October 2, 2011
In your opinion, if you had to put a percentage on these prospects today (Eddie Goldman, Tracy Howard, Nelson Agholor, Andrus Peat, Evan Goodman, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Kent Taylor), what would they be?
I won't give any percentages for some of them right now because we are saving that for our upcoming Final Five feature which will detail the prospects still left on the board for Florida State. I will say Josh Harvey-Clemons would be below 50%, probably around 40% because he hasn't set up a visit with Florida State yet. I believe he will set it up for the Miami game. Honestly though, he hasn't talked about the Seminoles that much when I spoke with a few people close to him. Kent Taylor I would put around 10%-15% because as I've stated before, I believe he's been Florida bound for at least a couple of months and nothing has changed.
Now with Evan Goodman, I would probably put that one squarely at 50% because from the people I've spoken with, he had high interest in the 'Noles growing up. Evan also likes the fact that he could also see the field early, so he's certainly the most likely out of that group. The rest of the group I will address in our Final Five feature, along with several other possibilities.
With the problems FSU has at the offensive line position and the constant injuries within the unit, does the staff now look at taking three offensive linemen for the 2012 recruiting class and making room for Goodman and Peat if they both want to jump on the train?
Florida State already has a commitment from Alphonse Taylor and would like to add one more with Andrus Peat, who is the top option. Now whether they take two more instead of one more would simply depend on the best available. FSU is slipping a little with Josh Clemons, so it's a possibility to take Evan Goodman. But as I said, it comes down to fitting him in. The tackle position is a need, but how much of a need (and giving up other players at other positions) is the question. My gut feeling is FSU wouldn't turn down either at this stage.
I don't know if you know exactly how FSU's "coaches board," looks, but where would you rank the remaining targets on it? The way the offensive line is looking, I would say Peat needs to be No. 1, but Howard is a huge need as well. Goldman and Agholor are likely the best players, however.
Based on what I've heard, you aren't too far off in having Peat as the top target. In my opinion, it should be 1A or 1B with Peat and Tracy Howard at cornerback. FSU would also love to add another outside linebacker or simply linebacker overall. Then there is also Nelson Agholor, who is a tremendous weapon as a wide out that is also high up the list because of the fact that he can take over a game as an athlete on either side of the ball.
Anything new with any UM commitments or recommitments in regards to possibly giving FSU a second look?
At this stage, the only one I seriously see FSU pushing for would be Miami Norland LB Keith Brown, who for a while has given indications about being open to another school. He's been looking for a reason to explore other options and he will visit FSU on November 22 for the Maryland game, but also may attend the Miami game. He named Clemson last week his leader, but he hasn't taken a trip to FSU yet and people close to Brown have told me he would like to stay close to home if possible.
With Amari Cooper off the board and Nelson Agholor still up in the air, do you think the coaches will look closer at Malcolm Lewis or Devonta Mathis from Miramar? Couldn't that help with Tracy Howard?
Cooper is off the board, but I wouldn't completely rule him out as FSU is still trying to push hard for him, selling him on early playing time and staying in-state. But in the end, I don't see this likely. FSU actually likes both Lewis and Mathis quite a bit. I was even told that FSU liked Mathis a little more after the FSU camp and the staff should get another look at him next weekend for the big St. Thomas Aquinas/Miramar match-up. The one thing FSU would like to see from Mathis is his speed. They love his route running and quickness after the catch, so if there was one receiver to keep your eye on, it would be Mathis. To answer the question about impact on Howard, yes it would be help their cause, but it won't be a deal breaker either. Taking another slot receiver is an area that falls into where FSU would like to add one more, but will there be room?
Are you surprised at any FSU target or commitments' performance so far this year?
I would have to say that two out of state guys in Ukeme Eligwe and Justin Shanks have made a big impression. We didn't really get a great look at Shanks in the big match-up with St. Thomas Aquinas because he was moved in and out of the game. But after watching his game film the past four weeks, he's been one of the most dominating commitments for FSU when you go by what he's doing on a consistent basis. Defensive tackles don't usually get a lot of sacks, but Shanks nearly has 10 sacks on the season. With Eligwe, I knew he was fast after watching his film, but I didn't realize the power and quickness he has to go along with that speed. He's a linebacker that you can probably match-up with just about any receiver with that top end speed.
I would also say I'm a little surprised Boone is not getting Marvin Bracy more involved in their offense. I know they have A.J. Turman, who is a tremendous power back, but anytime you have a weapon like Bracy you want to use him as much as possible. That alone has surprised me with the lack of touches because when Bracy gets his shot, he's made the most of it.
Do you foresee any of FSU's commitments or targets gaining a star or losing a star in the next rankings?
The only change that I could see happening at this stage would be that Mario Pender is extremely close to picking up a fifth star. Rivals' national staff love him a lot and they just want to see him in action before pulling the trigger on that decision. The rest of the FSU commitments should remain where they are. I haven't heard a lot on Dalvon Stuckey, so he's one that might dip with his total overall ranking, but I doubt it affects his star rating. Again, that's simply my opinion because most of the time he is double teamed, so you can't always see him stand out.
Are there any 2013 targets that FSU is very high on, but doesn't have much interest from any other teams?
I would have to say Jesus Wilson from Columbus (Miami, Fla.) as being the main one at slot receiver. FSU's staff loved this kid's quickness and burst after the catch, but the rest of the nation hasn't really caught on just yet. You could probably throw RB A.J. Turman into this list since he doesn't have a ton of verbal offers quite yet. But I expect that to seriously change as the season goes on. He is one of the best big backs I've seen, behind Greg Bryant, who I consider the top back in the state for 2013.
Then you also have DT Caleb Brantley from Crescent City that FSU liked a lot at their camp. Brantley says he has a verbal offer, so he's another one to watch during this season. I'm also very surprised the bigger names haven't offered New Jersey standout Tashawn Bower yet. Ohio State is probably his other biggest offer besides Florida State, but this kid is special and that offer list should explode heavily during the season.
This isn't really a recruiting question, but how is it that Jimbo raved about JUCO transfer Jacob Fahrenkrug in the spring/summer, but he is struggling so much now that the season is here?
I think what the staff saw with Jacob is a very athletic guy that was flexible with all his blocking schemes, but the speed of the actual game is just overwhelming the guy right now. Despite what people believe, he still has a lot of talent, but when you quickly jump from JUCO, that's always the draw back because they are basically freshmen players that are adjusting to another level of football. You have to be very special to go from the JUCO ranks and not skip a beat, like a Cam Newton type talent or as FSU has seen with Mike Harris.
Are there any 2012 recruiting class members that you think can make an immediate impact to the team next fall?
I would say Mario Edwards would be an immediate impact guy at the end position. I also don't usually say freshman can make an impact at running back, but Mario Pender is so special that he would be the exception to the rule because of how explosive he is out in space. The key for him would be how much he can pick up on the blocking assignments. However, with him enrolling early I think he would settle in nicely. Then finally at linebacker, I would have to say Ukeme Eligwe. FSU rotates so many linebackers in and out, he could get in early on some third down packages because of that speed and aggressiveness.
Is it easier for an incoming prospect to make an immediate impact on offense or on defense?
It simply depends on the position for the offensive side of the ball. For instance, running back is more demanding even though FSU has two tremendous running backs in James Wilder and DeVonta Freeman that have played this year. The problem with that position is picking up the blocking assignments because a mistake in the backfield can seriously affect the offense. Now at wide receiver you have a better chance because in receiving situations, it's about making plays and one-on-one type opportunities compared to running back where the blocking determines what you can do. At quarterback there is even more responsibility and with the offensive line there are a ton of check offs at the line of scrimmage that lineman need to know before the coaches trust them enough to have them get meaningful time on a consistent basis.
Now on the defensive side of the ball for the cornerback position, that's much like the receiver position in having a few opportunities to shine in one-on-one coverage but different schemes affects how much of an impact. Defensive end offers a little more flexibility for the freshman as we saw through the development of Brandon Jenkins who got a chance to get on the field early strictly because of his strong pass rushing skills. Same for Bjorn Werner, who made a very early splash.
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