NoleDigest Roundtable

Mac, Fish, Nate, and Jason offer their thoughts on three topics. The most important recruit left on the board, biggest NSD suprise, and overall thoughts on the class.

Most imortant recruit left on the board

Mac - Top recruit- The top recruit left on Florida State's board is Julio Jones. He is an instant difference maker and a future NFL player. Jones has excellent size to go along with sprinter speed. He would be an instant upgrade to the wide receiver position. FSU has many talented players left on the board but Julio Jones stands alone at the top of the list.

Fish - Most important recruit left on the board? Corey Liuget. After losing Andre Fluellen and Letroy Guion to the NFL and with the suspensions of Paul Griffin and Budd Thacker for the opening game FSU does not have much talent or depth left on the roster. Corey would have a great shot at starting the opener next fall.

Nate - Most Important Recruit Left: In my opinion this one comes down to two players in Julio Jones and Josh Jenkins. In the end, I have to go with Julio Jones. Rick Trickett has built up a quality offensive line since he came to Florida State. Jenkins would be icing on the cake, and is an elite prospect himself. But with Julio, the comparisons to legends like Randy Moss, and the fawning over him by NFL great Jerry Rice is too much to pass up. Jones is a top of the line playmaker the Seminoles haven't had in a very long time. Of the prospects left, Jones is the one I'd take over any of them.

Jason - It's not even close—Julio Jones. Everyone saw the difference Randy Moss made for the Patriots this year, and Julio should make that kind of difference for whichever team he goes to. If he comes to FSU, he will be a starter right away and I think could make a one or two win difference even in his freshman year. He's the kind of receiver that quickly becomes a security blanket for a QB—he'd make our QBs (and other WRs) better simply by being on the field. Look at the kind of year Wes Welker had for New England—that's the kind of thing we could expect from Preston Parker in the slot with Julio Jones lining up outside him. These kinds of players don't come along very often, and when you have a chance at one, you've got to get him. The next most important would be Jamie Harper, who I think is the top tailback prospect in the country. He is another one who could see the field very early, and his size, power, and catching ability would make him a great fit for Jimbo's offense (and a great mix along with Antone Smith).

Biggest suprise on National Signing Day

Mac - Biggest surprise- The biggest NSD surprise will be Jamie Harper. Everyone thinks that the Jacksonville star will be attending Clemson. Harper has been very guarded in recent interviews and does not want to give away too much information. Coach Fisher and Coach Carter have been working very hard to land Jamie. Right now, Florida State does not have a running back like Harper on their roster.

Fish - Surprise Recruit in this class- I think FSU got a surprise commit in AJ Alexander this past week. If there was one surprise I would say Ryan Baker out of Blountstown. His recruitment reminds me of Bert Reed last year. He has always wanted to go to Florida State and with a recent offer it would not shock me to see him send his LOI to Tallahassee on NSD.

Nate - Surprise Recruit on Signing Day: Landing 5-star guys like Jones and Jenkins would be a surprise to some, but they've been mentioned with Florida State for some time. To me a ‘surprise' is a guy people don't think FSU can land. I think this guy is Jarmon Fortson. Fortson committed to Auburn very early in the process, but the Seminoles have pursued him hard since December. There have been several visits with coaches, trips to basketball games and a great official visit. While publicly he says he is still a Tiger, many people feel the Seminoles may have switched this guy in the end.

Jason - Tough question. It depends on what "surprise" means. I do think we're ultimately going to get Julio Jones, so if that is surprising to people, that would be it. Otherwise, I think we'll steal both Corey Liuget and Jarmon Forston on signing day.

Overall thoughts on the 2008 class

Mac - Thoughts on the class- I think Florida State did an excellent job this year in recruiting. I say that because they have addressed their needs or in the process of filling those needs. The class is very balanced right now. They have three early enrollees on campus already. If FSU is able to close out with Jones, Jenkins, Liuget, Harper, and Bryant this could be one of the best recruiting classes ever at FSU.

Fish - Thoughts on this class: This class is one of the Seminoles best in the past 6 years. It is balanced and the talent infusion is much needed for Florida State to get back on top of the ACC. If they close out with some of the bigger names on the board then Florida State fans will be very happy on NSD.

Nate - Thoughts on the class: This class is what the doctor ordered for FSU. If they are able to haul in Jones, Jenkins, Fortson, Jamie Harper and T.J. Bryant, the Noles will have a top 2-3 class in the nation. At this time they have the top pro-style quarterback committed, a great set of receivers, one of the best groups of linemen, two of the top linebackers in the nation, and a corner who demonstrated in the ESPN game that he is going to be a good one.

The glaring weaknesses at this time are that the Noles struggles with free safety recruiting and they need one more running back. The loss of C.J. Holton hurts, and Travis Arnold going to JUCO made it worse. At running back, many Seminole fans don't realize the talent they landed in Tavares Pressley. He is going to be a 2 year standout. If the Seminoles can land Harper and lock up Jermaine Thomas, the running position this year is a success. British Footman, who is already in JUCO, may be the best of the bunch (in my opinion), and can come in when Pressley moves on.

Overall, this class is a great start to turning this team around, and it shows just how good this staff is going to be moving forward. There is no way this class doesn't finish top 5. Coming off back-to-back 7-6 seasons, the academic scandal, and the loss of John Lilly, FSU fans should be very proud and excited about the future of the program.

Jason - I think this class has the potential to be our best class in at least five years. We've met all our major needs already, and the kids we're pursuing now are essentially luxury items—the kinds of players who take this from being an excellent class to an elite one. We needed to shore up our OL, add playmakers, and get a couple guys who could contribute right away at WR, DB, and LB. We've done all that. Now it's a question of whether we can add some instant-impact players from the list of undecideds. This is the kind of class that can lay the foundation for a national title team a year or two down the line; if we can pull a few more top kids, that's even more true.

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