For more complete thoughts on the class, check out our latest class update. For news, let's start with the Deondre Francois drama.
Four-star QB Deondre Francois is still committed to Florida State after a tweet was sent from his twitter account claiming that he had decommitted. His mom had heard nothing of it, and neither had his head coach or Florida State. Francois later tweeted that he had been hacked, which does sometimes happen to recruits as friends play pranks on each other.
But I've been doing this for almost seven years now and my gut says something is up. Florida State has three QB commitments, which is a lot. It's been something to consider since I published Will Florida State really sign three quarterbacks? over the summer. Why did it take over two hours for Francois to come out on twitter and claim he was hacked? Why could nobody reach him while all this was going on? Why did IMG's offensive line coach initially confirm the decommitment to Richard Johnson? There are probably reasonable answers to every one of these questions, but combined they do arise suspicion.
One theory is that Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeir had him flipped when he visited the school Thursday and that UF wanted to keep it quiet as to not tip off Florida State that Francois, who publicly (and privately to FSU's coaches, according to my sources) claimed that he was 100 percent with FSU after his official visit to Florida last weekend, was anything but. As the theory goes, if FSU didn't catch wind of Francois' leaning until the weekend, there's not much it could do to sway him back during the dead period.
This one would hurt the Seminoles: Francois is pretty clearly the best of Florida State's three quarterback commitments. I didn't always believe that, because as a junior he threw rockets with very little touch or anticipation, but he improved a ton thanks to his transfer and 1-on-1 coaching at IMG Academy.
At this point, I'm not ready to say that Francois is flipping to Florida, but I am also very skeptical that he is 100 percent committed to Florida State.
And there is news with another Florida State QB commit in three-star Kai Locksley, of DC, who I personally prefer at receiver. Texas missed on flipping A&M commit Kyler Murray, which means that its depth chart is now extremely attractive to a player like Locksley. That means early playing time and a better chance to remain at the quarterback position. And Texas is looking to use more spread offense, which fits his skillset well. In my opinion, getting Locksley would be a bigger deal for Texas than losing him would be for Florida State.
Florida State is hosting three visitors of which I am aware (and we will be looking out for anyone else who might be visiting). They are:
- 4-star running back Jordan Scarlett. Scarlett is committed to Miami and attends St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale. Scarlett is a very good player and FSU wants him, but he does care a lot about distance and academics, both of which favor him staying with the Hurricanes. Scarlett has been recruiting for Miami and even made a mid-week visit to Coral Gables according to my sources.
- 4-star receiver Auden Tate. Tate is a massive receiver out of Tampa Wharton who has been committed to FSU for some time and is considered a very solid commitment.
- 3-star defensive end Shelton Johnson. FSU has stayed in contact with the Delray Beach star and he absolutely has the green light to commit. Miami is also on him and he visited the Hurricanes last week.
-There was some question as to whether Florida State would turn up the heat on CB Da'Vante Davis, well ...
I'm going to the University of Texas !!!!!!!! Can you people leave me alone ??— Davante Davis (@SaluteMe_103) January 30, 2015
-Florida State sent three coaches (Jimbo Fisher, Charles Kelly, Tim Brewster) to see five-star cornerback Iman Marshall (California Long Beach Poly). FSU must feel it has a better shot than I do, as I think he's going to USC.
-5-star defensive lineman Terry Beckner, of East St. Louis, is visiting Missouri this weekend. I consider this a battle between Missouri and FSU, and don't believe Auburn or Ohio State have a true shot. My pick for Beckner is Missouri, but I do believe it is a close race.