might offer.  He brings much needed size, and is a great athlete to boot.

 The Impact of the Miami Game

This is the question all Seminole fans have been asking.  Will our recruiting be heavily affected by the tortuous loss?  I do not think so.  Here is my reasoning:  first, the game was not a blowout.  Another plus was that the atmosphere was electric all night long. FSU can still say it is still on the way up.  This does mean FSU has to finish the season with a respectable record, which is no small task.

Secondly, we are not really going against Miami for any recruits this cycle.   The only ones I can think of are DB Keion Payne and LB Jeff Luc.  Payne was probably already going to Miami anyway, and FSU does not really need him.  Luc -- well, let's just say I really, really like our position with him now.  FSU (and in particular, Coach Coley) has done a fantastic job recruiting the five star linebacker.  In fact, Tomahawk Nation editor NoleThruandThru reported that Luc and Christian Jones (maybe the two most important recruits in this class) were cheering hard for the 'Noles on the sideline. 

As NOLEinTX pointed out in the comments section of the recruiting board, we can really offer early playing time, especiallly on the defensive side of the ball.  Lamarcus Joyner would have a great shot at starting opposite of Greg Reid next year.  Though Joyner will need polish, he has more than enough natural talent to pull it off.  Luc could start next season at MLB.  Jones, Onwukaife, and Mizell will have serious playing time, Jones especially.  Tomahawk Nation is really pulling for Mizell because right now he would be one of the 'Noles best linebackers.  Brooks, Mitchell, and Abrams will see playing time next year.  On the DL, Erving and Barnes will need redshirts. I do not think Miller and Willis will redshirt.  Not sure on Cummings.  Amp McCloud will play right away.  Damien Jacobs (LA) becomes all the more important.  If LSU does not offer, I think he is ours.

Changing gears, I am still confident we land Christian Green and Kenny Shaw.  Miami is not in contention for both, but the 'Canes may offer Green as a QB.  Green says he wants to take all five of his visits before he commits.  Gio Bernard was rooting for us.  This will be a huge battle, but I am more worried about out-of-state schools rather than Miami with Gio.

We look great for most of our major targets.  Only time will tell.  Honestly, the game might mean more to the fans than it does to recruits.  They saw a great game.  One thing that could potentially hurt us is the uncertainty with the defensive coaching staff. 


Tomahawk Nation writer CaStauch discusses FSU commit Cameron Erving and weight potential:

I'd prefer Stroud get him to 300+, as much as 315, because this kid definitely has the frame to hold it.

285 is plainly too small. It's perfect for SDE, but that 15 pounds of strength and weight is too much of a factor inside.

A three tech could play at 290 or 295, but why limit this kid to that? He has great hips, great dimensions, everything pointing towards holding more than that and still moving.

Demonte has the frame to hold 295 easy while not sacrificing his elite speed and "slippery nature" as quoted by a certain former FSU DL coach. I want him at DT rather than SDE, because he has Darnell Dockett potential there.

McDaniel is already 290; and could hold 300 if it's put on the right way. The thing with Jacobbi, however, is that his mass is so ideally deposited (lower the better), that he has elite - first round quality - leverage. And his technique is good enough such that his natural leverage isn't wasted, rather enhanced.

Jacobs is 300 now and who knows how big that kid could get. Willis is 260 now and looks to be able to hold 290 well.

And McCloud, THANK GOD, didn't atrophy to 250 like was implied in that fatal Lee Gordan article last year. Rather, he's 300 too.

The problem with recruiting 250 pounders to play DT/NT is two fold. Firstly, it increases the "extrapolation and prediction" aspect, which is terribly fickle. "Oh Sure That kid can definitely hold another 40 pounds". "I can easily put that weight on when he gets here with the suppliments and weight training". Well, more often than not, he can't and you couldn't. And then you're stuck with Ken Stewart struggling at 270 and Bud Thacker withering away at 260, Justin Mincey at 275, and Paul Griffon at 270.

Secondly, it requires time wasted building the player. If you have elite depth - such that you can stash players away for 3 years - sure, but otherwise you're wasting 2 or even 3 years of the kid's eligibility and more importantly your team's precious 85 limit building a player up for one good year.

It looks good in the NFL, but it doesn't win FSU games in college. I'd much rather bring a kid in that has already proved he can move at 300 and cut off some bad weight (a measly 10 pounds of bad weight lost does wonders) and then build it back up (SEE Jacobbi McDaniel)...

... then take a 265 pound kid and try to add 40 pounds. With the former, we get more out of the kid and it's more of a sure thing.

If 275 pound DTs and NTs that were more athletic than strong and big worked, the NFL wouldn't have 300+ DTs and 330+ NTs on every team. Their DEs wouldnt be 285, they'd be 250. In the trenches, when you're inches away from each other, it's strength and fast-twitch first step. Both of those abilities are derived more from heavy muscle than being a lean athlete. Sprinters are 220+ pounds because they need the weight (read muscle) for that fast twitch. Marathon runners are 150 pounds because they need endurance instead of fast twitch.

UF, Bama, BC last year, the three best defenses in the country, had:

300 pound Terron Sanders
305 pound Lawrence Marsh

365 pound Terrence Cody

320 pound BJ Raji
310 pound that other guy

Coincidence? Football is won from the inside out. If you're getting blown off the ball every down because your DTs and NTs are 40 pounds lighter than the other team, you cant win. A First Down is only 10 yards.

Question of the Day -- What do you want to see out of Tomahawk Nation's recruiting coverage?  Ideas?  All suggestions will be taken into consideration.