Juniors Talk FSU Offers and Recruiting

Juniors from all across the nation have been earning offers for the class of 2011 since the start of September. Recently Florida State offered two of the state's best in Ryan Shazier and Keelin Smith. NoleDigest caught up with both recruits to talk about their offers and to talk about their recruitment this early in the game.

It's never to early to look ahead in recruiting as schools all across the nation have started offering some of the best juniors in the nation. Florida looks to be loaded again in 2011, and two players emerging as top targets are Ryan Shazier and Keelin Smith.

Both recruits received offers from Florida State recently. NoleDigest caught up with both standouts to talk about the offer from the Seminoles and to see where they're at with their recruitment at this time.

Shazier Talks FSU Offer

Ryan Shazier is one of Southwest Florida's top defensive players for 2011. The Plantation standout has seen interest from schools such as Florida, LSU, Miami, UCLA, Texas and Tennessee, but it was the in-state Seminoles who first offered the 6'3" 200 pound defensive end/linebacker.

"Florida State was my first offer and it was a big one," Shazier said of the FSU offer. "Miami and Florida have told me they like my size, and Maryland has been saying the same things too. LSU recently invited me to one of their games. Tennessee has been to one of my games and they are telling me they plan on offering me soon."

"The coach who offered me was Coach Coley," continued Shazier. "He is a cool person it seems. I didn't get too much of a chance to talk to him about the offer but he spoke to my coaches about it. They feel that I can come in and help their pass rush, and they think I also have the speed to be an outside linebacker. They mentioned how they may be moving to a 3-4 scheme. They'd like me as a rush end who can also drop back and cover. I like to do that but I like to rush the passer and play the run."

Ryan told NoleDigest that he's pretty happy with how his recruitment has started. He did say there are 5 schools kind of sticking out to him at this time.

"Oh yeah, I am happy so far," said Shazier of his recruitment. "I'd say my top schools right now are UCLA, FSU, Miami, LSU and Tennessee. I like UCLA because I like the location, they have a great medical program and they have a good team. An offer from them would play a big factor."

Environment and a family feel are two factors Shazier is looking for, and he talked about how he thinks FSU offers both of those based off of his visits there.

"I'm looking for an overall environment with a family feel," explained Shazier. "Even though FSU is struggling a little this year I think they area top location, they have a great environment and it is close to home. I'd like to see them have more stability with the coaches but I'd still go there because Coach Fisher and Coach Coley will be there. That's an extra push. I like their campus, too. I like how it is more like Georgia with the hills, whereas down here it is more palm trees and beaches."

Shazier says he plans on graduating in December 2010 so he can get an early jump on his college education.

Smith Excited about Upcoming Experience

Treasure Coast in Pt. St. Lucie, FL has some of the best players in the state of Florida regardless of class this year. One of their best players is 2011 defensive back Keelin Smith, who is a player with great size for a corner as he is 6'3" and 190 pounds.

Several schools from all over the East coast have already offered Keelin, and he told NoleDigest the recruiting process is something he is excited about experiencing.

"I am excited about this (recruiting) because it is something not everyone gets a chance to do," said Smith. "I've gotten several offers already from schools like FSU, Miami, LSU, Ohio State, North Carolina and Ole Miss. I have more but I can't remember off the top of my head. With each of these offers I have been like, WOW, because I didn't even know some of these schools were interested in me."

Keelin says that coaches have been in touch and that he talks to different ones almost daily. He says he removed himself as a fan heading into this process because he didn't want to pick somewhere based off of that and not be happy.

"All of the schools that have offered and been in contact are the one's I am considering," explained Smith. "I have no real favorite. Growing up I wasn't into football too much but once I got into high school I started like schools like FSU, Florida and Miami because others liked them. I stopped having favorites when this process started because I know of some players that have chosen a school because they were fans that ended up being miserable."

Florida State offered Smith after seeing him recently in action. A standout performance was enough for the coaches to extend an offer.

"FSU offered me through my coach after they came to see Jeff Luc, me and Lamarcus Brutus," said Smith. "We all had really good games, and I didn't give up many passes at all. Coach Coley offered both Lamarcus and me on the spot. Like all the other schools Coach Coley said they like me as a corner but that I could also play safety in college."

Keelin says that he hasn't been to FSU for a game, but he says he was in town this summer checking out the school with his fellow teammates.

"I've never been there for a visit but I have been there for camps and just to see the school," said Smith. "It is traditional there and I like that. I had a good time at Showtime with the NFL guys, too. Over the summer we spent some time there just checking things out."

With great size for a defensive back Smith says it is his size that makes him stand out on the high school level.

"Every day I am trying to improve," Smith said, "but on the high school level I think my size is what makes stick out. I feel that I have the hips to play corner in college. I look at guys like Antonio Cromartie; he is one guy I respect because he has shown tall corners can play well. I am a tall guy and I want to play corner, but I want to play. If that means they want me as a free safety, strong safety or whatever I will do that."

Look for Keelin to take the recruiting process the distance.

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