The news just keeps getting better for the Seminoles. Dang, can they recruit! Even with all the latest staff turnover, the 'Noles have another 2014 recruit to celebrate about.
Derek Tyson of NoleNation has reported that FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and company have successfully received a verbal commitment from outside linebacker Jacob Pugh (subscription required). However, Pugh's commitment is successful for three noteworthy reasons.
First, he's an ESPN 150 prospect for the Class of 2014.
More specifically, Pugh is a Tallahassee native. It's great to see Jimbo Fisher hasn't forgotten home with recruiting his latest class. Finding local talent will be pivotal for the Seminoles in future years, considering Miami's hiring of former Seminoles offensive coordinator James Coley earlier this off-season.
Fisher and the prior Florida State staff member were instrumental in recruiting the Miami area, where Coley knows from not only growing up in the South Florida area, but from local high schools and Florida International University. With the Miami market likely not as accessible in the future, it’s encouraging to see that Fisher still keeps an eye on the talent in the Tallahassee area.
While Fisher has received local commitments before (namely, current West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett), getting Pugh out of Tallahassee's Amos P. Godby High School will certainly help Pugh and Fisher have their cake—he will get to play in front of his friends and family, while also having the opportunity to play for one of college football’s most consistently successful programs.
For Fisher though, it proves he has recruiting prowess—even with Coley and former defensive coordinator Mark Stoops away from the program.
The second reason is Pugh should be celebrated as an attest to the recruiting ability of Jeremy Pruitt, FSU’s new defensive coordinator. Pugh, who was coaxed to come to Kentucky by none other than Mark Stoops, could have had a better rapport with Pruitt. Sure, playing for Kentucky football is more of a disgrace than an honor lately, but Pugh likely had some level of an established relationship with Stoops before he left for Big Blue Nation.
Pruitt’s far greater accomplishment is keeping Pugh from Nick Saban’s Alabama program. Pruitt, formerly a member of Saban’s staff (which, depending on one’s point of view, might not necessarily be a good thing), convinced Pugh to turn down the two-time defending national champion. Yes, Jimbo Fisher has made a great hire in Pruitt that should pay dividends for years to come.
Thirdly, Pugh should be able to fit into the 4-3 defensive scheme FSU employs very well. In Tyson's article, Pugh said that the FSU staff will have him both pass rush and play coverage. Hopefully, he will get along with other possible future linebackers Fisher and Pruitt have drawn in—namely, verbal commits Delvin Purifoy and Kain Daub.
If that happens, well…Let’s just say the news will just keep getting better and better for the Seminoles.