McKinley Rolle - Yes and No. Florida State should go after the best players in the country regardless of location. For instance if a big time prospect in Hawaii, a state seldom recruited, has a legitimate interest in FSU then he should be recruited. However, FSU should put a premium on recruiting the best players in the state of Florida every year. Florida has an abundance of prep talent that must be tapped by the Seminoles regularly.
Charles Fishbein - Being from Florida I will always have a little bias towards the sunshine state when it comes to recruiting. Personally, I think the one thing that has hurt FSU the most is not recruiting Florida hard enough. They have really changed their philosophy this year and attacked the state really hard. You look at the safety position and other than Myron Rolle, FSU has missed on a ton of kids. Guys like DeAndre McDaniel (Godby), Brandon Heath (Louisville) and Latarrius Thomas (New Smyrna Beach) are all going to start for their respective schools while FSU has missed on plenty of out of state kids. If they had gone after and landed those three safeties that would not be a weak spot on the team.
Dave Peters - Yes and No. It's hard to go wrong with going after the local talent for several reasons. One being that the competition is much better in the state of Florida than most state in the country. Miami would be a good example. The hurricanes were winning National Championships when their program would lock down South Florida. It seems like they U slipped by taking too many out of state players.
Another reason like I like Florida players is because they are closer to home and having an easier time adjusting because they have friends at the school and they can make it home much easier. It's easy for the family to make it to all of the home games.
Sometimes it appears to me that Florida State takes too many prospects from pipeline schools to get bigger fish today or down the road. In my opinion, the Noles would still get their guy without giving up much needed scholarships. I'm not sure Arnold is a player the Seminoles have to get and Will Hill is such a good prospect that he shouldn't be passed up.
Nate Greer - In my opinion, I think it has been reversed in the case of Florida State. I feel that the coaches made the wrong decision to go more national in terms of their recruiting. I understand the importance of landing the major players, and I realize they do not always come from Florida. Guys like Myron Rolle, Andre Fluellen, Lawrence Timmons and now E.J. Manuel are major impact players. But, focusing on out-of-state kids has also burned FSU.
Guys like Michael McNeil, Percy Harvin and Marvin Austin have killed the Noles. There were kids in the state of Florida that FSU could have landed instead of these kids. Where they on the same level? No. They weren't to far away either. Examples are kids like Greg Mathews, who looks to be a contributor to Michigan this year. But, Florida kids have burned FSU. C.J. Spiller anyone?
It is a very fine line, and probably is based more on a yearly basis. This year the state of Florida is absolutely loaded. This is a case where FSU's class should be at least 80% in-state. Sure, go after kids like Will Hill, Tyler Love, etc, but do not lie off of Travis Arnold and a Matt Patchan, who's probably the best lineman this year. In most cases I would take a Florida kid over most around the nation.
Guys like E.J. Manuel, Julio Jones, Darrell Scott and Brice Butler are kids FSU must go after. There is no debating that. But this year, with the vigor these new coaches bring, there is a sense of locking up the local talent. Go for broke with these particular out-of-state kids, but lock down the homegrown kids just in case. That is something the coaches haven't done lately, but now are. Everything changed for the best with the overhaul.
What impact will the commitment of EJ Manuel have on offensive recruits?
McKinley Rolle - EJ Manuel will have a HUGE impact on the offensive recruiting class for many reasons. First, it all starts with the quarterback. If you have a talented quarterback you will be able to win a lot of games once you surround him with decent talent. A guy like Darrell Scott or Julio Jones will want to play with a player such as EJ because their jobs are a lot easier now. A running back wants a talented quarterback to get defenders out of the box thinking more about the pass than the run. A wide receiver wants a quarterback that can get the ball in his hands.
FSU can now show offensive recruits that they are headed in the right direction with a franchise quarterback. Chris Leak had a significant impact on a couple players when he committed to UF. I believe EJ will have an even bigger influence because he already has a relationship with many top offensive players that FSU is currently recruiting.
Charles Fishbein - EJ will have a major impact. Just look at what happened when Chris Leak and Tim Tebow both committed to Florida. Look at Jacory Harris this year at Miami. Big time offensive prospects want to know they are going to a school with a good quarterback situation. Manuel is one of the best and the top prospects at receiver, running back and offensive line will take notice.
Dave Peters - It's all ready making a huge impact. He's befriended several top prospects already in Deion Walker, Brice Butler and Darnell Scott. Whenever a big-time QB makes an early commitment and starts recruiting, it's a great deal. I can see Manuel in the ear of several of his Army All-American teammates.
Nate Greer - This has been one of the most highly discussed topics since E.J. made the pledge to FSU. Some fans may have jumped the gun expecting offensive recruits to roll in automatically since E.J. was coming. In talking to the kid there is a lot to like about him. He is the best this year at his position, a position that is the most glorified in the sport.
What I think will draw people to E.J. and FSU is the kid's leadership. He is always about the team. He is a nice kid. He is a hard worker. A perfect example is Deion Walker. He has told me that E.J. just draws people to him. I think that can work very well for FSU.
Personally, I do think his commitment has caught the attention of the best of the best this year: Darrell Scott, Julio Jones, Brice Butler, Deion Walker, Matt Patchan, etc. I think what will ultimately solidify these kids to FSU is the on-field performance from the Noles in 2007. If Jimbo Fisher can make the improvements many hope, and what his track record proves, FSU may be in for a huge recruiting year on the offensive side of the ball. E.J. Manuel will only help in that. He is always in contact with these players.