Florida State Recruiting: Top 2013 in-State Recruits Who Can't Slip Away
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After three consecutive star-studded signing classes, Jimbo Fisher has re-established Florida State as a recruiting powerhouse.
Seven of the eight commitments are from the Sunshine State—which is significant considering the geographic diversity of the 2012 class.
Last season’s 19-man class featured only six signees from the state of Florida—and players from nine different states plus Washington D.C.
With a renewed focus on locking up the top talent within its borders, FSU still has plenty of home-grown stars who they're looking to land by the time next February rolls around.
Here are five 2013 in-state recruits who the Seminoles can’t let slip away.
With Chris Thompson graduating, the only scholarship ball-carriers returning in 2013 are Devonta Freeman, James Wilder Jr. and Mario Pender.
It's safe to say that the Seminoles have a huge need at running back for this class.
Luckily for Fisher and his staff, there are several talented backs in the Sunshine State this season, with Green appearing to be one of the top ball carriers on the ‘Noles wish list.
Green—who rushed for 1,282 yards and 16 touchdowns last year—attended FSU’s first junior day in January and claims offers from USC, Florida, Miami and Notre Dame in addition to the Seminoles.
Position: Running Back
Size: 5'10", 195 pounds
City (School): St. Petersburg, FL (Catholic HS)
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Any fan that follows the Seminoles knows of the team’s issues on the offensive line.
Despite landing top classes the last three seasons, the one position that could use an influx of talent is up front on offense.
Tunsil is an elite prospect who attended last weekend’s junior day in Tallahassee, and he hails from the same high school as current FSU star defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.
With the Seminoles only signing two JUCO lineman in last season’s class, getting the top lineman in the Sunshine State would be a tremendous building block for the future of their offensive line.
Position: Offensive Tackle
Size: 6'6", 275 pounds
City (School): Lake City, FL (Columbia HS)
Vernon Hargreaves III
The son of USF defensive ends coach Vernon Hargreaves, the younger Hargreaves is the top corner prospect in the nation—and the top player in Florida—according to 247 Sports.
Greg Reid is a senior this season, and fourth-year junior Xavier Rhodes is a candidate to leave school early—so corner is another position of need in the 2013 class.
Hargreaves will certainly be one of the most coveted prospects in the country—with offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame and Miami amongst others.
Much like the situation with Tunsil, getting the top prospect available at a need position would alleviate concerns about the future of the FSU secondary.
Size: 5'11", 180 pounds
City (School): Tampa, FL (Wharton HS)
Despite signing two dynamic defensive ends in the 2012 class—Mario Edwards Jr. and Chris Casher—expect the Seminoles to aggressively target more pass-rushers for the 2013 class.
The biggest effect of the signing day decommitment of Dante Fowler Jr. may be that the Seminoles need at defensive end is just as significant as it was last season—especially considering that they will lose Tank Carradine to graduation, and potentially Bjeorn Werner to the NFL draft.
According to Josh Newberg and Tom Loy of Noles247.com, Richardson gave a commitment to the FSU staff after receiving an offer during last weekend’s junior day—but changed his mind after returning home and speaking with his family.
Still, Richardson is one of the top defensive ends in Florida, and the ‘Noles look like the team to beat for his signature.
Position: Defensive End
Size: 6'4", 270 pounds
City (School): Orange Park, FL (Orange Park HS)
A theme amongst these prospects listed is that they are the top players available at positions of need.
Linebacker is another position that FSU will look to rack up—even though two of their junior day commitments were from linebackers Ro’Derrick Hoskins and Tyrell Lyons.
Thomas is the second-best outside linebacker in the country, according to 247 Sports.
Michael Johnson, a safety commitment from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, is a teammate of Thomas—which can’t hurt the ‘Noles chances of securing a commitment from the 6’3”, 195-pound linebacker.
Size: 6'3", 195 pounds
City (School): Miami, FL (Booker T. Washington HS)