Noledigest Recruiting Board

Florida State's 2008 recruiting class has been a stark contrast to previous classes for the Noles. This year, the new staff has changed their thought process on recruiting, leading to a record number of early commitments for FSU. Noledigest takes a look at the remaining prospects on their board and the current chances that these players become Noles on National Signing Day.

Quarterback: It was vital that FSU sign at least one standout quarterback in this class. With E.J. Manuel committed, that has been taken care of. Florida State is not recruiting anyone else for the 2008 class.

Running Back: Florida State needed to sign two running backs in this class. Right now they have two committed in Jermaine Thomas and British Footman. The two remaining prospects FSU is targeting are Darrell Scott, the top running back in the 2008 class, and Jamie Harper, one of the top players in Florida this year. The recruitment of Darrell Scott has been treated as a top-secret process. Darrell has stated early on that come the fall he will start to work through his list and begin to narrow things down. Fans at several schools feel Scott is theirs to lose: Colorado, LSU, Florida and Florida State. Darrell is doing a show following his recruitment; therefore look for this to continue until February 6th, 2008. Chances that he will be a Nole: 20%
Jamie Harper is a big time kid who was favoring Florida State early in the process. As his recruitment continued, it seemed as though FSU fell behind the likes of Clemson, South Carolina and Florida. Jamie is another player who doesn't do a lot of updates, as his coaches have been aiding in his recruiting process. There are insiders who think that it is a Clemson, Florida and Florida State battle. With Emmanuel Moody transferring to Florida, some feel it may open up things a little for Harper. This week NoleDigest heard it was a Clemson/Florida State battle with Clemson in the lead. Chances he will be a Nole: 35%

Tight End: With the loss of freshman All-American Brandon Warren and Caz Piurowski moving to offensive line, FSU needs to sign two players at this position. Jabaris Little, a local standout at Lincoln High, has committed to Florida State. Florida State also landed the versatile athlete Toshmon Stevens from Miami, who can play tight end or defensive end. The only other prospect on the board for FSU is Mike Cruz, who is from Johnstown, PA. Mike is a kid who has stated he wants to leave the state for college and he has also said he has a good relationship with Rick Trickett, his primary recruiter. Schools like Clemson, West Virginia and Nebraska are also in it for Cruz. Look for him to take an official to Florida State in the fall. Other kids may pop up on the radar, but if Cruz commits elsewhere the Noles may shut it down until 2009. Chances he will be a Nole: 20%

Wide Receiver: Wide receiver was not a need position for Florida State, but with the overwhelming talent in the deep 2008 class, FSU has decided to go after a few kids. Right now Avis Commack is the only commitment for the Noles. A.J. Alexander, the speedster from Pennsylvania, was once committed but has since eliminated FSU. The remaining prospects on the board for FSU are the best of the best. Julio Jones is possibly the best high school receiver since Randy Moss. His combination of size and speed has led to comparisons to Moss as well as Terrell Owens. With Nick Saban getting hired at Alabama, many ‘Bama fans feel Jones is about as close to a done deal for the Crimson Tide. Florida State is also very much in the picture. With the lack of updates Jones is doing, there really is only speculation to what is going on. Insiders feel that it is a two team battle between Alabama and FSU, with school like Auburn, LSU and Florida on the outside looking in. Chances he will be a Nole: 50%
Deion Walker is another top 5 receiver the Noles are after. He grew up a big time Nole fan, and has developed a great friendship with E.J. Manuel. Walker is a very media-savvy kid who keeps things close to the vest. It is known that Penn State, Southern Cal, Nebraska, Florida and others are in it for Walker's signature. Many Penn State fans feel he is a silent to Penn State, others think that is false. With the things he has told members of NoleDigest, we feel that is not the case. He plans to commit in October, so this should be done in a matter of time. Chances he will be a Nole: 70%

Corey Surrency is a Florida kid that has turned into the top JUCO receiver in the nation. He is a player that is being recruited on potential as he never played football until last season. USC is his dream school, but they are not going to offer. He was once a Colorado commitment, but that is about done. The race for Surrency is a two-team race between FSU and LSU. He is taking officials to both schools in October and looks to make a commitment after that. For Florida State, it is going to come down to what Walker does if Surrency will be in this class. The coaches will save a spot for Jones and Walker, but no one else. If Walker goes elsewhere, Corey will be a Nole. Chances he will be a Nole: 50% Other targets: Melvin Ray

Offensive Line: FSU signed a huge class last year at this position. With the attrition FSU has experienced this year, losing Anthony Grosso, Matt Hardrick, as well as Zach Hillery not qualifying, it is important for Florida State to sign 3 or 4 players. One of those players needs to be a tackle, and FSU has targeted Matt Patchan as their top tackle and overall top lineman prospect on the board. Patchan has announced a final five of Miami, FSU, Florida, LSU and Ole Miss. With his father being a Cane and his coach being a UF guy, many have thought it was a two team race. That is not the fact as Matt is looking hard at all 5 schools. NoleDigest has heard that his father really likes Trickett, as does Matt. He is going to be an early enrollee, so look for him to make a decision after taking some visits this fall. Chances he will be a Nole: 25%

Another target for FSU is Dalton Freeman. NoleDigest recently caught up with his father for an update. Coach Trickett and FSU have turned up the heat on the South Carolina standout. Schools like Penn State, Clemson, Florida and South Carolina are in it as well. He is going to trim his list at the end of the month, so more will be known then. His father, who is also his coach, stated that they have been talking to the FSU coaches about an official. Chances he will be a Nole: 25%
Ricky Barnum is another lineman that FSU is looking at. He is from Lake Gibson High in Lakeland, Florida. He is a versatile athlete who can play all of the line positions. NoleDigest has been trying to get into contact with him to see if he has an offer. As of right now it is not known for sure if he does or not. If offered, look for him to look hard at FSU. Chances he will be a Nole: 35%
Josh Jenkins is a kid who committed to West Virginia early on. When he committed Rick Trickett was still the offensive line coach for the Mountaineers. Many thought that when Trickett came to FSU, Jenkins would follow. It has been rumored that Jenkins is favoring Ohio State at this time, but he says that is not the case. FSU is going to get an official visit from him, and all bets could be off after that. This one will go on to almost the end. Chances he will be a Nole: 33%
Antoine McClain is a tackle prospect from Alabama. McClain is a big guy who moves very well for his size. FSU has been on him for a while, but NoleDigest feels that he will not be leaving the state. Rumors have swirled that he is an Auburn silent, even though he denies them. McClain has stated that recruiting is not a major concern for him, and that once his season is going he will look at taking some visits and such. This one will probably be a signing day decision. Chance he will be a Nole: 15% Others: This is a position that works itself out as the year goes on. There a few kids FSU is after that are under the radar, but it is not known yet just how hard the Noles will pursue them. Moose Robinson is a guy that may be in this class, but he does not fit Trickett's style of linemen. The wild card here is Kyle Long. If he decides to play football, the Noles just may have the best prospect at this potion in the 2008 class.

Defensive Line: FSU got blind-sided last year when Marvin Austin, D'Angelo McCray and John Brown all went to other schools. This is a position that FSU needed to focus on, and they have gotten great early returns thus far for the 2008 class. Anthony Hill, Moses McCray, Toshmon Stevens (may play either TE or DE) and Keith Wells have all committed to the Noles. NoleDigest feels that Vince Williams, the LB from Davenport, Florida, will play end for the Noles. FSU has seen many other prospects commit to other schools in Toby Jackson, Micanor Regis and Marcus Forston. With the Noles missing on the last two guys, Brandon Thompson has become one of the most important recruits for the Noles. Early on in the process Thompson was considered a very heavy lean to Clemson. As the process had continued, that has kind of ceased. Florida State has really turned on the heat and hope to get him in for a visit. With Brandon deciding on taking all 5 visits, that bodes well for other schools, especially FSU. Thomasville is less than an hour away from Tallahassee, and Brandon's father has stated that distance is a factor. NoleDigest feels this is a three-team race with Clemson, Georgia Tech, and LSU out front. Chances he will be a Nole: 25%
Corey Liuget is a fantastic athlete who is extremely mobile for his size. He is a guy who has put on weight but been able to keep his 4.8 speed. There is new rumors everyday who Liuget favors, so it is hard to get a beat on where he is looking at. NoleDigest stands firm in the thought that FSU is in it for Liuget and that he will take an official to FSU sometime this year. Miami is a team that has done well locking up the Dade County talent, so they cannot be slept on with this prospect. Chances he will be a Nole: 35%
Everette Dawkins is a kid who came to the Bobby Bowden football camp and dominated, thus blowing up on the national scene. He has told NoleDigest that FSU will be in it for him, but that he is waiting on some offers to come in: Louisville and Florida. We have heard that he was a Gator fan as a kid, but that they are not going to offer him. This is a kid that FSU likes a lot because of his versatility and motor. He has stated that he may wait until signing day, so a definitive answer is months away. Chances he will be a Nole: 45%
Robert Quinn made an unofficial visit to FSU early in the summer. He came away impressed and has kept an eye on the Noles. The defensive end prospect already has an NFL body, so he is a prospect that could come in right away and play. Some have felt that he will follow his high school teammate to Florida, while some have thought he will stay in-state. This one is a long way from over. Chances he will be a Nole: 12%

Linebacker: Florida State was hit hard with injuries at this position last year, as Marcus Ball, Derek Nicholson and other were hit with major or nagging injuries. Florida State wanted to land a two or three players at this position. Nigel Bradham, one of the best players at his position for the 2008 class, and Nigel Carr, another top 5 linebacker in the nation, have both committed to the Noles. These two players are a dream class for FSU. FSU could wrap up this position, but there are two players that FSU would not turn away. Arthur Brown is right there with Bradham, as he is Scout.com's Number 1 overall player for the 2008 class. The Wichita, KS superstar has not even really begun to trim his list of schools. Sometime in September Brown is expected to trim his list, and NoleDigest feels that based off of his summer visit FSU will make the cut. We also feel that FSU will possibly be there up to the end for the standout. Oklahoma has long been mentioned with Brown, but he and his mentor Brian Butler stated that his recruitment is wide open. Brown has mentioned that he wants to play with great players and compete for championships. This is another singing day decision that FSU is looking at. Chances he will be a Nole: 33%

Jerrell Harris, a linebacker from Gadsden, Alabama, is a kid that FSU has been looking at for a while. FSU has remained in his top 10, along with schools like USC, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Florida. At this time it is not known if FSU will remain on the list, but NoleDigest feels that the coaches will not turn this kid away. With that, we also feel that it's not a real possibility he will be a Nole. Chances he is a Nole: 10%

Defensive Back: FSU flat struck out last year at safety, thus signing two or three players at safety was vital to a successful 2008 recruiting class. C.J. Holton, maybe the best safety in Florida this year, committed to the Noles early in the process. Nick Moody, the top safety prospect in Pennsylvania, also committed to FSU early on. Travis Arnold is a guy who is more of an athlete, but looks as though he will be a safety when he arrives on campus. FSU was hard after Will Hill from New Jersey, but it looks like the Gators have persuaded him to commit soon after the Tennessee game. With the three players already committed, FSU can breathe a little easier now. Terrence Parks is a kid who has been a tad underrated, but who is also coming off of some injuries. He is a player that can play both corner and safety, but as of now it looks as though he will be a corner when he gets to FSU. T.J. Bryant is arguably the top corner in this class, and he is from the FSU pipeline Lincoln High. But, he is not the lock many Nole fans think or hope. He is a player that intends to weigh all of his options, and may decide FSU is not the place for him. Early on NoleDigest heard FSU was on the outside looking in, trailing schools like USC, Florida, Miami and LSU. We have heard that he has been warming up more to the Noles. This is going to be a dogfight for FSU, and will go all the way to signing day. While it looks as though FSU is the perfect fit, he may not see it that way. Chances he will be a Nole: 33%

Others: We put Patrick Johnson in this category because rumors will not die that USC and FSU may get a visit out of the Miami commitment before it is all said and done. While many feel he will be a Cane on February 6th, we cannot write him off until then. Janoris Jenkins is a kid that has long said he wanted to leave the state for his college ball. He is a great prospect, but NoleDigest has heard that FSU is not really pursuing him hard at this time. All of that could change in terms of what happens with T.J. Bryant. As of now we hear Clemson may land the Pahokee standout. Finally, Travis Howard is a kid the Noles will keep an eye on throughout the recruiting process.

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