Florida State Recruiting: Biggest Remaining Needs for 2013 Class
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Jimbo Fisher has established himself as one of the top recruiters in the country—as evidenced by Florida State’s last three recruiting classes being rated among the nation’s best.
The 2013 class has had a different feel to it, with less glamorous positions such as offensive line and linebacker dominating the bulk of the Seminoles' current class of 16 commitments—which lost a member after the recent decommit of corner Sojourn Shelton.
While FSU does not have a marquee 5-star prospect committed at this point, they have done an admirable job of filling most of their needs—with a few exceptions that they hope to rectify with their remaining open slots.
So what do they need to add to help round out their class?
Find out in this breakdown of the biggest remaining needs for FSU’s 2013 recruiting class.
S Leon McQuay Highlights
With veteran safeties Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks entering their junior seasons as FSU’s starters, building depth becomes a priority if one (or both) consider leaving school a year early for the NFL.
The Seminoles do not have a safety commit, although 3-star Booker T. Washington (Miami, Fla.) cornerback Michael Johnson could end up making the move to last line of defense.
The top remaining uncommitted target appears to be Southlake (Groveland, Fla.) defensive back Marcell Harris—who appears to leaning towards Florida and could possibly commit to the Gators this weekend at their Friday Night Lights camp.
Another in-state target to watch could be Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) standout Leon McQuay III—who is presently leaning towards playing his college ball outside of the Sunshine State, with Michigan, USC and Vanderbilt making up his top three at this point.
4. Defensive Tackle
DT Keith Bryant Highlights
Two of the Seminoles' earliest commitments for the 2013 class came at the defensive tackle spot, with Immokalee (Fla.) native Deadrin Senat and University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 3-star Maquedius Bain pledging to FSU last year.
Both have since backed off those commitments, although Senat is still considering the Seminoles while Bain will choose an alternate destination.
Considering the wealth of young talent at FSU defensive line coach Odell Haggins’ disposal, adding quality bodies at the interior spots on the defensive line would be a luxury.
Expect FSU to continue pursuing a pair of home-grown talents committed to in-state rivals—Crescent City (Fla.) product and current Florida commit Caleb Brantley and Atlantic (Delray Beach, Fla.) standout and Miami pledge Keith Bryant.
3. Adding Elite Talents to Positions of Need
LB Matthew Thomas Highlights
With four commits each at offensive line and linebacker, it would be a reasonable assumption to think FSU would be done at those spots.
To quote ESPN College Gameday analyst and FSU alum Lee Corso, not so fast my friend!
FSU is still pursuing Columbia (Lake City, Fla.) 5-star tackle Laremy Tunsil plus a pair of Booker T. Washington standouts in tackle Denver Kirkland and 5-star linebacker Matthew Thomas.
At running back, with Catholic (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 4-star Ryan Green in the fold, Fisher has turned his attention to South Plantation (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) all-purpose back and current Miami commit Alex Collins.
Getting Collins would help round out a solid group of skill talent in the Seminoles' 2013 class.
CB MacKensie Alexander Highlights
The Seminoles have a trio of commitments from corners, but with both Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes in their fourth years on campus, the Seminoles are looking to load up at that position for the future.
While the aforementioned Johnson, Northview (Dothan, Ala.) two-sport athlete Marquez White and Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, Fla.) standout Adrian Baker are all serviceable talents, the Seminoles are still searching for a big-name lock-down corner.
Immokalee (Fla.) 5-star corner MacKensie Alexander fits the bill, but the former Tennessee commitment is considering a number of schools including Alabama, Notre Dame and Georgia in addition to FSU.
Also, Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.) 4-star Rashard Robinson is currently favoring LSU, but the Seminoles are believed to be nipping at their heels.
Getting either Alexander or Robinson would put an exclamation point on a solid—if not spectacular—corner class.
1. Defensive End
DE Davin Bellamy Highlights
After losing former 2011 commitment Dante Fowler, Jr. on signing day to rival Florida, the defensive end position has been a point of emphasis for the ‘Noles coaching staff, and a popular topic amongst fans of the Garnet and Gold.
With Brandon Jenkins and Tank Carradine graduating, plus the realistic possibility of junior Bjoern Werner turning pro, acquiring a new batch of pass-rushers is paramount for Fisher in this cycle.
FSU does not have a commit from a defensive end yet, but several targets are emerging—the most notable being Chamblee (Atlanta, Ga.) 3-star Davin Bellamy.
Other pass-rushers to keep an eye on include 4-star East Mississippi Community College (Scooba, Miss.) JUCO standout Za’Darius Smith and University (Baton Rouge, La.) 4-star Tim Williams.
Fisher’s ability to close out the 2013 class with big names at positions of need will be one of the biggest storylines to monitor for Seminoles supporters as signing day approaches.