Big Picture Recruiting: Defense

In recruiting terms we are about to hit the stretch run for the 2011 class. Florida State just hosted their biggest recruiting weekend of the year and NoleDigest takes a look at the defensive prospect board.

DEFENSIVE END

Commit: Aaron Lynch- Cape Coral- Fl. Giorgio Newberry- Fort Pierce, Fl.

Targets: Jermauria Rasco- Shreveport, La. Cornellius Carradine- JUCO. Ray Drew- Thomasville, Ga. Jadeveon Clowney- Rock Hill, SC. Ricardo Williams- Homestead, Fl.

Outlook: Landing Lynch was huge because he is an early entrant and is physically ready. The 6'6 prospect has become a better player as a senior and is one game away from playing in the state title game. He has as much upside as any prospect in the state and has an NFL future. Big guys don't move like this.

Newberry has similar size and has the tools to be a difference maker. He is going to need a little more work than Lynch. Either could be elite Offensive Tackles down the road. This combo should be in the 6'6, 285 range relatively quickly. Bjoern Werner is a year ahead and probably headed to similar territory. These are big Defensive Ends, but they are also athletic ones.


Lynch will enroll early and have a chance to play immediately
Geoff Vogt, Scout.com

Carradine would seem to make sense to eliminate any concern about depth going forward. There is no question that he is talented. The questions with him are JUCO academic related(always seems to be issues here---not just at FSU). If that is all good, FSU stands as good of chance as anyone at landing him.

Clowney is going to South Carolina by all accounts. He is saying he will take an official to FSU. That always give you a chance............... in this case probably 5%. Putting Clowney and Lynch together would be illegal in 48 states. Rasco is not far behind and FSU has a chance here. There is nothing he does not like, the issue is simple, like Clowney, he is likely to end up in-state at LSU. He is clearly more open though than Clowney.

Drew has trended away and word is that he is leaning to Georgia. Auburn is in there someplace, as is Florida, then a few others. That is the latest on him. He is rumored to want to surprise on signing day and that looks like the hope for FSU fans at this point (shock the world, always a Nole scenario). Williams would appear to be in play should some of the above head elsewhere----notably Carradine, Rasco. Another player could jump in here and take this spot as well. We will watch for official visitors.

Bottom line it is hard to see FSU walking with less than three at this position.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Commits: Derrick Mitchell- Jacksonville, Fl. Nile Lawrence-Stample- Davie, Fl.

Targets: Tim Jernigan- Lake City, Fl. Elkino Watson- Miami, Fl. Terry Bell- Lakeland, Fl. Damien Jacobs- JUCO.

Outlook: With four sophomores playing, you are really looking at the next wave of Defensive Tackles (along with Cummings and Erving). Erving could slide to the OL which is why this number is three. FSU is recruiting from a position of strength as they have one 2012 commit as well (Dalvin Stuckey).

Mitchell fits what Coach Fisher wants to do because he is another player who is on the big side and he has plenty of room to fill out(could be 310-320). The bottom line is that he can be as good as he wants to be down the road. Lawrence-Stample was a LB as a junior and a DT as a senior. Very big, he is in the 6'1 range, will be wide body inside, and brings some special athleticism to the spot. He will have time to develop.

Jernigan is the dream to fill out the class and the 'Noles have gotten themselves into position to land the five-star. Jernigan wants to play, that is pretty clear, he has stated that from the beginning. On the surface things look daunting in the regard for FSU, but he is the most talented of the freshmen, perhaps of all the projected DTs on the roster; he has that type of potential. Optimistic is probably the right word to use right now, but it is a long way until signing day. Alabama, LSU, UF, and Michigan are in the ballgame. I think he waits until signing day.

Watson has recently landed offers from UF and FSU. Depending on who gets hired at Miami that offer is likely coming as well. He looks like a January visitor and then see what happens. Solid prospect who had a strong senior season. Good size at 6'2+ 270. Bell has been hot and cold in terms of FSU and it is unclear where either party stands right now. He did not enjoy a great senior season due to injury. Auburn is in the mix for him and he liked Ole Miss over the summer. USF is a local option.

Jacobs was a 2010 signee who conceivably could be brought back in January from JUCO.

At this point we would be surprised if three DTs are not signed.

LINEBACKER


Steward has been a top target for FSU
Scott Kennedy, Scout.com

Commits: Terrance Smith- Dekalb, Ga.

Targets: Tony Steward- St. Augustine, Fl. Arrington Jenkins- Miami, Fl. Denzel Perryman- Miami, Fl.

Outlook: Smith has been committed a long time and FSU is his dream school. He wavered a little when Clemson and UGA made runs at him, but he is back to being a solid commitment. He is an attacking OLB who will excel rushing the passer. Great size potential.

Steward is one of the top linebackers in the country. Grown man who can run and hit. He was a FSU fan growing up and everything seems to be going smoothly recruiting wise. Alabama and Clemson are in pursuit, but he is a "lean" to FSU at this point.

Jenkins and Perryman are a pair of Dade County linebackers. Jenkins was this class's best prospect in Dade as a sophomore. He missed junior year, but came on strong as a senior. FSU is in the lead today and stand a good chance at landing him. Perryman is a Miami fan(school two miles from campus) and given any sort of reasonable hire, he should be a 'Cane. The door is slightly open however and FSU and UF are other possibilities.

FSU should walk with at least two and that could be three.

DEFENSIVE BACK

Commits: Karlos Williams- Davenport, Fl. Keelin Smith- Port St. Lucie, Fl. Tyler Hunter- Valdosta, Ga. Lamarcus Brutus- Port St. Lucie, Fl.

Targets: HaSean Clinton-Dix- Orlando, Fl. Pop Saunders- DeLand, Fl. Nick Waisome- Groveland, Fl. Gerod Holliman- Miami, Fl.

Outlook: FSU has had four commits for seemingly ever at this spot. We think the plan all along was to add a fifth at some point. Williams is the headliner as he is one of the top Safety's in the country. He is physically ready to go and is expected to make an impact early.

Smith might have a perfect mentor in Xavier Rhodes. He is lankier, but possesses some similar qualities. He also could play Safety down the road. Team mate Brutus is shorter, but more physical. It would be terrific if he could handle CB, his peripheral skill set has big-time potential there. Hunter is a physical safety from Lowndes. He has the athleticism and size back there, he could be a physical presence like Moody.

Landing Clinton-Dix would be huge for FSU. It is not likely, but he is a player that you have to try and fight until the whistle. Clinton-Dix will rattle your teeth. FSU has stayed on Saunders and Waisome despite both being UF commitments. Both were on campus in the summer and both visited during the season. At this point they remain UF commits and it is expected to stay that way.

Holliman is a great looking prospect that is committed to Ole Miss(with team mate Andrew Johnson). He likes FSU and if given the opportunity, he would have a lot of interest in the Noles.

This is a spot where we could see a couple of "surprise" visitors depending on if any progress is made with the above. Homestead's Keith Baxter is out there for instance. Someone from out of state. At the end of the day, it would seem that FSU will add one more here.


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