5-star recruit Kain Daub is an elite 2014 inside linebacker recruit, and his list has narrowed down to one definitely elite program, and another with immense potential.
According to Kipp Adams of ESPN.com (subscription required), Daub will be making his decision soon, and his list is down to two:
'My top two right now are Florida State and Alabama and those are really the only two I am talking to,' Daub said. 'I really do not see myself going anywhere else and I hope to make my decision within the next two months.'
He talked about why Alabama is in his top two, per Adams:
'Alabama is such a powerhouse program that wins national championships, so you have to give them a chance and look at how things are,' Daub said. 'I am going there April 20 to check them out.'
While Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide should certainly always be viewed as perennial contenders on the recruiting trail, Alabama losing coach Jeremy Pruitt to Florida State had a big impact on Daub's thought process, according to Adams' report:
'Florida State was not in my top 20 before Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt left Alabama to go there, so that was huge,' Daub said. 'If he stays at Alabama, nine times out of 10 I was probably going to go to Alabama.'
Finally, Daub had this to say about Florida State (Adams):
'I just love the coaches at FSU and I feel like I would be able to start early there,' Daub said. 'I have known Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt since I was a freshman and I have a better relationship with him than anyone recruiting me. There is nothing that he is selling me on; he just tells me straight up how it is and what I need to do to succeed. I will be at FSU for most of my spring break.'
As a rule of thumb, I generally don't count out Alabama when it comes to elite recruits, but for all intents and purposes, Daub seems like a pretty solid Florida State lean right now.
Personal recruiting relationships are often a key factor when it comes down to the final decision of a recruit, and we get a good look at how important that can be here with Daub's connection to Pruitt.
Pruitt is a great coach, but he's undoubtedly one of the better recruiting assistant coaches in the nation. Daub isn't the only recruit that has considered Florida State because of Pruitt's addition to the program, so from a recruiting standpoint he's worth the investment.
Four-star 2013 defensive end DeMarcus Walker was one of those recruits that flipped to FSU, and it's worth noting that he went to Daub's high school, Sandalwood.
Another factor to consider here that should give FSU the edge is the fact that Daub is an in-state recruit. He's ranked as the No. 2 overall inside linebacker in the 2014 class, but also the No. 2 player from the state of Florida, both according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The Seminoles have a rather natural "home-state advantage" with him, and any advantage is huge when going up against the Crimson Tide.
Finally, while Florida State's defense may not be on Alabama's level right now, it certainly has the potential to be great.
Jimbo Fisher went out and landed a plethora of big-time recruits including 5-star outside linebacker Matthew Thomas, 5-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the aforementioned Walker and 4-star defensive tackle Keith Bryant amongst others. When discussing potential powerhouse programs, Florida State needs to be in that conversation, especially defensively. Daub could join a young, talented group and eventually play a major role.
Everything points to Florida State being the team to beat in this recruiting race, and that says a lot considering the opponent is Alabama.
That said, if Fisher continues recruiting great classes and the Seminoles see the on field results, don't be surprised if this becomes a trend.