Florida State Football: Jimbo Fisher Building Nation's No. 1 Defense

Scott CarasikContributor IIFebruary 6, 2013

Mario Edwards could be the best player on this defense.
Mario Edwards could be the best player on this defense.Rob Carr/Getty Images

Florida State has the potential to be the No. 1 defense in all of college football. And this is not just in 2013, this is for the next couple of years.

Florida State has spent most of its recruiting efforts on defense with 12 of his 21 signees on the defensive side of the ball. He brought in four linemen, five linebackers and four cornerbacks for the depth and talent of his team.

In breaking down the Seminoles, they have talent everywhere that could turn into top level pro prospects. They have a super deep defensive line and linebacking corps. On top of that, they have a fast and hungry defensive backs group that will be opportunistic for the Noles.


Defensive Line

Sophomores Mario Edwards and Giorgio Newberry are likely the starters at defensive end. However, recruits DeMarcus Walker, Desmond Hollin and Daverez Bryant will come in and provide depth to the talented pair that was with FSU in the 2012 season. Edwards was the top recruit in the country for 2012 and it will be excellent to see him on the field as the starter this season.

Defensive tackles Demonte McCallister, Eddie Goldman and Nile Lawrence-Stample will compete for the spot next to talented junior Timmy Jernigan. Add in big name recruit Keith Bryant, and the Noles have a young, talented group all across the front four. They are deep in talent on the defensive line, and it is the best unit on the entire Seminoles team.



The outside linebackers are led by senior Christian Jones who should start at either WLB or SLB. Reggie Northrup and Terrance Smith are a pair of sophomore linebackers who will compete with 5-star recruit Matthew Thomas for the outside linebacker role. Fast and smart is the standard FSU linebacker and these four gentleman fit that mold.

Telvin Smith is the wily veteran of the group, but E.J. Levenberry could wind up supplanting the senior this season as the starter in the middle. Overall this group could challenge the Alabama linebackers for best group in the country. The only issue here is there isn't much experience. It's mainly first and second year talent outside of Christian Jones and Telvin Smith.


Defensive Backs

The FSU corner group is losing a potential first-round talent in Xavier Rhodes. Keelan Smith, Ronald Darby and Nick Waisome will give good starting caliber players to build the group around. Add in 5-star recruit Jalen Ramsey and the cornerback group looks fearsome. 

Despite not getting any great recruits at safety, they have a pair of juniors in Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks who will be returning for another season together starting. For their depth they have a pair of sophomores in Tyler Hunter and Karlos Williams. The dark-horse here could be a possible move of 5-star recruit Matthew Thomas to the strong safety.

The raw talent in this group is only accentuated by the coaching. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is fresh from the Alabama Crimson Tide and has proven his mettle as a defensive backs coach. He will focus the defense to feature the defensive backs and make sure that his defensive backs have every opportunity to make a play.


Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.