Year in and year out, schools sign dozens of high school players in hopes that they'll one day be the ones who serve as a stable foundation for a championship program. It's what the 2010 class for Florida State managed to do—set the winning precedent for the classes that follow you.
The Seminoles' 2014 class enters a position where they are already part of the championship culture. They don't have to establish it; they merely have to adapt and continue on the norm. With the No. 4 class, according to 247Sports, there will be high expectations that come from Florida State's latest class.
But what are realistic ones? Fans like to make hyperboles out of the players who have joined their program, but tempering expectations are essential in properly evaluating classes.
In terms of instant impact, there are a select few players who join the 'Noles in 2014 who will see the field in their first year. In terms of contribution and not starting, those names include 4-star offensive linemen Roderick Johnson and Chad Mavety, who will add depth to Florida State's line, something that was desperately missing in 2013. Ermon Lane, one of the most popular names in the 2014 class, should also see playing time for the Seminoles in his first season.
Bigger-name players who will be on the field as much as possible will be 5-star wide receiver Travis Rudolph and 5-star running back Dalvin Cook. Both are ready to play at the college level, and both enter into positions where key players will be departing. Rudolph will be asked to help lighten the load of Kenny Shaw's and Kelvin Benjamin's departures for the NFL, while Cook will be tasked with stepping in the spot of early departures Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr.
In the future, however, FSU built for the long term with this class, stacking up on offensive linemen and future contributors. The Seminoles' offensive line class could be second only to Alabama's, getting four 3-stars and three 4-stars, including two of the top JUCO linemen in the country—Mavety and early enrollee Kareem Are, who is regarded as the best JUCO guard in the nation by 247Sports. Linebacker and wide receiver were also huge groups for the Seminoles in this class, with names like Kain Daub, Jacob Pugh and Javon Harrison set to play in Tallahassee.
Florida State put together another top-five recruiting class, and it should reap its rewards in the coming years. The 2014 recruiting class won't immediately make too much noise, but in a few years, its impact won't be unnoticed.