Since 2007, Florida State has signed recruits from 23 different states. As is true with every program, some have turned out to be superstars while others have failed to live up to expectations. The Seminoles’ hit rate in Jimbo Fisher’s tenure, however, has been unusually good, even for an elite program.
In order to get a better picture of where Florida State has had the most success, we have broken down Florida State’s recruiting by region, also dividing Florida itself into five regions. We continue with the fourth installment of our series with the Orlando/Tampa area, the third of the five Florida regions.
It is important to clarify realistic expectations for given recruits, as a 5-star should obviously be measured by a different standard of expectations than a 2-star. Our standard expectations for these articles are as follows:
5-stars: Expected to be a difference-maker at his position, a multi-year starter, potential All-ACC or All-American selection, and high draft pick.
4-stars: Expected to be a solid starter and an eventual draft pick.
3-stars: Expected to make a significant impact for at least one year.
2-stars: Expected to provide depth.
Players can obviously exceed, meet, or underperform relative to these expectations.
For this series, we will re-rank each player based their Florida State career. A player who plays like a 5-star will add 5 points to his region. The same system will be used for players who are in the 2 to 4-star range. A player who transfers away from Florida State, does not qualify, or is dismissed before making a contribution will be given zero stars. Medical disqualifications will not count against the region.
The total points will then be divided by the number of eligible signees to get the average for the region. Players who have signed within the last two years will not be included in this final calculation, as it is generally too early to assess their impact.
3-star Jermaine Thomas (RB): Thomas started over twenty games during his Florida State career. He is ninth in Seminoles history in rushing touchdowns and twelfth in rushing yards. Final Ranking: 4-star
2-star Garrett Faircloth (OL): After a career plagued with injuries Faircloth did make seven career starts at guard for the Seminoles before being medically disqualified. Final Ranking: N/A
3-star Toshmon Stevens (DE/OLB): Stevens was an excellent special team player during his time at Florida State. He never made a big impact on the defensive side of the ball however. Final Ranking: 3-star
4-star Nigel Carr (LB): Transferred to Alabama State after legal trouble. Final Ranking 0-star
5-star Timmy Jernigan (DT): Jernigan was a dominant force during his time at Florida State. He was a key player in the 2013 National Championship run. Final Ranking: 5-star
3-star Derrick Mitchell (DT): Mitchell has=d been plagued with injuries before the 2014 season, but he was finally able to put it behind him. He started ten games this season, but didn’t show elite ability. He will return in 2015 and will provide solid depth to the defensive line. Current Ranking: 3-star
3-star Eric Beverly: Medically disqualified. Final Ranking: N/A
3-star Reggie Northrup: Northrup provided valuable depth throughout his first two years at FSU, and in 2014 led the team in tackles. He was the first linebacker to go over 100 tackles in a season since Buster Davis in 2006. That's enough for a 3-star rating, but his dance moves warrant a one-star bump. Current Ranking: 4-star
4-star Demarcus Walker
4-star Tyrell Lyons
4-star Trey Marshall
5-star Kain Daub
3-star DeAndre Johnson (QB)
Projected Average: 3.57 Stars
Final Average: 2.71 Stars
Performance/Projection Ratio: .76 (below 1.0 is “below expectations”)
Yikes. Aside from Jermaine Thomas, Timmy Jernigan, Derrick Mitchell, and Reggie Northrup, the Jacksonville/North Florida area has not been kind to Florida State. Of the ten players that signed with the Seminoles between 2007–2012, five either transferred or were medically disqualified. That’s not a recipe for success. We'd advise a wait-and-see approach with recruits signed from this region, though there has been an uptick since Fisher took over.