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 today with our second national region: Georgia, which sits in FSU’s back yard and serves as the primary home recruiting territory outside the state of Florida.
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 to be applied in 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.
4-star Antwane Greenlee (OT): Greenlee was considered the first major recruiting pull for offensive line coach Rick Trickett, but he never lived up to expectations in Tallahassee. He injured his knee and transferred to North Alabama. Final Grade: 3-star
2-star Shawn Powell (P): Powell was one of the elite punters in college football during his career at Florida State. He averaged 47 yards per punt his senior year before going on to the NFL. Final Grade: 4-star
3-star Cameron Wade (WR): Transferred to North Alabama after legal troubles. Final Grade: 0-star
4-star Jarmon Fortson (WR): Fortson was one of the leading receivers for Florida State during the 2009 season, although most will remember him for his drop in the endzone against Miami that season. He was dismissed from the team in 2010. Final Grade: 3-star
4-star Terrance Parks (S): Parks started 25 games in his last two seasons at Florida State. He was a solid safety and was an excellent special teams players. Currently with the Seattle Seahawks. Final Grade: 4-star
4-star Greg Reid (CB): Reid was an excellent corner and an even better return man during his career at Florida State. He was the electrifying player that the Noles had lacked for the better part of a decade, but was dismissed from the team going into his senior year. Final Grade: 4-star
3-star Gerald Demps (S): Demps never started at Florida State, but did provide depth his senior season. Final Grade: 3-star
3-star Cam Erving (DT/OL): Erving made the move from defensive tackle to offensive tackle his sophomore season, and the results were instantaneous. During the 2014 season Erving made switch from tackle to center and won his second consecutive Jacobs Blocking Trophy. Final Grade: 5-star
3-star Telvin Smith (LB): Smith was a multi year contributor at linebacker for Florida State and when he got his chance to start his senior year he was a star. He was drafted by the Jaguars. Final Grade: 5-star
3-star Tank Sessions (TE): Medically disqualified after two knee injuries. Final Grade: N/A
3-star Tre Jackson (OG): Started over 40 games in his Florida State career and is on track to be a first or second round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Named a consensus All-American his senior year. Final Grade: 5-star
4-star Terrance Smith (LB): Smith has started the past two seasons for Florida State and will likely start in 2015. He dealt with a knee injury for most of the 2013 season, but still played in 13 games. Current Grade: 4-star
3-star Tyler Hunter (S): Hunter has had all sorts of bad luck during his Seminole career, but finally got his chance in 2014. He started every game this season and will likely be a starter in 2015. Current Grade: 4-star
4-star Ukeme Eligwe (LB): Eligwe was a quality backup in 2013, and was slated to be a starter in 2014 before suffering a Lisfranc injury. Eligwe was dismissed from the team halfway through the year. Final Grade: 2-star
3-star Malique Jackson (CB)
Projected Average: 3.38 Stars
Final Average: 3.54 Stars
Performance/Projection Ratio: 1.05 (Above 1.0 “Exceeds Expectations”)
Interestingly, Georgia, not a region in Florida, has the highest final average of any region in this series. The 2010-2011 classes had three high school 3-stars perform like 5-stars at Florida State, which helped the average tremendously. In addition, nearly every player met or exceeded his expectations while at Florida State. Only Cameron Wade was a complete bust.
Florida State has gone away from the state of Georgia somewhat in the past two classes, but with a hit rate this high the Seminole coaching staff may want to make sure they keep the Georgia pipeline flowing.