At least three and probably four DTs signed in 2010, but the Noles had three more DTs committed for 2011 before Lonnie Gosha decided to open things back up. Still with two in the fold, FSU is in outstanding shape at the spot. First Coast's Derrick Mitchell oozes upside, if he can put it all together he has All-American type potential. Nile Lawrence-Stample is another good sized athlete that has tremendous upside. He will need some seasoning at DT and should get that as a senior. Gosha remains a strong possibility to join this group down the road.
The DE position is not as deep and FSU needs to land at least two and perhaps three players at this spot. Two incoming freshmen could impact the need at this spot, Holmes Onwukaife and Christian Jones. Both could ultimately end up at DE. Georgia's Ray Drew is one option, he has visited FSU several times and has high interest. Another of the top targets is Island Coast's Aaron Lynch. The 6'6, 250 pound Lynch has offers from most of the country, but he made it to two FSU games last year, and has high interest in FSU. Other in-state players who should be watched are Homestead's Ricardo Williams, Fort Walton Beach's Deiontrez Mount, Fort Pierce Central's Giorgio Newberry(could be OT), and Columbus's Anthony Rabasa. This is a spot FSU has struggled to land enough players, it seems they have consistently been looking to add depth, even starting a walk on last year at times, it is time to get this spot up to par.
Prediction: We think FSU walks with five defensive linemen, will it be 3 DTs or 3 DEs?
It was a tremendous haul last year with Jeff Luc, Christian Jones, Telvin Smith, and Nigel Terrell. Terrance Smith has joined the FSU 2011 class and he is another long athlete that can run. Menendez's Tony Steward might be the top LB in the state when all is said and done, he has the Noles out in front. Plantation's Ryan Shazier is a DE by trade, but could transition back to OLB because of his elite athleticism. Shazier received an early FSU offer and the Noles are certainly in the thick of it. The above three would be the second straight home run at the spot and virtually guarantee some elite units down the road. Competition would be fierce for playing time, something missing the last several years. Lincoln's Javarius Allen will be an interesting recruit to watch, the problems are well documented at Lincoln, only time will tell how this plays out.
Prediction: This is not a position of need, but the Noles may have several elite targets interested. A certain two with a good chance of picking up a third.
FSU got off to a fast start here. Sitting with FIVE commits one year after landing five players bodes extremely well going forward. Keelin Smith has proven over the last month that he is capable of handling the CB spot, sure he will need to be protected some, but 6'2 athletes with loose hips are not easy to come by. Of course, he can easily transition to Safety if need be. Team mate Lamarcus Brutus will also get a look at CB, he is rock solid and we feel an under rated prospect in this state. There was little suspense waiting on Karlos Williams commit, he seemingly has been pencilled into this class for over two years. He could bring a physical presence to the secondary. While Smith is intriguing at 6'2, Cortez Davis is the same thing, but taller at 6'4. He possesses some qualities at the CB spot, although it is hard to envision him playing there long term. FSU continues to hit South Georgia hard, Tyler Hunter is another 6'0 DB with elite athleticism. Another Safety type, Calvin Pryor, is out there as a local option. The state is loaded at the Safety spot, there are plenty of options should one of the commits look elsewhere.
While the last two years have brought a number of talented athletes, we think that the Noles need to add one pure CB, even if that is at the expense of one of the great Safeties. A player like Nick Waisome would fit the bill as he is perhaps the state's top pure CB. Like at LB, it is important to see how the 2010 DB class shakes out. Kevin Grooms is an athlete that could ultimately end up at CB.
Prediction: Can FSU hold all five early commits? One never knows in the recruiting game, it is very hard to see the overall total dropping below that number. One could de-commit down the road, but there are plenty of options to fill that spot. The final number is likely five or six here.
After having to watch that defense last year, it is easy to forget the great ones in the past. FSU is clearly on the right track to becoming dominant on this side of the ball in the near future. The youngsters will need some time to develop both mentally and physically, but there appears to be options galore going forward. We still think DE needs to be addressed and as mentioned would like to see a pure CB come into the fold, but NCs are won on the defensive side of the ball and FSU is clearly going to have NC type talent.