Another View

Veteran recruiting analyst <b>Max Emfinger</b> was in Tallahassee this weekend for, of all things, a little baseball. Emfinger is involved with the Houma Louisiana Hogs Baseball Team, which recently won the Mississippi Semi-Pro State Championship. Emfinger, who once worked for the Dallas Cowboys and has followed football recruiting since the late 1970s, chatted with TheTerritory's Jim Henry about Florida State's recruiting efforts and area playes like <b>Fred Rouse.</b> Click here for more.

Veteran recruiting analyst Max Emfinger was in Tallahassee this weekend for the collegiate-aged GameTime Summer Baseball Classic at Tallahassee Community College.

Emfinger's Louisiana Hogs Baseball Team beat the Tallahassee Bears 10-1 on Sunday to clinch the tourney championship, avenging an extra-inning defeat to the Bears in the tourney's opening game on Thursday.

Emfinger, who has followed high school recruiting since the late 1970s, chatted with TheTerritory's Jim Henry earlier Sunday.

When you think of Florida State and coach Bobby Bowden in terms of recruiting, what's your first impression?

"An elite recruiting team. When I was going to school (Baylor) back in the '60s, Florida State was floundering around. When Bobby Bowden took over the job, they started making it an elite group. They started winning games. They started going after the best of the best.

"The attitude they took when Bobby took over. The first five years he was there, their attitude was, 'I am not going after the best guy in Florida. I am going for the best guy in the country.' They built this and instilled this in everybody.

"I would be always be disappointed if they weren't in the top five in my (recruiting) ratings. For many, many years, they were in the top five -- I had them winning the national championship in recruiting at least three times, if not four.

"It just seems like the last few years...I don't know exactly what caused it. They are back in the saddle, so to speak, now for the last two years. For a couple years there, it seemed like they were lagging. I can't pinpoint what it was. For some reason, they were taking players that weren't on the elite lists and I think that got them in trouble on the field. And they might have lost some great coaches; they might have lost some great coordinators; they might have lost some great individual recruiting guys. That might have had something to do with it.

"But I think they are back now where they were before the two or three years they dropped."

Florida is considered one of the nation's recruiting hot spots. Talk about the state's impact on recruiting.

"Everybody has their own ideas about it. There are so many kids in Florida, there are so many kids in Texas, there are so many kids in California. You can't say one's better than the other -- they are just a little different.

"California, there's a lot of schools out there that nobody knows about. The thing about Texas is it's centrally located. Every team in America can come to Texas and recruit and they've done a great job. Florida is a little different because you have three major schools.

"Maybe some teams in the midwest don't come to Florida because it's a long way to come. But I think the talent is still there. The Big Ten and the Big 12 have come into Florida. There's some schools that go into Florida on a regular basis and get kids from there.

"The thing that's amazing is you can go into Florida and Texas and get players that aren't even being recruited by some other teams and still be better than kids in the area you are in."

Fred Rouse of Lincoln is considered one of the nation's top players. What are your thoughts?

"Here's a guy who is 6-3, 6-4, can run like a deer and makes big catches. Lincoln has had just a powerful team over the years. And there are some guys over at Godby, too, who are really good. It has been amazing Florida State hasn't gotten every single player (smiling)."

How has recruiting changed over the years?

"Well, the thing that's really confusing everybody is there are so many rumors going on. I try not to report anything that's a rumor. What I do more than anybody else in the country is I am for the kids. I don't think most recruiting services are for the kids. Their ratings don't reflect they are for the kids."

Editor's Note: Max Emfinger worked briefly for both Rivals and Insiders before continuing his own recruiting service.

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