Florida State Football: The 2011 Class Was Amazing, But The 2012 May Be Better
We all took witness of the outstanding class that Florida State was able to cement on Feb. 2. Most would think that I am crazy or even that the analyst are a little out of their minds, but it looks like the 2011 class may be topped by the 2012 class.
It's too early to tell, considering a month hasn't even gone by since National Signing day. I would like to call this a premonition. That's right, I can see the future and I see another No. 1 recruiting class. One that is even better than this years.
Okay, so maybe I can't exactly see the future, but the way things are unfolding thus far it looks like the 2012 class is going to be disgusting.
No disrespect to those who signed to play for Florida State this upcoming season, but what's left on the board and those that have made an early commitment for 2012 already will make your jaw drop.
We already have seven commits for 2012. The list consists of Chris Casher, Mario Pender, P.J. Williams, Dante Fowler Jr., Dalvon Stuckey and Robert Aguayo, but none are bigger than Mario Edwards Jr. He is already listed as a 5-star prospect. All of these players have stated they are solid verbals. Every one of them are on the ESPN 150 watch list right now.
There is also a plethora of star-studded talent that is left to be claimed. As of right now, after a couple junior days in Tallahassee, Florida it seems that the 'Noles are making quite the impression yet again for some highly-regarded recruits. If the rebuilding process stays true to form and Florida State can, in fact, match this years class or out do it, then I believe it's safe to say they're on the right track of returning to a dominant program.
Roberto Aguayo, Kicker
With Dustin Hopkins only having two years of eligibility left, it is imperative for Florida State to land a solid replacement kicker for the 2012 class. They will be getting just what the doctor ordered with Aguayo.
He is the No. 1 kicker in the 2012 class. More than likely, he will redshirt his first season, which can benefit him in the long run. It would allow him to continue practicing and becoming a stronger and more accurate kicker. Now, it's like night and day when you are comparing kicking in practice and in a game, but I am more than positive that he has what it takes to be a phenomenal kicker at the next level.
“I like the tradition they have,” Aguayo said. “The people there seem like they are more involved in the games than at some of the other schools I have been to. Everybody was more like a family up there.”
Among other schools recruiting Aguayo were Florida, Georgia and LSU.
Chris Casher, Athlete
Casher is considered to be an athlete because he plays both tight end and defensive end. He is extremely athletic and a very talented defensive end for the class of 2012. He hails out of Faith Academy in Mobile, Alabama.
Most Alabama fans don't seem to be too concerned on Casher's early decision to be a Seminole and still believe that he will roll with the Crimson Tide before National Signing Day.
He stands 6'4" and weighs about 230 lbs. More than likely, he will add on some strength and size before ever stepping on the field for Florida State.
Some credit needs to be given to his dad, who is apparently a die-hard 'Nole fan. It is very possible that his love for Florida State could have been the icing on the cake for Casher's early decision. Either way, Florida State will gladly accept his commitment, but they must know it's going to be a battle with Alabama to maintain his commitment.
Dante Fowler Jr., Defensive End
The defensive line just got even better when Fowler decided to pull the trigger and make an early pledge to Florida State. As a, junior he was listed at 6'3" 235 lbs, but much like Casher, will add on some strength and weight before making it to Florida State.
"I've always been a big fan of them (the Seminoles). My cousin Chris Davis went to Florida State, too," Fowler said. "They're an aggressive team. I like the way Coach Jimbo Fisher runs the program. Coach (DJ) Eliot coaches the defensive ends and I like that he told me they lead the nation in sacks."
They are getting a very talented defensive end, who can be compared to current Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins. Some say he is arguably faster and stronger than Jenkins. If he is ahead of Jenkins, like some scouts say, then I sure hope he improves year in and year out just like Jenkins.
Mario Pender, Running Back
No, he isn't playing against the best competition down in the Southwest Florida area, but his numbers can not be disregarded. In 13 games, he carried the ball 163 times for 2,261 yards and 32 touchdowns. That's an astonishing 13.87 yards per carry. Not to mention, he ran a 10.64 in the 100 meter dash.
I wrote an article about him this past September, because most people had never heard of him.So, I figured I should enlighten the college football universe just how much of a stud this kid is and will become. Florida State really got a special one with Pender.
Dalvon Stuckey, Defensive Tackle
Stuckey is just what the doctor ordered, another big body to plug up the middle and help with depth on that defensive line. He is a 6'4" 295 lb defensive tackle that has size, strength and speed for a big guy. In fact, last summer, he ran a 4.9 40 yard dash.
When he was offered that scholarship this past summer it didn't take him long to become a 'Nole. "I've always been a FSU fan growing up. It was my dream offer."
As a junior, he posted 65 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. The opposing teams running backs never liked facing Stuckey, because he was always in the backfield by the time they got the ball.
He is another great addition to the 2012 class and will be a force to be reckoned with once he steps on the field in Tallahassee.
P.J. Williams, Safety
Now this kid is extremely special and Mark Stoops felt so strongly about him that they offered him a scholarship before he ever played a down as a junior. When he went to the Jimbo Fisher camp last summer, he had one goal in mind–to land an offer from his dream school.
"I was going up there looking for them to offer me," Williams said. "I went up there and worked hard. I've always wanted to go there, so I was real excited when they offered. I was ready (to commit) right then."
He was the first commit for the 2012 class and an excited Stoops elaborated how talented this kid was.
"Seeing what he can do as a sophomore in high school just makes me think of how much more this kid has to grow," said Stoops. "He is already as good as some of the seniors that just graduated. We landed an outstanding kid and player."
He can play either the safety position or at corner because of his athleticism and speed. This will be another nice addition to the young and improving secondary.
Mario Edwards Jr, Defensive End
Now, to the crown jewel of the 2012 class thus far. Mario Edwards Jr is one of the top players in Texas and the country. He committed to the Noles a little over a week ago. At 6'4" and 275 lbs, he is a huge defensive end and one of the most sought-after kids in the nation.
The Noles may have gotten a little help along the way with getting him to commit. His dad, Mario Edwards, was a defensive back for the Noles back in the dynasty era. Edwards Jr. felt he wanted to carry on the tradition and legacy by dawning the Garnet and Gold colors.
"My dad played here and I've always been a huge fan," said Edwards Jr. "This just feels right for me, kind of like I am right at home."
Currently, he is rated as a five-star according to rivals.com. I expect most other recruiting services to grade him the same or a high four-star. Even though he has already committed to FSU and he seems to be a solid verbal, don't expect any other schools to quit recruiting him.
He is the type of player that can come in and play immediately. He has the size, strength and a great nose for the ball. The defensive line continues to get better and better with this addition, but I doubt they will be going after any other defensive ends in this class, since he makes it three.
Some of you may think there is no way possible that we have a better recruiting class in 2012. We may not have the numbers in recruits like the 2011 class, but the 15-20 players that we will sign for 2012 speak volumes at the talent level.
There is no doubt that there are plenty more big named targets that will likely choose to sign with the Noles for 2012. The future is bright and Jimbo Fisher is putting this program not only back on the map, but on a pedestal for greatness again.
In my opinion, this class will be just as good if not better than the one we already have coming in. It just goes to show how hard these coaches are working and how well they are doing their jobs. Expect to see great things again for years to coming starting this season.
The birth of a new dynasty starts here and now, gentlemen.