Tomahahawk Nation will be reviewing each position of Florida State's recruiting as National Signing Day approaches. We realize that for some, this information is already known. But others only follow recruiting around National Signing Day, and for those Florida State fans, it should be pretty useful. Monday, the focus is quarterback.
At this point, it is a bit silly to question anything Jimbo Fisher does with quarterbacks. He's not above reproach, but compared to anyone else in college football, he might as well be. Jimbo Fisher has had eight quarterbacks drafted, and Jameis Winston will make it nine in another year. He runs his offense through the quarterback, and is quite demanding on the position. And he knows what he wants in the position.
For the 2014 class, he has two commitments. But will he have two come National Signing Day?
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic
6'4, 225 | 4-star
I've seen Cosentino on tape, and in person three times. There is a lot to like. He comes from a prestigious high school with a big tradition of quarterbacks, including Dan Marino. He has the prototypical big frame for a quarterback, with big hands, and he can probably eventually play at 235 or so pounds. He is a pro-style passer, but is not immobile, though I would say that Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel and Jameis Winston all have better mobility.
The arm? It's big. Very big. He had coaches giggling as he slung rockets this summer at FSU camp. He does have a bit of a hitch in his motion that Fisher and quarterback coach Randy Sanders will need to work on. And he has had knee surgery and an ankle injury, but I don't think he's shows any real lingering signs other than wearing a knee brace.
Cosentino has the tools to be the next excellent quarterback to play for Jimbo Fisher. He is rated as the 13th-best pro-style quarterback by the 247sports composite of the major services, but having seen all of the 12 ahead of him in person, I can confidently say that I would take him over three or four of them, which means I think he is a top-10 pro-style quarterback prospect.
Cosentino joined on March 18, and also helped to recruit other commitments to the class.
Consensus four-star prospect...rated the 15th-best pro-style quarterback in the nation and the No. 8 player in Pennsylvania by Rivals...the No. 16 pro-style quarterback by 247Sports and No. 6 player in his state...member of the ESPN300 (No. 240)...ranked the 11th-best pocket passer in the nation by ESPN and No. 3 player in Pennsylvania...rated the nation's No. 11 quarterback by Scout...ranked the 17th-best quarterback (No. 218 overall) by PrepStar Magazine...in 2013, led Central Catholic to a 15-1 record, including the WPIAL championship...led Central Catholic to runner-up at the PIAA Class AAAA final...one of two quarterbacks named to Pennsylvania Big 33 team...passed for 771 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 256 yards and 13 scores during his senior season...passed for 552 yards and rushed for 10 touchdowns as a junior, taking over the starting job in Week 3...named MaxPreps preseason Mr. Football for Pennsylvania before senior season...participated in the Semper Fidelis All-Star game in Carson, Calif. in January...threw for 100 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, in the Semper Fi game...attended the same high school as former NFL stars Dan Marino and Marc Bulger, and current FSU assistant coach Sal Sunseri...chose FSU over Penn State and USF.
Flipped to Florida
Miami Booker T. Washington
5'11, 186 | 4-star
Treon Harris committed to Florida Sate on July 8, as a quarterback. That's important for a few reasons. FSU was one of the first major programs to offer Harris as a quarterback. Many, including myself, were (or are) skeptical that he will be a quarterback in college, as he also profiles as a very good receiver or cornerback due to his athleticism (see his listing as an "athlete" and not a quarterback on the four major recruiting sites).
But Jimbo Fisher believed that Harris would be a quarterback, and so he offered, and Harris accepted. At that time, Miami, Auburn and Florida were not offering him a chance to play quarterback.
That changed in recent months, and Harris has visited all three schools. While he is still committed to FSU, he is also considering those three as National Signing Day approaches.
Other schools are surely telling Harris that he won't play quarterback for FSU because the Seminoles run a pro-style offense. Jimbo Fisher can counter by pointing to James Wilder Jr., probably a better linebacker than running back, who was never forced to move to linebacker. Or to Karlos Williams, who stayed at safety for two years, two games and two defensive coordinators before he finally decided to move to running back.
The key phrase being "he decided." As far as I can tell, while nearly all of his position changes have worked out great (Xavier Rhodes from receiver to defensive back; Chad Abram from safety to fullback; Cam Erving from defensive tackle to offensive tackle, etc.), Fisher has never forced a player to change positions in his time at Florida State.
Harris is short, and he does not have a great arm. He does, however, have a great set of football instincts, which makes sense because he is the son of a coach. And he seems to always be putting the ball in spots where his playmakers would make plays after the catch. He has very good accuracy, and his mobility is obviously off the charts. His release is also extremely quick.
If Harris sticks with his pledge to Florida State, Fisher's track record indicates that he will be given every opportunity to play quarterback if and until he doesn't want to do so. And if he's good enough to start, Fisher will indeed use more spread elements in the offense, as he did with a young Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel.
Harris photo via Student Sports