There were a lot of murmurs about Florida State beginning with a whimper in the first ever Early Signing Period. They typically lacked context, since new ’Nole head coach Willie Taggart has still not filled out his coaching staff, as he’s had to wait on other coaches to play bowl games at their respective schools. Regardless, Taggart and the Seminoles still managed to finish with quite a bang.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t work left to be done. Wisely, FSU played the long game here, opting to go after only premium prospects instead of focusing on numbers. Why? To allow time for a new staff to cohere in Tallahassee and fill up the remainder of the 2018 class with high-quality players, despite the challenge of a quick turn-around in the wake of a previous regime that did little to nothing on the recruiting trail in its waning months.
Along said trail, many of the more tantalizing recruits have already signed. But, frankly, too much has been made of getting kids to sign early, primarily due to the novelty of the inaugural Early Signing Period. The reality is that a number of elite players remain unsigned, and so, as in years past, there will still be myriad battles being waged until the first week of February. And FSU is a factor in many of them.
Keep in mind, these are guys whom Florida State will be able to pursue after the bowl season, when its staff is assembled in its entirety. So, who are the top prospects yet to sign who also hold offers from the ’Noels (those in the composite top 247)? Check it out:
To provide some context on the quality that still remains as to prospective additions to FSU’s 2018 recruiting class, the current average of this year’s commits and signees is 0.9242, higher than any other school with a new coach. Moreover, every player on the chart included above is from either Florida, Alabama, or the Pacific Northwest. And these 10 players include a pair of 5-stars, seven 4-stars, and a 3-star.
Of course, anyone can offer a kid. I could open a university tomorrow, offer all of these guys, and still have higher admissions standards than Arizona State (and don’t you dare sleep on the Flying Dutchmen of DVSU).
But the Seminoles have a real shot with a number of these prospects. At present, Florida State holds the crystal-ball lead for 4-stars Thompson, Corbin, and Lamar, as well as 3-star Green. Also, 4-star Harrison is currently projected to Oregon, the school from which Taggart departed for the ’Noles.
As in a game, so as in a season, along with a recruiting cycle: it’s not how you start, but how you finish. And FSU’s finish could very well be a fine one, due to the wise, patient approach exercised by Taggart and his ever-evolving new staff at Florida State.