February 2, 2012

Breakdown: Analyzing FSU's 2012 class

Overall evaluation of the 2012 class

Head coach Jimbo Fisher closed the book on the 2012 class in a big way by reeling in four new commitments that included DT Eddie Goldman, DB Colin Blake, Reggie Northrup and Ronald Darby. All four are either Rivals100 or Rivals250 members. But how solid was this class? Let's take a look at the breakdown of filling needs for each position.

Overall this class filled the needs for the coaching staff. At the offensive line position, FSU landed two great JUCO linemen in Daniel Glauser and Menelik Watson. Glauser is a strong pass blocker, while Watson more of a run blocker. FSU added depth there, but in different ways fulfilled those needs.

On offense, at quarterback we expect FSU to sign two quarterbacks in Jameis Winston and Sean Maguire. Maguire is a quarterback that doesn't get the attention he should. He has very good presence in the pocket, and a solid arm to boot.

At running back, FSU landed the No. 1 player on their board in early enrollee Mario Pender, who most consider one of the top running backs in the country. He was crucial for this class with the health uncertainty of Chris Thompson and the lack of depth. Pender is the home run hitter, but also a guy that can bring different elements with his quickness and power he possesses. His skills will mesh very well with Devonta Freeman and the rushing attack, along with James Wilder and Lonnie Pryor.

Another huge position FSU needed to fill was the tight end, which they got in Orange Ca. Lutheran standout Christo Kourtzidis. FSU is razor thin at this position so adding Kourtzidis was another must need. He is a great blocker that will mix well with the pass catching skills of Nick O'Leary and also make Christo a strong option catching the ball as well.

Defensively, FSU couldn't have made a stronger finish with two great corners in Colin Blake and Ronald Darby. Both confirmed to me they will start off at corner for their career at FSU. Blake is more of a dual defensive back they can play all over the place and Darby from what we hear was the top or one of the top corners they wanted all year long believe it or not, so this didn't happen by accident.

FSU also filled another huge need at linebacker, adding two- Reggie Northrup, who flipped from Miami and Ukeme Eligwe. Eligwe a speedy linebacker that will create havoc on the outside and Northrup is a tackling machine. But also can play outside if called upon.

Then at defensive line, FSU landed one of the strongest classes ever assembled with Chris Casher, Mario Edwards, Eddie Goldman, Justin Shanks, and Dalvon Stuckey.

Biggest get for the Seminoles?

This isn't a tough choice for me at all as I believe it was certainly five=star Eddie Goldman when you factor in the impact of what he will do for the rest of the defensive line. It's simply astonishing and pretty scary for FSU opponents. I think you could even go as so far to say that that FSU may have landed the top overall prospect in the country with Goldman. What I like about this pick up and why I believe it was so crucial for FSU is the fact that they had the defensive ends in Mario Edwards and Chris Casher, but can you imagine the type of destruction that Goldman will do alongside Tim Jernigan, Bjorn Werner Brandon Jenkins, and not to mention the rest of the defensive ends coming in?

This alone is going to open up a ton of things for other prospects to shine throughout the defense and that includes the linebacker position with Telvin Smith, Jeff Luc and the rest of the incoming players to make freshman impacts. It takes a lot of pressure off the other parts of the defense when the defensive line is controlling the trenches. This was even more important for FSU in that they defeated two SEC power teams that have won National Titles in the past few seasons. Goldman is a tremendous pass rushing defensive tackle that will now be probably blocked with only one offensive lineman because of the other players. However, the best strength of Goldman is his athletic ability in being a player that can simply take over games, not in just one area of being a run stopper and that alone is rare.

Biggest disappointment for the 2012 class

The popular pick would obviously be the decommitment from Dante Fowler Jr. who gave no indication about flipping over to the Florida Gators after being committed to Florida State for over a year. While that stung some, it didn't really impact FSU that much considering the return of Brandon Jenkins and the fact that FSU still landed two of the best DE's in Chris Casher and Mario Edwards. That disappointment was more personal than anything. I believe the biggest loss would have to be Andrus Peat. This is a guy that FSU desperately wanted and felt for a while that they could pull it off as long as his parents visited, but obviously with family health situations that we confirmed to being very serious, eliminated those chances.

That isn't to take away from anything FSU landed at the offensive line position, but I just felt that landing Peat would have taken so much pressure off the depth situation. Trickett nabbed the No. 1 class for offensive line a year ago, so it's not devastating, but just makes it more of a necessity next year.

Biggest surprise of this class

This was a tough one for me because I could make the case for either cornerback FSU signed with how they came out of nowhere to secure both Ronald Darby and Colin Blake. I'm going to give the slight edge to Blake on this one though because to be honest, FSU had been courting and pushing for Darby it was clear they were hoping to land a visit, whereas Blake was a player that I don't think anyone would have given FSU a shot for with him being from Texas and FSU not even getting the last visit when Colin decided to take that trip to TCU. The kudos for this recruitment has to go over to D.J. Eliot (who was his main recruiter) and Mark Stoops, who stayed on this kid even though the chances were slim earlier this season. I also think when you look back to where things stood a month ago, no one would have really pictured this happening, especially since Blake being really kept it quiet about his interest to FSU. So this was one of the few surprises I think as a whole that FSU kept low key, as did Blake, but it paid off late.

Most likely to make the earliest impact?
I'm going to go with Mario Edwards, Jr. because of the fact that here's a guy that is as explosive as they come at the defensive end position. I do believe Mario will trim down his weight and when he has at the 270-275 range, this kid has been the most unstoppable force I've seen on game film. Why I also like him to be that breakthrough performer is the fact that he will get a lot of heat taken off of him by the amount of defensive tackles that FSU will have opening up everything. FSU is thin at defensive end after Brandon Jenkins, Tank Carradine and Bjorn Werner. I believe you will see a lot of Edwards making plays believe or not with his quickness. I think will be ready to deliver once summer practices roll around and that weight is back to where we are used to be. He's a massive kid that from a technique stand point is so much further along than the high school players I've seen. There are just not many players that have the complete package to make that early impact in understanding the work ethic, adjustment, and mental block to get over, but I believe Edwards does. Look for a big season from him.

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