Florida State has always been known for their nasty defenses and the incredible athletes that play in them. The defense for the Seminoles is young, but talented. With depth issues still abound at certain positions within the defense it is important that FSU sign playmakers in 2010. As we head into the spring and summer combine and camp circuit NoleDigest looks at some of the early names that FSU has targeted. While the coaches have made in-roads with some, there are other recruits who are either still waiting for an offer or have the Noles grouped with a bunch of other programs.
Defensive end is a primary concern for the coaches and FSU this year. Several offers have gone out and many others are being evaluated at this time. Here are some of the top targets for the Noles right now:
1) Corey Miller- The 6'4" 220 pound Miller has the Seminoles in the lead early. With an excellent first step and great range, Miller has been one of FSU's top targets for a while. The Noles will battle USC, Clemson, Cal, North Carolina and LSU for Miller. Landing a pass rusher like Corey is vital for 2010.
2) Corey Lemonier- The Hialeah, FL product is starting to see his recruitment pick up. At 6'4" 235 pounds Corey has excellent size and speed, but he needs to work on his strength. With an early offer the Seminoles really like this recruit. Look for Corey to possibly make a decision over the summer.
3) Lynden Trail- Lynden is a lean, tall and extremely quick defensive end from Booker T. Washington in Miami, FL. Last year Trail was second team All-State after having 14 sacks on the season. Miami is considered the favorite, but FSU is a legit possibility due to his girlfriend attending the university.
4) T.J. Stripling- T.J. is one of the best overall recruits in Georgia for 2010. FSU offered him early and he likes the Seminoles because he feels they fit his game: speed and aggressiveness. Many feel Georgia will be hard to beat here.
5) David Perry- David is a prospect that is very new to the game, but at 6'6" 230 pounds he has tremendous size and is a recruit with a huge upside. FSU has been on David for a while and it wouldn't be a shock to see him in the 2010 class.
The Seminoles landed two potentially great ones in Jacobbi McDaniel and Demonte McAllister last year. The Noles need at least 2 standouts in 2010; with Darius Cummings already committed and several others favoring the Seminoles, look for the FSU to hit a homerun here in 2010.
1) Darius Cummings- The first commitment for the 2010 class was one of the best last year in a class many thought was deep along the defensive line in Florida. For 2010 Cummings is a potential top 100 player and one of the finest players in Florida this year. At this stage Darius plays defensive end for his high school team, but many feel he will grow into a tackle on the collegiate level.
2) Brandon Willis- Willis too plays defensive end on the high school level, but at 6'4" 260 pounds it looks like he will too move inside in college. Brandon knows how to use his hands very well and understands leverage better than most in this class. FSU is the favorite here, and right now there is little to make NoleDigest believe they won't land Brandon this year.
3) Louis Nix- When motivated Louis is probably the most talented defensive lineman in the nation for 2010. The Miami commitment has said he'll be attending FSU's Junior Day this weekend, but look for this to be a Miami/Florida battle.
4) Denzel McCoy- Coach Haggins has penned McCoy as one of his top targets this year, and the two have built a great relationship. McCoy has great size at 280 pounds, and he has the frame to add healthy weight in college. FSU will battle schools across the Southeast for Denzel.
The list of targets among this group will undoubtedly grow, but 5 names have emerged early as targets.
1) Jeff Luc- Luc is an impressive middle linebacker. He dominates his man and is a fierce tackler. At 6'1" Jeff has a compact build and has very little fat on his body. Jeff is a primary target overall in this class and FSU will battle the in-state schools for Luc's signature.
2) Christian Jones- The Nole legacy may be the best of the Jones' when it's all said and done. While he is 6'4" and 220 pounds already, Jones has excellent feet and range, thus he has the potential to be an excellent outside linebacker in college. Jones' recruitment is picking up, but FSU sits in a good spot with Christian at this time.
3) Telvin Smith- Telvin is the next Lowndes star. Speed is the name of the game for Telvin. At 200 pounds Smith needs to add weight before he gets to college, but this recruit has standout written all over him. FSU will battle Georgia Tech, Georgia and others for Smith.
4) Kendall Moore- Coach Amato has spoken to Kendall on a few occasions as the staff like Moore as a middle linebacker. Even though he is 230 pounds Moore has the speed to chase players down, and he has the ability to drop back into coverage. FSU is in it, but Moore has said on several occasions he'd like to stay close to home.
To say that FSU needs to land a few playmakers at corner would be a major understatement. FSU has very little depth at corner for 2009 after only signing one true corner in Greg Reid. Florida is loaded this year so look for FSU to really focus in state for this position.
1) Lamarcus Joyner- However you want to put it Lamarcus is the most important recruit for FSU in 2010. While Joyner doesn't have prototypical size, he simply is the best corner in 2010 due to his speed, physical nature, and freakish attributes. With long arms and an outstanding vertical jump Joyner can match up against guys taller than him, and he has the hips explosiveness to hang with the smaller, quicker receivers. FSU will have a tough fight here, but it is one they should, and must, win.
2) Terrance Mitchell- FSU has found success in the Tampa area recently and they hope it continues with Mitchell, who stars for Hillsborough. Mitchell likes how FSU uses their corners, and he will be visiting for Junior Day this weekend. Mitchell is fast, aggressive and has excellent cover skills. Look for Terrance to stay in state.
3) Travis Bell- Here is a Pahokee product that hasn't been talked about much yet. Pahokee has turned out several elite corners over the past 7 years, and Bell looks to be the next in line. As a junior Travis had 65 tackles and 4 interceptions.
4) Cody Riggs- The biggest knock on Cody is that he doesn't have great size as he is right at 5'10" tall. On the field, though, Riggs is a recruit who is tough to match. Riggs sticks to his man like glue and he is a recruit FSU will look at throughout the season. There are no favorites really for Cody at this time.
5) Tony Grimes- FSU hasn't offered Grimes yet but he the Noles at the top of his list. Tony is a prospect that physically dominates his opponent, and he has excellent size at this stage for a corner.
FSU landed a great class in 2009, so look for the Seminoles to add possibly two more in 2010. The Seminoles have offered a ton of prospects at this position, yet they've seen many of them head to other schools so far.
1) Matt Elam- This is the top player in Florida for 2010, and he is one of the best in the nation for this year. Florida landed a great one.
2) Jonathan Dowling- FSU targeted this standout before he committed to Florida last month.
3) Alec Ogletree- Thought by some to be the top player in Georgia this year, Ogletree has stellar size for a safety to go along with his exceptional speed and range. FSU needs a playmaking safety, and Alec fits that mold to a "t". Look for the Noles to battle Georgia, Miami, Florida and others.
4) Jarrick Williams- Williams played in only 9 games as a junior, yet he was one of the top players in Alabama last year. The biggest thing that could prevent Jarrick from being a standout safety in college is him growing into a linebacker on the next level.
5) Brian Robinson- Robinson is a gifted defensive back in his own right, but so far he's taken a backseat to the attention Joyner and Riggs have gotten. Right now it is tough to gauge the interest at this time but look for FSU to keep an eye on Brian this year.
Some of the nation's top players for 2010 will be listed as an athlete on the recruiting services, and FSU is recruiting some of them at this time.
1) Christian Green- Before this recruiting cycle is over look for Christian to be one of the top players in the nation. The longtime Tampa Catholic standout plays quarterback in high school, but look for him to move to receiver in college. If this past weekend at the Tampa 7-on-7 is any indication, Green will be a special talent on the next level. FSU is his longtime favorite, and NoleDigest feels that other programs have a long way to go to overtake the Seminoles.
2) Da'Rick Rogers- Rogers hasn't been offered by FSU yet but he is a recruit who's talented enough to play at any school in the nation. Rogers can play on wither side of the ball as he caught nearly 70 passes for 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns last year. At 6'2" 200 pounds many think he could be an excellent safety on the next level. Rogers has said on numerous occasions that FSU is one of his favorites.
3) Jarred Haggins- "Scooter" Haggins is the quarterback for Lakeland, but he'll make a move once he gets to college. Some think he can play wide receiver, while others feel he's a future safety.
4) Jaylen Watkins- The Cape Coral star gets categorized here because he can play both corner and safety. The Seminole staff really likes Watkins as he is one of the best tacklers in the state from his corner position. Florida sits in a good position here, followed by Alabama and FSU.