Florida State's recruiting strategy changes when the new coaches came on in the spring of 2007. Instead of waiting until late in the process to get involved with players the new staff made it a point to get on kids as early as possible. That paid off for the Seminoles in 2008 and 2009, and it looks as though they'll see a third straight big year in 2010. Two of their top targets for next year are running backs Marcus Lattimore and Eduardo Clements. Coming into this football season one of the players was looking like a prospect who may stay home when his time comes to choose a college (Lattimore), while the other made it known over the summer that FSU was his favorite (Clements). As it stands right now it looks as though the coaches have put themselves into a position to play a major role in each star running back's recruitment before it's all said and done.
Marcus Lattimore's play this year has been proof that he is no doubt a top 10 player for the 2010 recruiting class. The Byrnes standout is a true workhorse from the running back position, but what makes him so dominating is that he has a rare combination of size, power, vision and the ability to change direction. With 17 offers already on the table Marcus has a ton of colleges that are coming after him. He says right now he's pretty happy where his process stands at this time.
"I have 17 offers right now but things have slowed down a little," said the future 5-star recruit. "I think I have everything I need to look at right now. I'm pretty happy about the offers I have. Other than that my season has been going well. We lost the game to Dorman which was pretty tough. We're going to come back from that and finish off this season the way we want."
South Carolina has been Lattimore's favorite for some time due to the fact they're so close to home and that they've always been his favorite team. He told NoleDigest that he's wide open to the recruiting process, and that he's been taking visits to some of the schools he likes to see what they have to offer.
"I am favoring South Carolina because I grew up on them," said Lattimore, "but no one is number 1 on my list. I'd say the schools recruiting me the hardest right now are North Carolina and Alabama. North Carolina sends me hand-written letters everyday; I mean every day. They talk about how they want me to visit again and how well I'd fit into their offense. I did have a good time when I went up there last month. Alabama sends me a lot of stuff, too. They are the number 1 team now and they've been playing well all year. They are doing the right things and I plan on visiting them soon. Earlier this year I also made a visit to Georgia when they played Central Michigan. It was a good visit. I liked the atmosphere there. I also was able to sit in on some meetings and go into the lockeroom. They treated me real well there."
Florida State has been recruiting Marcus for some time. This weekend he plans on making the trip down from Duncan, SC to watch the Seminoles take on the Clemson Tigers.
"I've heard so much about it there so I just want to go check it out," explained Lattimore on why he wants to visit FSU. "I've heard so much about how nice the facilities are and how cool the coaches are so I want to go there so I can see it and meet them (the coaches). I really don't know much about them besides that Fisher is a good coach and they are a young team. I'm anxious for this visit and I am looking forward to it."
While Lattimore is still in the learning phase when it comes to the Noles, he has been watching them play this year. Marcus feels that once they gain a little more experience the Noles will be a deadly team in the future.
"FSU is definitely a school I am going to consider," stated Lattimore. "They don't have that many running backs and I like Coach Fisher and his play calling. There's definitely going to be visit there in the future."
"I've watched them play a few times this year," said Lattimore. "I watched the N.C. State game and I watched the game this past weekend. That fumble at the end was tough. If the had gotten they game they'd be sitting pretty right now. When the offensive line gets a little better they are going to be a deadly team. They always have a good defense. In 2 or 3 years those freshmen are going to be very good."
Right now Lattimore claims to be over 1,300 yards on the season with 22 touchdowns so far.
Lattimore will be in Tallahassee this weekend.
South Florida has always been known as a hot-bed of talent when it comes to high school football. The 2010 class may be the best class the area has seen in quite some time. One of the headliners is super junior running back Eduardo Clements from Booker T. Washington High. There's been a lot of talk lately of where the Seminoles stand with Clements due to the delay in offering him. If his reaction to the Seminoles tough loss last weekend is any indication, the Noles are still in a good position with him.
"I was so mad after the game," said Clements after the Seminoles loss to Georgia Tech. "Next week we have to make up for it when we play Clemson. We can't take it easy on them. I hope we put up 45 on them and that Antone (Smith) and Jermaine (Thomas) have big games."
Miami was the first school to offer the 5'10" 185 pound back, thus leading several fans to think the Canes were the new favorite. Eduardo told NoleDigest that the Seminoles are still the favorite and that they are a part of a list of 8 schools that Clements will consider before his decision is made.
"I just can't wait until I make that choice of which college I am going to attend, but I have my top 8 now which is going to stay the same until I chose," explained Clements. "The schools are Florida State, Boston College, Rutgers, USF, Miami, Georgia, Florida and West Virginia."
"I am torn between two schools right now," continued Clements. "FSU and Boston College are the two I like. I love FSU and that is my dream school, but they haven't offered yet. The coaches told me they are going to offer me soon. I really can see myself in those colors. Miami would be there but they have too many running backs. I know it's a good school but I hate sitting (on the bench). I am trying to do big things like win the Heisman and going to the NFL."
When the offer from the Seminoles comes in, look for them to firmly plant themselves as the favorite to land the talented back. Before any decision is made, though, look for Clements to go through the entire recruiting process.
"My dad wants me to wait until Signing Day to make a decision," said Eduardo. "He wants me to make sure I see what other schools have to offer before any decision is made. Right now FSU is definitely the favorite."