The Skinny: A 6-4, 315-pound defensive tackle courtesy of Washington (DC) Edison-Friendship Public Charter School, Goldman is another in a long list of highly-recruited athletes helping make Florida State ridiculously deep along the interior.
The Competition: Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher proved in 2011 he has no problem putting rookies on the field ahead of experienced upperclassmen if they can indeed play, which paved the way for Timmy Jernigan to become a Freshman All-American and a potential superstar in the making. With Cameron Erving switching to offense, Darious Cummings deciding to transfer and Jacobbi McDaniel still a question mark due to injury, Goldman has a real chance to give the likes of Demonte McAllister and Nile Lawrence-Stample a run for their money.
The Projection: Expectations are already through the roof for a five-star signee like Goldman, in part because Jernigan was so incredibly productive right out of the shoot and showed that he could compete with the big boys from the moment he arrived on campus. While it's unfair to assume Goldman will enjoy a similar brand of success as a freshman, as it was an injury to McDaniel -- an ugly one, to say the least -- that at least partially paved the way for Jernigan to bust out in the first place, no question about it the raw ability is there. Goldman could very well end up a rotation player down in the trenches sooner rather than later.
The Skinny: A 6-4, 240-pound tight end out of Orange (CA) Lutheran High School, Kourtzidis may not be a born pass catcher like Nick O'Leary was in the class of 2011, but word on the street is that he's already a superior in-line blocker.
The Competition: FSU is somewhat thin at the tight end position this coming season, which necessitated the move of Dan Hicks over from defensive end. Hicks seemed to be a gifted blocker throughout spring drills and has more than enough athleticism to develop into a capable red-zone target, but with O'Leary perhaps destined for more of an H-back role, Will Tye is the only other scholarship player in Kourtzidis' way at the present time.
The Projection: Despite the fact that Fisher has double-digit wide receivers worthy of significant playing time this year, Fisher spent a good amount of spring workouts featuring two-tight formations, with Hicks having a hand in the dirt and O'Leary shifting all over the place from play to play in search of a mismatch he can exploit. There's no reason why Kourtzidis can't unseat Tye as the No. 3 tight end in short-yardage and goal-line situations. But if he doesn't, maybe redshirting him is the best way to put 20 pounds of muscle on his frame.
The Skinny: A 6-3, 195-pound quarterback end out of West Orange (NJ) Seton Hall Preparatory, Maguire will always be referred to as the "other" signal caller in this class due to the presence of five-star stud Jameis Winston.
The Competition: The 'Noles are set at the game's most important position heading into the campaign, with E.J. Manuel starting, Clint Trickett capably backing up and Jacob Coker handling third-string duties. Like Winston, Maguire is ripe for a redshirt and not planning to pay dividends right away.
The Projection: Even following Winston announcing his commitment and eventually signing his letter of intent, but still waiting to see where he would be selected in the baseball draft, Maguire never once wavered and made plans to head to Tallahassee no matter what. The young man isn't afraid of a challenge, which in itself is admirable for an up-and-coming QB. Most Garnet and Gold fans figure he'll fail to start a single game, but if all he does is morph into a reserve and doesn't see the field unless it's garbage time, that's a scholarship well spent.
The Skinny: A 6-2, 215-pound linebacker from Jacksonville (FL) First Coast High School, Northrup was a late flip from rival Miami and adds some much-needed depth to what has to be called a thin linebacking corps these days.
The Competition: He isn't the premier linebacker in this class, as that honor goes to Markuss Eligwe, plus Northrup arrives from a First Coast program that has produced more than a few disappointments over the years. A redshirt would appear to be a wise choice, especially since Fisher didn't make him an offer until relatively late in the recruiting game.
The Projection: Of the four 'backers slotted to get the majority of the playing time in 2012, Vince Williams and Nick Moody are both seniors and Christian Jones has enough raw upside to warrant early consideration for the NFL Draft. If Northrup isn't in the mix to start by 2013, then surely by 2014 he will be. Like every player at his position, the key to earning early PT is becoming a demon on special teams.
John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Freshman Forecast: Part III
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