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 now continue our series with the Deep South region.
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.
2-star Taiwan Easterling (WR): Easterling wasn’t highly regarded coming out of high school, but played like a higher-rated player during his career at Florida State. Most Seminole fans remember him for the incredible catch he made in a tight game against Virginia Tech. Final Ranking: 4-star
2-star Blake Snider (OG): Medically disqualified. Final Ranking: N/A
3-star David Spurlock (OT): Spurlock provided solid depth during his career at Florida State, stepping in when needed. Injuries ultimately derailed his career, but he stayed in Tallahassee as a graduate assistant under offensive line coach Rick Trickett. Final Ranking: 4-star
2-star Dan Hicks (TE): Hicks provided solid depth at multiple positions during his career before starting a few games at defensive end his senior year. Final Ranking: 3-star
3-star Damien Jacobs (DT): Never made it into Florida State and eventually signed with Florida. Final Ranking: 0-star
3-star Nigel Terrell (LB): Started out at linebacker before moving to fullback in 2013. Didn’t see the field much, but provided depth at both positions and on special teams. Transferred to Jacksonville State. Final Ranking: 2-star
5-star Jameis Winston (QB): Winston won nearly every major award for which he was eligible in 2013 including the Heisman Trophy. He finished with a 26-1 record in Tallahassee and it’s unfortunate that we can’t give him above a 5-star ranking for what he did at Florida State. Final Ranking: 5-star
4-star Justin Shanks (DT): Has been buried under the depth chart during his career at Florida State, but did see some playing time in 2014. Current Ranking: 2-star
5-star Chris Casher (DE): Casher is a starter at Florida State, but hasn’t lived up to his lofty expectations. He still has time to turn things around however and is expected to start again in 2015. Current Ranking: 3-star
3-star Wilson Bell (OL)
3-star Marquez White (CB)
5-star Jalen Ramsey (DB)
3-star Nate Andrews (DB)
3-star Ryan Hoefeld (OC)
2-star Ethan Frith (OL)
4-star Lorenzo Phillips (LB)
Projected Average: 3.33 Stars
Final Average: 2.5 Stars
Performance/Projection Ratio: .79 (Below 1.0 “Below Expectations”)
This region has produced two of the top players in Florida State history with Winston and Hudson, but the rest of the region has been very lack luster. It is too early to tell with most of the 2013 class, but Jalen Ramsey has been the only star of the group so far. Andrews started at safety in 2014 but was a significant coverage liability and would be better suited moving back to the money role. Bell, Hoefeld and White have a chance to start this season, so this region could see a sizeable bump in its overall performance ratio in the coming years.