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Florida State football, recruiting news: 'Noles receive 2015 state championship rings

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Football:

FSU long snapper Stephen Gabbard showed off the 2015 state champion rings that were handed out by FSU on Thursday. During the 2015 season, the 'Noles beat both in-state opponents, Miami (29-24) and Florida (27-2) for the third consecutive year.

On ESPN's list of ACC X-factors, linebacker Matthew Thomas, who did not play last year due to ineligibility, could be the key to arguably the weakest defensive position on FSU.

Way back in 2013, Thomas was the No. 6 player in the ESPN 300 and considered one to watch at Florida State. Now, after limited contributions in his first three seasons because of injuries and suspensions (NCAA rules violations), Thomas might finally make a major impact. He needs to, considering the Noles' major needs at linebacker, where they are down two key contributors and face depth concerns for a second straight season.

Bleacher Report compiled a ranking, much like the weekly college football polls, of the 25 top programs over the next 10 years. To no surprise, Florida State was right up at the top coming in at No. 3. However, should the 'Noles be in front of Michigan just ahead of them at No. 2?

Is anyone concerned about Florida State's future?

Jimbo Fisher has signed top-seven recruiting classes during six of seven possible cycles. The outlier came in 2013, when the 'Noles only finished with the No. 11 haul.

Highlighted by a national championship three years ago, FSU has reached four straight BCS or New Year's Six bowl games. In that span, Fisher has compiled a 49-6 record with three ACC titles.

The College Football Playoff trophy will probably make a permanent stop in Tallahassee by 2025.

Other Sports:

In case you missed it on Thursday night, Florida State basketball guard Malik Beasley was drafted to the Denver Nuggets 19th overall. He became the first ever 'Nole to get selected by Denver, and assuming he signs with the expectation to play, will be the third of 29 FSU players to take the floor with them.

Recruiting:

The 'Noles lost their second signee to a JUCO after four-star linebacker Keion Joyner will not enroll at Florida State due to academic qualifications. He will join Shavar Manuel, who also was committed and had to take the same route due to grades, at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas

Pros:

If NFL.com's GIl Brandt was able to make a perfect running back using attributes from players around the NFL, he said that former 'Nole and current Falcons RB Devonta Freeman's vision would be one of those attributes. If you had to make a perfect running back using former FSU running backs, what would it look like?

Talk to Bill Parcells, and he'll tell you this is the most important characteristic for success as a running back. A player with good vision is able to make correct, decisive choices based on the defense he's facing; if the hole he's supposed to run through is clogged, a runner with great vision will find the hole that's open and hit that instead. He'll also be able to spot the open areas of the field once he's gotten past the line. Vision can't be taught or coached; it's something you're born with.

Freeman is a stout runner who racked up 709 yards (at a clip of 4.7 per carry) in his first eight games last season, helping the Falcons to a 6-2 start. He also scored nine touchdowns in his first six games last year -- and you can't do that without vision.

In 2015, with former FSU QB Jameis Winston at the helm in Tampa, the Buccaneers were fifth in the NFL at total offense. Is it possible that with Winston in year two of leading the offense, Tampa Bay can improve? NFL.com believes so.