State Of The Program

This past weekend's NFL Draft was a huge success for the Seminoles on a number of levels. But, perhaps most importantly it was a strong indicator of the direction this program is headed under Jimbo Fisher.

There is simply no amount of money that could have given Jimbo Fisher's program the quality publicity it received over this past weekend during the 2013 NFL Draft.

And while there were certainly high expectations for Florida State to be well represented going in, those expectations were far surpassed as FSU broke numerous school records.

This was easily the most successful draft in school history as the Seminoles led the nation with 11 players being selected in the draft. LSU and Alabama were second closest as they each had nine draftees. Those 11 Seminoles drafted broke the previous school record set in 1995 when FSU had ten players selected in the first five rounds.

The five players selected in the first 42 picks also set a new school record and was indicative of where this program is at, and more importantly where it is headed.

"It's a great indication of how the program is truly developing," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I think it shows we're getting back to national prominence. Our players are doing a great job of representing themselves on and off the field leading to chances at the next level. I think we're going to have more guys sign free agent contracts and get a chance to play professionally. I'm proud of those guys as well. I'm happy for all of these guys and want to thank them for helping return this program back to the national spotlight."

The publicity the Seminoles received will reap huge rewards for the program in the coming years , perhaps most notably on the recruiting front.

When it comes to recruiting there are obviously a number of factors that play into the decision of where an 18-year-old will attend school. But the ability to develop players and give them the opportunity of fulfilling a lifelong dream to play in the NFL is equally as important, if not more important as factors such as early playing time, comfort level, academics, and facilities.

Think about this: of the 21 Seminoles that graduated or decided to forgo their senior season and opt for the draft, 13 of them will be attending fall camp with an NFL team. That is more than any school in the country and goes a long way in showing the elite level coach that Jimbo Fisher is and the quality program he is running.

Fisher's ability to develop quarterbacks has been known and respected for a long time in the coaching world, but what he has done in his short time at Florida State might be an even better indicator than any of his work at previous stops.

With E.J. Manuel being drafted at 16th overall by the Buffalo Bills, both starting quarterbacks under Fisher's tutelage, in just three short years as a head coach, have been selected in the first 16 picks of the draft.

While many talking heads and draft experts were surprised by the Bills and their decisis, Manuel said repeatedly following the draft that he wasn't surprised one bit by their decision, and he was also quick to give coach Fisher much of that credit.

As Manuel said in an interview with Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com: "Learning the situations, understanding down and distances and the small things that people don't really talk about very much, that's what I learned a lot at Florida State. The X's and O's is where I really think I wowed a lot of the GMs and that's where I think I helped raise my draft stock."

With FSU having recruiting classes ranked in the top-15 nationally each of the last four years, according to the Scout.com rankings, this was just the tip of the iceberg.

In sum, its Fisher's ability to identify elite talent, along with a relentless approach to recruiting, and his understanding of what it takes to get players to the NFL that has the future looking nothing but auspicious for the Seminoles.


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