2016 Recruiting: Running Backs

The Jimbo Fisher era has seen Florida State's recruiting rise to the nationally elite level. The misses have been few and far between, but one spot that should receive some attention for the class of 2016 is running back. FSU was able to secure just one in the class of 2015, early enrollee Jacques Patrick.

Ryan Green was moved to cornerback, at least for the Spring, thus FSU has one less running back than anticipated entering the 2015 season. Here is a look at the depth chart.

(1) Dalvin Cook, Sophomore: A superstar as a freshmen, Cook was brilliant and improved for much of the year and his future is perhaps as a Heisman finalist. Did have a few fumbles which gives him something to work on in the Spring. Will be tough to unseat as the starter.

(2) Mario Pender, Junior: A groin injury as a freshmen, academically ineligible as a sophomore, and only flashes (between nicks) in year three have many questioning Pender's role going forward. He should enter Spring as the deuce and it is really up to him on how much pressure he can put on Cook. Physically he can do many of the same things.

(3) Jonathan Vickers, Sophomore: Vickers did not make much of an impact as a freshmen and does not figure to be ready to press the top two. He is versatile with size and his role should increase in 2015.

(4) Jacques Patrick, Freshmen: The wildcard. His blend of size and speed may translate and we could see a freshmen year similar to Cook (whose role seemingly increased every week) or he may have to wait his turn.

Recruiting to 2016

Eligibility wise FSU could wind up not losing any of the four running backs, but that is not likely to be the case. Pender will either explode on the scene and thus leave for the NFL or he will not get the reps he needs and likely use the senior transfer rule to find a starting spot. Good news is that there is almost no other transfer risk.

Top Targets

Amir Rasul, Coral Gables: The Miami commit is a track star that can flat fly, but he is inconsistent as a runner. High upside. Has an offer and there is legit interest. If FSU pushes for Rasul, he will certainly listen.

McArthur Burnett, Pahokee: Is the Pahokee pipeline ready to open back up for business? Burnett is the best prospect from Pahokee in 5-7 years. He is also a Miami commitment.

Travis Homer, Oxbridge Academy: Small school superstar from West Palm Beach that has picked up an offer. Likely will be at FSU for camp. FSU was his first big time offer and that usually carries some weight.

Lederrien Wilson, Osceola: Power back that picked up an offer at FSU junior day. Grinder with good enough speed to be very intriguing. Another kid that could be at FSUs camp.

Andrew Lee, Georgia: He has work to do in the classroom and once that happens he could become a priority. He is expected to take care of business. Love his game and one of the best blends of size/speed in the country.

Tre Turner, Louisiana: Not real optimistic on Louisiana prospects with heavy SEC interest.

JaQua Daniels, Georgia: Athens product that has high FSU interest. If he decides to leaves Athens (or UGA makes that decision for him) he could become a prospect to keep an eye on. Another back with plus size and the ability to get yards between the tackles. Was at Junior Day.

Thoughts

FSU is casting a wide net at RB and the target number appears to be "2". Definitely a lot of interest in bigger type backs, although there is some speed thrown in there too. It would be surprising if FSU did not get one commit in the fold by summer and will likely use the summer camps to narrow the field for the second spot. That is a great list of talent above, but almost all of those kids fall into the category of guys that FSU might want to see at camp.

What was once thought to be a 'terrible' year in the state of Florida at RB is starting to churn out some names. There are a few more sleepers to be found.


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