Thursday was one of the most interesting recruiting days in Florida State history. Already holding a commitment from QB recruit De'Andre Johnson, of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast, Florida State landed commitments from both Deondre Francois, of Brandenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, and Kai Locksley, of Baltimore (MD) Gilman School.
Francois is a four-star according to the 247sports composite, while Johnson is a three-star. Locksley is a four-star, but rated at the athlete position, which I think is appropriate despite his declared position being quarterback. Are all three really going to be in the class? All three maintain that they will be signing with Florida State, but we will see.
Yes, Florida State really could sign all three quarterbacks. FSU knew what it was doing here. It may have doubted that he third would jump on board once the second had committed (and I am skeptical that they knew Locksley would jump on board just an hour before Francois), but it had a plan for this.
If, for some reason, all three decide to stick with their commitments to the Seminoles and want to beat out two players from the same year, plus the others still on the roster, FSU would accept the commitments.
But that is an enormous if. Quarterbacks do not share time. There is a defined starter and a defined backup. This is a very poor year for quarterbacks on the East Coast, and teams from the ACC, SEC and Big Ten will certainly not stop trying to flip the commitments. It would not be surprising to anyone if a player was to flip.
QB is one of the positions where considering the depth chart is actually very important. Entrenched starters rarely lose their jobs, even if the backup becomes marginally better later down the line.
Texas will continue to pursue Locksley, as will Maryland, where his dad is the OC. And Auburn won't let off Francois, either. Tennessee and some other schools have been in contact with De'Andre Johnson, and this recent news will cause them to pick up their interest as it creates a new angle to recruit.
I'd be surprised if all three stick with their current commitments to Florida State. Not shocked, but surprised.
If all three do sign ...
If FSU does sign all three, it's hard not to foresee a transfer or position change very early on. Quarterbacks who have no hope for playing time simply do not stick around all that often, particularly not if they have NFL aspirations.
It's also worth noting that of the three, Locksley is the one that has the athleticism to play another position at the Florida State level. That's not to say that FSU isn't recruiting Locksley as a quarterback, simply that if someone is to be moving positions, Locksley is the obvious choice if he were to not win the QB job. He's also the least advanced as a passer of the three.
Loooooong way till Signing Day folks. And Locksley might be more ATH than QB. Still highly unlikely all three sign with FSU in Feb. #Noles— Brian Stumpf (@Stumpf_Brian) July 31, 2014
None of the three are perfect prospects. They all come with legitimate questions. People wonder if Francois will continue to develop better touch and feel for the passing game, whether Johnson is close to being maxed out physically, or if Locksley can even play QB in FSU's pro-style system, given how raw he is as a passer at the moment (many believe he is a better receiver or safety prospect, as evidenced by his "athlete" tag).
But taking three does increase FSU's chances that it will hit a home run with at least one. And FSU has room to do it.
Also of note
For those who doubt the claim that Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek running back star Jacques Patrick is a lock to Florida State, consider this tweet and others from him making fun of prospects and fans who thought Francois would be going to Auburn. Patrick is tight with Francois and he knew. Patrick isn't publicly committed, but his interactions with other recruits certainly look like those of a commitment.