With the new coaching staff came a change in the way Florida State recruited. Last year we saw a change in philosophy as the Seminole coaches tried to get as many kids to commit early as possible. This seems to be the new trend as some of the national powers, namely Texas and Ohio State, have had success in getting their classes done early. Coming into the 2009 recruiting class FSU was looking to bring in approximately 23 recruits this year. Right now that number seems to be a solid target. With 18 kids already committed that leaves a list of some of the top players in the nation that the coaches are going after to fill those final spots. NoleDigest breaks down the remaining players on offense that FSU is looking at, and discusses if the Noles have a shot in landing them come Signing Day.
Geno Smith: There is not a dire need for a quarterback in the 2009 class, but FSU is still recruiting the talented 4-star signal caller. Those close to Geno have thought that there's a chance he'll go to college out of state as the only two in-state schools he is really looking at are FSU and South Florida. When he went to the Elite 11 camp Smith felt a little homesick during the week he was in California. Smith is in no rush to make his decision, so his recruitment will go well into the process. FSU feels, right now, that they are good with the guys on their roster for the future. The pro-style offense the Noles run fits what Smith wants, but it's yet to be determined if the coaches pursue Geno. Some feel that Smith may pull a shocker and end up going to USF in the end.
David Oku: Oku has kept his recruitment close to the vest, but at the same time he is a 5-star prospect who is looking to end his recruitment earlier then most elite prospects do. With a decision in October looming, Oku is planning on making his visits very early in the season. Oku has made it known that FSU was his childhood favorite, but you also have to look to see if they're the right fit. FSU wanted to bring in two tailbacks in this class, and they already have Lonnie Pryor and Chris Thompson in the fray. Thompson may make a move to the slot in college, so there may be one more slot at running back to fill. Oku has been at the top of the Noles board for some time as Dexter Carter has built up a great relationship with him. Depth chart will play a role and FSU signed 3 high quality guys in 2008. NoleDigest has heard schools like Nebraska and Tennessee may land the talented tailback before FSU. Once he makes his official next month FSU's role will become a lot clearer.
Andre Debose: Earlier in the year many thought FSU was the prohibitive favorite to land Debose, and there were even rumors of a commitment from the electric 5-star product. Since then the Seminoles seem to have fallen behind LSU, Florida and Miami. Debose told NoleDigest last month that he hadn't heard much from the coaches at FSU. Since then it looks like FSU has made a more concerted effort to recruit Debose. Andre has made it known he wants to play early and often, so you have to wonder about FSU's chances with 4 guys already committed for the 2009 class. Right now it seems like FSU is falling off, but the coaches still like Debose and are going to push for him until the end.
Orson Charles: Charles quickly was established as FSU's top tight end target for 2009. The top tight end in Florida, Charles may be the most athletic tight end in the nation. While he lacks ideal size, he brings top notch pass catching ability to his position. Early on Miami was the favorite, and then schools like Florida, FSU and Georgia came on. Coach Coley has established a strong relationship with Orson, and he often says in interviews he has the best relationship with the new FSU coach. Charles almost committed to the Canes a little over a week ago, but he has since backed off that and plans on taking visits. FSU has made him a high priority for this year and they must be considered a legitimate program to land Charles' signature. Charles may be one of the most heavily recruited targets left on FSU's board. Right now it looks like it'll be a battle between the Noles and Canes in this one.
Kendall Kelly: Kendall Kelly is a prospect FSU continues to recruit even though they have 4 receivers committed this year. Remember, Willie Downs could play safety and Willie Haulstead is taking visits. FSU blew Kelly away at their Showtime camp as they solidified a spot in his top 9 schools. With most Alabama kids Kelly is thought to be a "lock" to go to Alabama, but he has been steadfast in saying he'll go where the best fit is. He told NoleDigest in an interview after the camp that getting out of state is something he's long been considering, but the local pressure may be tough to hold off. Kelly has been to FSU 3 times and has enjoyed all of his visits. At this time it's truly hard to gauge his interest in the Noles, but if he makes an official it's anyone's ballgame.
Trent Richardson: Richardson is the top running back in the south and may be, after it's all said and done, one of the top 3 tailbacks in the 2009 class. In an update NoleDigest did with Richardson last week, he said he plans on taking several visits before he sings his letter of intent in February. FSU went hard after him before his commitment and still is looking at him as a top target on their board. Early on Trent, Pryor and Jarvis Giles were FSU's top 3 targets so Richardson has always been a high priority to the coaches. LSU has to be looked at as the top school that can sway the 4-star tailback, and schools like Florida are coming on. Richardson plans on making a few visits to FSU this year so they are in the ball game. Right now it looks like they're running 4th behind the 3 SEC Schools at this time.
Nick Alajajian: The Gators were Alajajian's favorite throughout and he ended up committing to them in June. Recently there have been rumors that Alajajian may look around and take some visits, and that FSU is a school he may take another look at. Nick really isn't doing any updates right now so it's hard to see if the rumor is justified, but those close to the Seminole program feel like there is a chance they may get Nick in for a visit. Alajajian is the top guard in this year's class, and FSU is looking to bring in one more lineman. Nick was labeled as a "Trickett type" but right now it seems he's all Gator. If FSU does in fact get a visit from Nick (they've been recruiting him hard), things could get interesting.