Revisiting the 2007 Class

With the start of the 2010 season less than two weeks away, NoleDigest takes a look at FSU's 2007 recruiting class, which Scout.com ranked 33rd in the nation. There was a lot of talk at the time about Scout having this class "mis-ranked", let's take a look at what happened with the players.

Still at Florida State

#45 OG Rodney Hudson (Mobile, AL)

A consensus preseason All-American and candidate for the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. Hudson has started 30+ games in his career at FSU and is widely regarded as one of the top interior linemen in the country. Hudson was a home run recruiting wise and would be sorely missed. Hudson lacks ideal height which hurt his recruiting ranking, but few are as good in the trenches as the big fella. He has an NFL future.

#25 CB Bert Reed (Panama City, FL)

While he was listed at CB in recruiting, Reed has made his impact felt at wide receiver. He led the team in yards last year and is seen as the big play weapon on the outside. Reed will be asked to take over a leadership role as a junior and should once again be one of the top two contributors at WR. He heads into his redshirt junior year with 83 career catches for 1,005 yards and three touchdowns.

#3 MLB Kendall Smith (Bushnell, FL)


Smith should have a big senior season
Steve Chase, Scout.com

Smith enters his senior season as the returning starter at MLB. He has improved statistically every year and has 113 career tackles and four sacks. It is expected that Smith will fit the new scheme better in the middle and he is set up to succeed in this defense. He should lead the team in tackles this year. While he has not quite lived up to the #3 ranking, Smith has been a solid contributor thus far.

#16 OT Antwane Greenlee (Columbus, GA)

Greenlee is still returning from a knee sprain that kept him off the field in 2009. He started three games in 2008 before being unseated by Zebrie Sanders and is expected to provide valuable depth this year. Greenlee has a high ceiling, but must get past the injuries to reach it. We expect to hear more from him down the road.

Unrated WR Cameron Wade (Cairo, GA)

Wade has yet to make an impact at FSU and time is running out for the 6-5 wide receiver. He has seen most of his action on special teams thus far in his career. The loss of Jarmon Fortson opened the door for Wade, but he does not appear to have taken it. He is expected to be a backup this year.

Unrated Punter Shawn Powell (Rome, GA)

Powell is up for the Ray Guy Award which is given to the nation's best punter. Powell averaged 41.5 yards per punt in 2009, he excels at having the hang time to prevent return yardage. With two years to go Powell is certainly one of the strength's of the team. Punters do not get the "love" in recruiting, but he is a 4-star in that area based on performance.

Unrated Center A.J. Ganguzza (Boca Raton, FL)

A backup thus far, Ganguzza has battled injuries in his career and has never added significant weight. A high school defensive tackle, time is running out on Ganguzza and he needs to make a move this year. He has played special teams in the past and that is where he is expected to play this Fall.

Unrated WR Taiwan Easterling (Magee, MS)

Projected starting wide receiver with 65 career catches for 764 yards and three touchdowns. Easterling is a top athlete that excels on the baseball diamond as well as the gridiron. He has some of the best hands in the country and some wiggle in space. He could be a breakout performer this year.

#48 DE Jamar Jackson (Richmond, VA)

Jackson is a redshirt junior and has four career tackles. He battling for back-up snaps with Toshmon Stevens and Bjorn Werner. Tore his ACL as a freshmen and does not seem to have ever recovered 100% from it. His opportunity is right now if he is ever going to do anything.



No Longer on Team

JUCO DE Brian Coulter (Poplarville, MS)

Never enrolled at FSU and ended up at Missouri where he started nine games a year ago and registered 44 tackles and two sacks. He was JUCO, so he was not expected to be on this team anyway, but he certainly could have been useful the previous years.

#5 CB Dionte Allen (Orchard Lake, MI)

Allen just left FSU a few weeks ago after suffering through some injuries the previous years. He was expected to provide depth this year, but was getting a fierce battle from Lamarcus Joyner and Mike Harris. It is unknown where Allen will end up at this time. He did not live up to his lofty ranking as one of the nation's premier corners.

#14 CB Brandon Paul (Tallahassee, FL)

Paul redshirted as a freshmen, but left the team in the first part of 2008. An elite athlete with terrific speed, Paul was battling for playing time at the running back spot. He is yet another Lincoln kid that had off the field problems at FSU and almost certainly would not have excelled with this staff. Impossible to know if the ranking was justified as he never had the opportunity to show what he can do.

#24 MLB Maurice Harris (Homestead, Fl)

Harris ended up with a medical redshirt in 2007 after suffering a knee injury three games into the year. He played in three games in 2008 but had a series of ankle issues that limited him physically. He was arrested prior to the 2009 season and then was medically disqualified halfway through 2009. He had 15 tackles through six games last year.

#32 Zach Hillery (Chatham, VA)

Never arrived on campus because of grade problems.

#43 Jatavious Jackson (Belle Glade, FL)


Reed has over 1,000 career receiving yards for FSU
Steve Chase, Scout.com

Never enrolled at FSU, but did show up at USF for a time. He is no longer listed on their roster.

#67 CB Bernard Brinson (Madison, FL)

Brinson never showed up on campus and we were unable to come with info on what he is doing right now.

#70 OT Anthony Grosso (Aberdeen, NJ)

Grosso left after just a few days at FSU in 2007 and had some words to say about Coach Trickett's coaching style. Grosso enrolled at Delaware.

#80 OT Will Furlong (Deland, Fl)

Furlong could not get past injuries as there seemed to be one after another. He started five of six game at offensive guard in 2008 before going down with a broken foot. He never seemed to fully recover and gave up the game after Spring last year(2009).

JUCO TE Jonathan Hannah (Louisburg, NC)

Hannah never got academically qualified. He did not enroll in 2007 and despite reports that he was going to be good to go, it never happened. He ended up at Texas Southern.

#49 MLB Aaron Gresham (Mayo, FL)

Gresham redshirted in 2007 then tore his ACL in pre-season drills before the 2008 season. He was medically disqualified and never made an impact on the field.



OVERVIEW: This was not an attempt to discourage you, it is just the reality of the situation. The 2007 class has produced four starters from 20 signees. That is absolutely abysmal and it goes a long way to explaining some of the problems on the field.

This is a group who is entering their redshirt junior or senior seasons and supposed to the backbone of the team. Instead we need to look to younger players to supply that.

Some things can be learned here however. The first problem was that there were far too many academic casualties, we seem to have righted the ship a little on that front, although two players did not get in from last year. Some of those academic casualties were also some of the most talented players, not a good recipe.

It is actually quite amazing that FSU sits in as good of shape as we do entering the season.

Why do we follow recruiting? Because as this class shows it is one of the most important aspects of the program. People were complaining with the #33 class (ranking wise), but in hindsight it is probably not top 50 in the country. It is completely unacceptable for us to recruit this poorly and we do not expect it to happen again.


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