Florida State Football Recruiting: Why Seminoles Had a Monster Signing Day
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The Florida State Seminoles entered national signing day with the No. 7 recruiting class according to Rivals.com, but after securing commitments from 5-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (Washington, District of Columbia) and 4-star cornerback Colin Blake (San Antonio, TX), there are plenty of reasons to believe more prospects are on their way to Tallahassee on Wednesday afternoon.
The Seminoles are still in play for as many as four more big-name prospects, who are all expected to announce later this afternoon.
Expectations for Jimbo Fisher and his staff will be high in 2012 after underachieving in 2011, which makes this recruiting class even more important for the Seminoles.
Many of the players in this class will have a chance to see the field as true freshmen and will play a vital role on a Florida State team that returns 17 starters from last year's 9-4 season.
Here is a look at some of the prospects the Seminoles have already received commitments from today and why they have had one of the biggest signing days in the country.
Eddie Goldman's junior highlights.
Eddie Goldman is the nation's No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 7 overall prospect, which means if he is able to live up to his potential, he may be able to get on the field this year alongside his future teammate and fellow 5-star defensive tackle Mario Edwards.
Goldman chose Florida State over Auburn, Miami and Alabama. The Friendship Collegiate Academy standout is also well aware of all the talent that will be surrounding him on the defensive front and it was a big reason why he chose the Seminoles.
"I'll be surrounded by a lot of talent. I'll do my best to contribute," Goldman said. "Conference didn't play a role at all. I was just trying to pick a school that was best for me."
The Seminoles also like to rotate their defensive line units in their 4-3 defense, of which Goldman is also a fan. Goldman's high school head coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim also says the bonds he made with his future coaches played a big role in the decision as well.
"I think Eddie chose FSU because of the relationship with coach Odell Haggins first and foremost," Abdul-Rahim said. "He really developed a bond with him and that relationship was key."
The future of Florida State's defensive line looks bright with Goldman and Edwards on the way.
4-star cornerback Colin Blake chose Florida State over Oklahoma and hometown favorite Texas Christian on Wednesday morning, which gives the Seminoles two potential lock-down defensive backs in their 2012 recruiting class.
Blake is huge for a cornerback at 6'3" and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, which means as soon as he gets adjusted to the speed of the college game and learns the ins and outs of the Seminoles defense, the Brandeis standout will be a star in Tallahassee.
Tall cornerbacks like Blake do not exactly grow on trees. Blake is a huge pickup for Florida State and is a bit underrated as the No. 13 cornerback and No. 155 overall prospect.
The Texas native joins P.J. Williams (Ocala, Fla.) as the only other defensive back in the Seminoles' current recruiting class.
Florida State added a third new commitment on National Signing day when 4-star cornerback Ronald Darby (Oxon Hill, MD) chose the Seminoles over a multitude of other schools during a live broadcast on ESPNU.
Competition was stiff for the Seminoles in the recruitment of Darby over the past few months, but the idea of being both a football player and a track runner ultimately drew the nation's No. 2 cornerback and No. 68 overall prospect to Tallahassee.
"They have everything worked out," Darby said. "They are known for having two sport athletes like (FSU commit) Jameis Winston."
Darby's decision did not surprise anyone at Rivals.com, who predicted the Potomac High School standout would become the newest member of the Seminoles 2012 recruiting class, however there was plenty of reason for Florida State fans to be concerned Darby was heading elsewhere.
"Clemson tried to make a run but he weighed his options and felt he could come in and play early and play nickel right away at Florida State," said Potomac assistant coach Donnell Douglas. "In the end it came down to Clemson and Florida State to be honest."
Locking Down the Commits
As we have seen in the past as well as today, anything can happen on national signing day and verbal commitments mean nothing until all of those players submit their letters of intent.
The most recent example happened Wednesday afternoon when 5-star defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. switched his commitment to the Seminoles' archrival Florida.
This makes the submission of top-ranked defensive tackle Mario Edwards, 4-star wide receiver Marvin Bracy and all of the other Florida State commits' letters of intent that more impressive and much needed given the numerous other schools still in contact with these prospects right up until they fired up their fax machines this morning.
The Seminoles now have the nation's top two defensive tackles in the country and a game-breaking wide receiver in Bracy once he develops and gets a little bit stronger.
Four-star outside linebacker Ukeme Eligwe (Stone Mountain, GA) also re-upped on his commitment for Florida State on signing day as well.