Florida State's struggles in the second half of the 2000s was clearly linked to its recruiting misses.
Between the 2005 ACC title and Jimbo Fisher taking over as head coach in January 2010, FSU was losing many of the state's top recruits. The state’s top players were committing to Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators, who won national titles in 2006 and '08.
The Seminoles were struggling to compete. And it showed up in the win-loss totals, as FSU went 7-6 in 2006, '07 and '09.
Jimbo Fisher rebuilt the program quickly in the days after coaching legend Bobby Bowden was dismissed into retirement in December 2009. Two of Fisher's priorities were prospects in South Florida: linebacker Jeff Luc and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner.
Joyner and Luc were the headline-grabbing signees, but Fisher's class also included defensive end Bjoern Werner, wide receiver Kenny Shaw, linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith and defensive back Terrence Brooks. The class even included two players that would flourish after a move from defense to offense, left tackle Cameron Erving and fullback Chad Abram.
While Werner left for the NFL a year early and Luc transferred, the 2010 class gave Fisher and FSU immediate credibility and won plenty of games. That class included leaders on both offense and defense and also had seven starters in the BCS championship game in January.
Here's a look at FSU's class of 2010:
S Chad Abram
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Abram had 30 tackles and two interceptions as a senior and five interceptions as a junior at Lakeland (Florida) Kathleen.
At FSU: Abram played mostly on special teams in 2010 and '11. He made the switch to fullback before the 2011 season and backed up Lonnie Pryor. Abram had just 13 carries for 54 yards in his career, but he had three receiving touchdowns and helped pave the way for an FSU ground game that had 2,844 rushing yards in 2013.
CB Terrence Brooks
In high school: Played running back, receiver and defensive back at Dunnellon (Florida) High. A Rivals 3-star prospect, Brooks had six interceptions as a junior.
At FSU: Brooks began his career as a corner, playing mostly in nickel or dime situations. He started as a junior and senior at safety, recording 52 tackles in 2012 and then 56 tackles in 2013.
DL Darious Cummings
In high school: The Rivals 4-star prospect had 159 tackles and 15 sacks in his senior season at Titusville (Florida) Astronaut.
At FSU: Cummings spent a few years in Tallahassee but struggled to earn playing time and missed most of 2011 with a knee injury. He transferred to East Mississippi Community College and then signed with Florida, where he had 15 tackles and a sack as a junior in 2013.
WR Greg Dent
In high school: The Rivals 4-star prospect 54 receptions for 1,387 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior at Belle Glade (Florida) Glades Central.
At FSU: Dent broke through with 27 catches for 355 yards as a junior in 2012. However, in June 2013, he was arrested on sexual assault charges and is awaiting trial in Tallahassee.
DT Cameron Erving
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Erving had 98 tackles as a senior at Moultrie (Georgia) Colquitt County.
At FSU: Erving was a backup defensive tackle who made 20 tackles in 2011. He moved to left tackle in the spring of 2012 and started 14 games. Erving won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy (top offensive linemen) in 2013 and was named a first-team All-American by Sporting News, USA Today and SI.com.
OL Dan Foose
In high school: The Paramus (New Jersey) Catholic lineman was considered the No. 49 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.
At FSU: Foose would never see the field. He missed most of 2012 with a hip injury and was medically disqualified (ending his college career) before the 2013 season.
WR Christian Green
In high school: A Scout 5-star prospect, Green had 777 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 11 passing touchdowns as a senior at Tampa (Florida) Catholic.
At FSU: Oddly, Green's best year was in 2011 as a redshirt freshman, when he had 26 catches for 450 yards. He had just three catches in 2012 and 13 in 2013. Green is in the mix for playing time as a senior this fall but is still looking for his first college touchdown.
WR Scooter Haggins
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Haggins threw for 1,512 yards and 17 touchdowns and had 525 rushing yards and seven TDs as a senior for Lakeland (Florida).
At FSU: Haggins has missed playing time with wrist, shoulder and knee injuries. He has 20 career catches for 206 yards and is pushing for playing time as a senior.
CB Mike Harris
In high school/junior college: Harris was a dual-threat quarterback who spent two years at El Camino (California) Community College. A Rivals 4-star prospect, Harris had 40 tackles and three interceptions as a sophomore.
At FSU: An instinctual corner, Harris often saw playing time in FSU's nickel sets. Harris had 41 tackles as a junior in 2010, despite not starting. He had 58 tackles as a senior in 2011.
DT Damien Jacobs
In high school: A Rivals 4-star prospect, Jacobs had 91 tackles as a senior at Houma (Louisiana) Bourgeois.
At FSU: He signed but never enrolled at FSU. Jacobs landed at East Mississippi Community College and then signed with Florida. He made 34 tackles in two seasons (2012-13) with the Gators.
WR De'Joshua Johnson
In high school: A Rivals 4-star prospect, Johnson had 13 career touchdowns at Pahokee (Florida) High.
At FSU: Johnson was declared academically ineligible and didn't enroll. He attended East Mississippi Community College and New Mexico Highlands University.
LB Christian Jones
In high school: A Rivals 5-star prospect, Jones had 126 tackles and four sacks as a senior at Winter Park (Florida) Lake Howell.
At FSU: Jones played in 54 games and had 225 tackles. He led the team in tackles (95) in 2012. During the 2013 season, he moved into a hybrid linebacker/defensive end role and had 56 tackles and an interception.
CB Lamarcus Joyner
In high school: A Rivals 5-star prospect and USA Today's defensive player of the year. He had four rushing TDs, four receiving TDs and three return TDs as a senior.
At FSU: Joyner was a unanimous All-American as a senior in 2013 after recording 69 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He played corner, safety and then returned to corner to finish his FSU career. Joyner had 197 career tackles and eight interceptions in 55 career games.
LB Jeff Luc
In high school: A Scout 5-star prospect, Luc had 228 tackles in his last two seasons at Port St. Lucie (Treasure Coast) High.
At FSU: Luc had 23 tackles in 19 games at FSU before transferring to Cincinnati in the summer of 2012. After sitting out a season, he had 34 tackles and 1.5 sacks for the Bearcats last fall.
DT Anthony McCloud
In high school/junior college: McCloud signed with FSU in 2008 out of high school. He opted to attend Itawamba (Mississippi) Community College instead and had 24 tackles and four sacks as a freshman.
At FSU: A physical presence on the interior, McCloud had 35 tackles in 2010 and 25 tackles and two sacks as a junior in 2011. He finished with 24 tackles as a senior in 2012.
LB Holmes Onwukaife
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Onwukaife had 85 tackles and 13 sacks as a sophomore and junior at Cedar Park (Texas).
At FSU: Onwukaife battled injuries and was medically disqualified before the 2012 season.
TE Tank Sessions
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Sessions was considered the No. 30 tight end in the nation by Rivals.com.
At FSU: Sessions struggled to find playing time and knee injuries forced him to be medically disqualified.
WR Kenny Shaw
In high school: A Rivals 4-star prospect, Shaw had 122 receptions in his career at Orlando (Florida) Dr. Phillips. He had 46 receptions for 732 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior.
At FSU: Shaw had a career year as a senior, grabbing 54 passes for 933 yards and six touchdowns. In four seasons, he had 124 catches for 1,919 yards and 14 touchdowns.
RB Debrale Smiley
In high school/junior college: Smiley had 2,028 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior at Thomasville (Georgia) Thomas County Central. He played at Itawamba Community College for a season, rushing for 569 yards and two touchdowns.
At FSU: Smiley was a backup throughout his three-year career. The fullback had 191 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
LB Telvin Smith
In high school: A Rivals 4-star prospect, Smith had 84 tackles and two interceptions at Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes County.
At FSU: Smith didn't start in 2012 but still made 64 tackles, an indication that he would have a strong senior year and he did. Smith lead the linebacking corps and made a team-leading 90 tackles. He finished his career with 214 tackles in 54 games.
LB Nigel Terrell
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Terrell had 101 tackles as a senior at Pelham (Ala.) High.
At FSU: Terrell has not played much, seeing time in just eight games as a linebacker in 2011-12 before moving to fullback. He played in 11 games as a reserve fullback in 2013 and is expected to back up Freddie Stevenson this fall.
QB Clint Trickett
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Trickett threw for 1,67 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a senior at Tallahassee (Florida) North Florida Christian.
At FSU: Trickett backed up EJ Manuel for two seasons (2011-12) and threw for 947 yards and seven touchdowns. He graduated from FSU in May 2013 and played at West Virginia last season, throwing for 1,605 yards and seven touchdowns.
TE Will Tye
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Tye had 44 catches for 587 yards and six touchdowns as a senior at Salisbury (Conn.) School.
At FSU: Tye had just one catch for seven yards in 2011 and transferred to Stony Brook before the 2013 season. Tye had 45 catches for 520 yards and four touchdowns as a junior last year.
DE Bjoern Werner
In high school: A Rivals 3-star prospect, Werner had 57 tackles as a senior.
At FSU: A unanimous All-American as a junior in 2012, Werner had 42 tackles and 13 sacks. One of the best pass rushers in school history, Werner had 23 career sacks and 99 career tackles.
Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report, all quotes obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bob on Twitter
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