Florida State Football: Ranking Seminoles' Top 10 Recruiting Targets for 2015

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIMarch 13, 2014

Florida State Football: Ranking Seminoles' Top 10 Recruiting Targets for 2015

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    Credit: 247Sports

    After winning the 2013 national championship, Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles are back on the recruiting trail, looking to build for future titles.

    The 'Noles pulled in the No. 4 class in the nation for 2014—a mark they could match or surpass for their 2015 class.

    The current headliner is 5-star safety Derwin James, but several other blue-chip prospects remain on the board for FSU.

    We'll take a look at the top 10 recruits who could be wearing garnet and gold in the near future.

10. Da'Vante Phillips, WR

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Florida State added two outstanding receivers in the 2014 class: Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph.

    While that duo could have a huge impact in Tallahassee, it doesn't mean the Seminoles will take a break from bringing in talented prospects at the position.

    With leading receiver Rashad Greene and Christian Green set to leave the program after this season, FSU is planning accordingly.

    The top receiver on its board is 4-star Da'Vante Phillips, a product of high school powerhouse Miami Central and a former Florida commit. Phillips' crystal ball is 95 percent in favor of the 'Noles.

9. Jacques Patrick, RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Florida State signed the No. 2 running back from the 2014 class, Dalvin Cook. The Miami Central standout is already enrolled and looking like he'll contribute right away.

    However, as last year's FSU squad showed, the Seminoles have no trouble juggling several talented backs. Devonta Freeman, James Wilder Jr. and Karlos Williams each totaled more than 500 yards on the ground—and Freeman and Wilder are heading off to the NFL.

    To that end, the 'Noles are stocking up at the position. They're targeting several backs in the 2015 class, including Orlando native and 4-star Jacques Patrick. Another 4-star, Johnny Frasier, is also high on FSU's 2015 board, as well as an athlete we'll take a look at on the next slide.

8. Kerryon Johnson, ATH

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Florida State has dipped into the state of Alabama's talent pool and come up big before (see: Jameis Winston).

    With composite 5-star athlete Kerryon Johnson, the Seminoles are trying to do it again.

    He has paid FSU a few unofficial visits, but the 'Noles will have to work hard to pry him away from in-state powers Alabama and Auburn.

    His 247Sports crystal ball has the race too close to call early on, with 'Bama and AU each taking 38 percent and FSU holding the remaining 25 percent of predictions.

7. Tarvarus McFadden, CB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Florida State lost one of the best defensive backs in the country, Lamarcus Joyner, in the offseason.

    Even with his loss, the Seminoles are left with some of the most physically gifted DBs in the nation: Jalen Ramsey and Ronald Darby, among others.

    They're looking to bring in the next crop of talented athletes in the secondary this year. They already have a major commitment at safety (more on him later) and one at corner in 4-star Tyrek Cole.

    Several other defensive backs still stand on FSU's board, including 5-star Tarvarus McFadden. At 6'3", 198 pounds, he has the versatility that would make him a perfect fit in the secondary.

6. Josh Sweat, DE

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Another year has brought another highly touted defensive end out of Virginia.

    Last year, it was 5-star Da'Shawn Hand, and this year it is 5-star Josh Sweat

    He is the No. 2 weak-side defensive end and projects to be an outstanding rusher at 6'5", 230 pounds.

    He has drawn interest and offers from nearly every major program in the nation and will be one of Florida State's top targets. Its biggest opponent for him might be Virginia Tech.

5. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    We already touched on FSU 5-star corner target Tarvarus McFadden and 4-star commit Tyrek Cole.

    The other big fish at the position for Florida State is 5-star Minkah Fitzpatrick, the No. 4 corner and No. 1 player from New Jersey.

    He is one of the most highly touted players at his position in the country, and Florida State will have to fend off Alabama, Ohio State and others for his services.

    His 247Sports crystal ball has him as a slight 'Bama lean, but there's a long way to go before his recruitment is over.

4. John Houston, ILB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The No. 1 inside linebacker in the nation, 5-star John Houston has his choice of schools.

    He's a product of Junipero Serra in Gardena, Calif., which turned out one of the top prospects in the nation last year, 5-star corner Adoree' Jackson.

    Jackson inked with USC, and the Trojans will likely be the Seminoles' top challenger for Houston.

    All 18 of his crystal ball predictions are for the Trojans, but the defending national champions can't be counted out.

3. Derwin James, S

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The No. 1 safety and No. 16 overall prospect in the nation, 5-star Derwin James is Florida State's top commitment for 2015.

    He's an excellent start on what could end up being an incredible class.

    James has been committed to the 'Noles since 2012 and even has a huge Seminoles tattoo on his shoulder.

    It's safe to say he isn't going anywhere else.

2. CeCe Jefferson, DE

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Whenever the state of Florida produces a 5-star defensive end like CeCe Jefferson, there's bound to be a battle for his services.

    Florida State is in the mix for Jefferson, although his 247Sports crystal ball is a decisive 100 percent in favor of the Florida Gators.

    He has taken several visits to FSU and from its coaches. Don't expect Jimbo Fisher and Co. to give up on the Baker County product.

1. Trent Thompson, DT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Defensive tackle Trent Thompson is the No. 1 recruit in the nation, so it's no surprise that the No. 1 team from 2013 is after him.

    Thompson, a 5-star from Albany, Ga., will be tough to pull away from the Georgia Bulldogs. All 42 of his crystal ball projections are in favor of the Dawgs.

    If any team is going to pull Thompson out of his home state, it could be Florida State.

    The 'Noles can sell him on the success of guys like Timmy Jernigan, who is bound to be a high pick in the upcoming NFL draft.


    Note: All recruit rankings based on 247Sports Composite Ratings, unless otherwise noted. Florida State's 2015 commit list is here.