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 the West/Midwest/Texoma regions, from which FSU only rarely pursues or lands prospects.
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 Dionte Allen (CB): Allen Transferred after not seeing the field for two years. Final Ranking: 0-star
4-star Zebrie Sanders (OL): Sanders was a multi-year starter at Florida State and was drafted in the fifth round by the Bills. Final Ranking: 4-star
3-star John Prior (OL): Transferred to Ohio. Final Ranking: 0-star
3-star Dustin Hopkins (K): Hopkins started every year he was at Florida State and was one of the premier kickers in college football during his time at Florida State. Final Ranking: 4-star
3-star Holmes Onwukaife (LB): Medically disqualified. Final Ranking: N/A
4-star Colin Blake (CB): Blake has been injured for the majority of his career at Florida State and is buried under the depth chart. Current Ranking: 1-star
5-star Mario Edwards Jr. (DE): Edwards Jr. played quite a bit as a freshman, and was a multi-year starter at Florida State before leaving this season to go pro. He was one of the premiere run-stopping defensive ends in college football and will likely be a reasonably high draft choice and a multi-year starter in the NFL. Final Ranking: 5-star
4-star Christo Kourtzidas (TE): Transferred after two years. Final Ranking: 0-star
4-star Mavin Saunders (TE)
4-star Roderick Johnson (OT)
Projected Average: 3.63 Stars
Final Average: 1.75 Stars
Performance/Projection Ratio: .48 (below 1.0 is “below expectations”)
This region is almost as bad as the panhandle except it’s not as close to home. Of the 12 recruits Florida State signed from 2007 only 3 finished with a 3-star ranking or higher. The final average is guaranteed to go up, however, with Roderick Johnson starting as a freshman. Mavin Saunders will also have a chance to make a strong contribution at tight end this upcoming season.
The bottom line is that Florida State has had very little success recruiting west of Louisiana, and the relatively low hit rate for recruits in this national territory suggests it’s often not worth the effort for FSU to go this far out of its home territory for recruits. That said, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster could be turning that trend around, as some of the more recent national recruits seem to have more promise.