Florida State has been slipping in recruiting of late.
Having won 42 of its last 45 games (and 32 of the last 33), three-consecutive conference titles, a national title in 2013, while setting an NFL record for players sent to the draft over a three-year span; many fans are wondering why the Seminoles are not a serious contender to sign the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
It's a very valid question. Florida State has had a number of major decommitments in recent months, including Isaac Nauta, the best tight end recruit in the country, and Tyree Horton, the No. 1 JUCO outside linebacker in the country. Both were at positions of need and would have been in contention for early playing time. FSU also lost the commitment of receiver Keith Gavin, a talented four-star receiver in its own backyard.
It also seems to have slipped a bit with elite defensive line recruit Shavar Manuel and receiver Nate Craig-Myers.
A top-five class is still a very good class, but if the school signing it should have been in serious contention to sign the top overall class, it can and should be seen as an underachieving campaign.
One possible explanation for the underachieving: the age of FSU's coaching staff.
Tomahawk Nation tallied the age for each of Florida State's nine assistants and compared it to the ages of six major recruiting rivals: Florida, Miami, Auburn, Georgia, Alabama and Clemson, and found that Florida state is the major outlier when compared to that group.
Georgia, with an average age of 40, is very young, but the other five all average between 44 and 46. FSU? 52, 18 percent older than the average.
While it is important to note that Florida State's best recruiter by far is Tim Brewster (53), on average, it is reasonable to infer that younger coaches may be more in-tune with the happenings of young people and technology, and are more likely to have kids of their own who are of similar ages to the players they are recruiting.
Of course, one coach who is extremely young or old can influence an average, so it is important to take a total count as well, like measuring how many coaches on a staff are 45 or younger. Why 45? It's the average age of the seven staffs.
As the chart shows, FSU's six rivals average five or six coached 45 or younger.
The Seminoles? Just one, Jay Graham, (40) who has not exactly set the recruiting trail on fire.
Over the last three years, FSU has lost three major recruiting aces in James Coley (to Miami), Dameyune Craig (to Auburn) and Jeremy Pruitt (to Georgia). All three are now over 40, but did great work for Florida State in their 30s. Florida State's does not have a coach in his 30s, and it has just one under the age of 45.
This is a much older group than the bunch that built the roster that went 39-3 from 2012-14. It will be interesting to see if Jimbo Fisher looks to inject some youth in his staff this offseason.