The Coaches’ Trophy isn’t the only reward the Florida State Seminoles received from winning the 2014 BCS National Championship.
In fact, the team also received a significant boost in terms of its recruiting.
When Florida State outlasted the Auburn Tigers on Jan. 6, 34-31, the entire college football world paid close attention. But none watched with more interest than several of the top recruits across the nation.
For some—those who had already committed to joining the Seminoles next season—the victory served as vindication of a decision well made:
But what about the players who had yet to commit to a school? How would Florida State’s triumph affect them?
For one such recruit—4-star defensive tackle Kendrick Norton of the Class of 2015—he saw it as the icing on the cake for his decision to commit to Tallahassee:
And don’t be surprised if more follow in the near future.
Over the years, winning the BCS title has typically been synonymous with recruiting success. In fact, the champions are almost guaranteed to land a top-10 class.
Just take a look at how the past 10 have fared:
|Recruiting Class Ranks Following BCS Title Win|
|Team||Champion||Year 1||Year 2|
*Class rank not final
As you can see, seven of those teams finished with the No. 1 class in at least one of the two seasons following their championship triumph.
For the Seminoles, this BCS title victory will be especially sweet.
From 1987 to 2012, the school had put together a remarkable 257-71 record. However, in those 26 years, Florida State had only managed to win two national titles.
For quite some time, that was a knock on the program to future recruits.
“Florida State has always been one of those marquee national programs, but recruiters were able to use the ‘they recruit well, but they never are able to win the national championship’ thing,” said ESPN recruiting writer Jeremy Crabtree, via The Palm Beach Post's Anthony Chiang. “That pitch to prospects is now thrown out the window.”
In its place, recruits will now see a Seminoles squad that will see the return of heralded quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston along with other key playmakers on both sides of the ball next season. Furthermore, odds are high that the team will open 2014 as the preseason No. 1.
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Not to mention, after dominating the state of Florida over the last decade, the Florida Gators have seen their grip on recruiting loosen quite a bit. A 4-8 season tends to have that effect.
It’s already provided seismic results, as 247Sports’ No. 2-ranked running back Dalvin Cook recently flipped his verbal commitment from Florida to Florida State.
“Florida’s down tick and transition on offense, and Miami’s up-and-down season has really helped Florida State capitalize on the state of Florida, especially in South Florida,” Crabtree continued. “If you’re looking for a clear-cut winner of the Sunshine State this season, it’s absolutely Florida State.”
To date, 16 of the Seminoles' 29 verbal commits are from the state of Florida. In comparison, the Gators only have 12.
With every passing commitment, Florida State continues to re-emerge as one of college football’s national powerhouses.
As Winston said moments after winning the school’s third national title, “If we’re going to do it, then we’re going to do it big.”
By the looks of it, seems like the Seminoles have followed suit.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBstats.com.