Why is LB such a need?
To look at this we need to look at the recent LB classes:
2015: FSU signed two LBs last year. One JUCO (Lorenzo Phillips) and one high school prospect (Sh'mar Kilby-Lane). For almost the whole year FSU had a third commitment (Brian Bell), but issues off the field prevented him from signing with FSU.
2014: This was supposed to be the class that put FSU over the top as they signed three high quality LB prospects. Unfortunately Kain Daub is already gone after not taking to the program. Delvin Purifoy is still recovering from a dislocated ankle and his future is cloudy at this time. Jacob Pugh played great as a true freshmen.
2013: FSU signed five LBs in what was considered a great class. Matthew Thomas has played and has gotten better with every snap. This might be his breakout year. E.J. Levenberry transfered. Freddie Stevenson has found his home at FB. Ro'Derrick Hoskins had a huge Spring game a year ago, but made little impact in the Fall. Tyrell Lyons is still listed at Safety (although he played some at LB last year).
The end result is that for the 2016 season FSU is looking at the following players being eligible to be on the roster.
Matthew Thomas (RJr): Ole no. 6 carries some draft risk if he put it all together this year.
Reggie Northrup (Sr): Tore his ACL in the Oregon game and may red-shirt this year which would have him slated to return to 2016. If he plays this year, he will be out of eligibility.
Ro'Derrick Hoskins (rJr): Has made little impact up to this point.
Lorenzo Phillips (Sr): JUCO coming in August and expected to make an impact.
Jacob Pugh (Jr): Almost certainly a starter if not this year, then certainly by 2016.
Delvin Purifoy (RSoph): Recovering from an injury. Future is cloudy until he makes an impact.
Sh'mar Kilby-Lane: Arriving this summer.
While seven is a good number there are too many question marks to feel real comfortable and this is why FSU is aggressively pursuing LBs for the class of 2016.
The class of 2016
FSU has secured three verbal commitments for 2016:
Emmett Rice, Miami Norland: Long (6'3), rangy athlete that can run and has body to carry weight. Raw in just about every aspect but has tantalizing upside.
Jamal Couch, Alabama: See Rice above, except Couch may be an even more fluid long athlete. More raw than Rice because he does not have a ton of reps at LB, but he has five star potential.
Tyree Horton, JUCO: The former South Dade star is coming out of JUCO and would be expected to make an impact from day one, likely in the middle.
Is FSU done at LB?
No. Not by a longshot. Talented targets like Keion Joyner, Caleb Kelly, Jaleel Laguins, and Tabarius Peterson are just a few of the kids that have "offers" or interest. We expect FSU to eventually sign four prospects at this spot and with three already in the fold they can't be in a better spot.
Summer camp is always a time where a few kids emerge and in today's recruiting game you can't count on a "commitment" until they sign-----although Fisher has proven to be well above average in the "hold" department.
Recruiting fans saw FSU ATTACK the offensive line position two years ago and that yielded a potentially game changing class. They clearly are following the same blueprint at LB and this is yet more proof that Jimbo "gets it" on the trail.