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February 06, 2013

Seminoles Land 22 Recruits in Class of 2013


Florida State has finalized its 2013 recruiting class and has now received letters of intent from all 22 of their commitments. 

“I'm very proud today,” said Fisher. “Thought we really met some needs and got some big time commitments today. I think our new staff did a great job.”

Fisher may be playing it modest there. Heading into his fourth year at the helm of the program, he may have just turned in his strongest performance despite bringing in one of the lower ranked classes of his tenure.

It will still be a top 10 recruiting class, but the Seminoles had been in the top five the last few years and some fans may point to the drop in ranking as a sign that Fisher is slipping a little. Not the case. Acting as Florida State's de facto recruiting coordinator over the past month and a half Fisher not only managed to absorb six coaching losses and cobble together a new staff, he also held his class together with very few defections and managed to land a couple of high profile prospects in the final days.

While he didn't do it alone, he had a hand in almost everything and Florida State has managed to weather what could have been a very tumultuous off-season as a result of it. 

Of the 22 players signing letters of intent, only 21 will ever see the field. Fisher and FSU are honoring Richy Klepal's scholarship despite the fact he will not qualify medically. Concussion issues forced Klepal, who enrolled early, to end his career before ever taking the field for the Seminoles but he will still get the opportunity to attend Florida State on scholarship after Fisher worked out a deal on Klepal's behalf.

"He was loyal to us, we're going to be loyal to him," said Fisher on Wednesday afternoon.

Two other players, four-star DE Demarcus Walker and four-star OLB Freddie Stevenson also enrolled early and will have a chance to participate in Spring practice.

The rest of Fisher's class features a good balance of speed and power. Walker and four-star DT Keith Bryant are both highly-touted defensive linemen that should add to FSU's already solid depth in the trenches.

John Franklin III, Levonte Whitfield and Ryan Green are all speed demons. Franklin was a little-recruited QB prospect out of south Florida that Fisher raved about for his potential in a read-option offense, while both Whitfield and Green are four-star athletes that bore considerable attention during the recruiting process.

There was a little bit of attrition though and not everything unfolded perfectly for Florida State in the final days. Austin Golson, a four-star offensive line prospect de-committed to FSU and signed with Ole Miss. Last week four-star DE Davin Bellamy also de-committed, he later signed with Georgia. 

FSU also missed on South Florida target Denver Kirkland, a high school teammate of Thomas who was alienated by UM last week but opted to go with Arkansas over the Seminoles.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Stacy Coley- who many thought would sign with FSU- picked the hometown Hurricanes over the Seminoles. Jimbo Fisher admitted that even caught him by surprise but that he started to suspect something was up when he saw Coley crying before the announcement on TV.

But all in all, Fisher's South Florida haul was solid this year. In addition to pulling Bryant and Thomas out of Miami on National Signing Day, FSU also grabbed four-star WR Jesus Wilson from Christopher Columbus. 

Here's a look at Florida State's 22 recruits from the 2013 class:

Matthew Thomas, OLB, Booker T. Washington, 6-3, 205
Jalen Ramsey, CB, Brentwood Academy, 6-1, 195
Ryan Green, ATH, St. Petersburg Catholic, 5-10, 197
DeMarcus Walker, DT, Sandalwood HS, 6-3, 265
Levonte Whitfield, ATH, Jones HS, 5-9, 176
Ira Denson, OG, Madison County HS, 6-4, 317
Keith Bryant, DT, Atlantic Community HS, 6-2, 305
Marquez White, CB, Northview HS, 6-1, 175
Isaiah Jones, WR, Milton HS, 6-4, 200
Ro’Derrick Hoskins, OLB, Maynard Evans HS, 6-3, 215
Freddie Stevenson, OLB, Bartow Senior, 6-1, 230
E.J. Levenberry Jr., ILB, C.D. Hylton HS, 6-3, 230
Tyrell Lyons, OLB, First Coast HS, 6-2, 220
Jesus Wilson, WR, Christopher Columbus, 5-11, 175
Nate Andrews, WR, Fairhope HS, 6-0, 195
Ryan Hoefeld, C, Brother Martin HS, 6-3, 287
Desmond Hollin, DE, ASA College (JuCo), 6-4, 275
John Franklin III, QB, South Plantation HS, 6-1, 171
Jeremy Kerr, TE, St. Petersburg HS, 6-5, 254
Davarez Bryant, DE, New Smyrna Beach Senior, 6-4, 240
Wilson Bell, OL, Blount HS, 6-4, 305
Richy Klepal, OL, Plant HS, 6-4, 285


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter.

Four-Star DT Keith Bryant Picks FSU Over Miami


In the on-going battle for South Florida, the Seminoles pulled out another win to even things up with the Hurricanes on the day. FSU lost out on FB Augustus Edwards early in the morning and later, in what was frankly a surprising turn of events, also lost out on Northeastern HS WR Stacy Coley. Both signed with the University of Miami.

But head-to-head on players the school are now 2-2, with FSU claiming five-star LB Matthew Thomas out of Booker T. Washington this morning and now, just moments ago, also signing four-star defensive tackle Keith Bryant from Atlantic Community HS in Delray Beach.

Bryant chose FSU over UM and several other schools. 

Florida State is losing a lot from their 2012 defensive line, Ends Bjoern Werner, Brandon Jenkins and Tank Carradine are all gone as well as defensive tackles Everrett Dawkins and Anthony McCloud. But FSU is also loaded with depth at the position. Jimbo Fisher says time and time again that he believes in an SEC-style approach to building a defense and that starts with elite athletes up front.

Last year the Seminoles pulled four major defensive linemen in Mario Edwards Jr., Chris Casher, Justin Shanks and Eddie Goldman. While all four are trending upwards, you can never have enough good players in the trenches and the Seminoles have added two more in this class.

Bryant is a 6-2 292-pound defensive tackle who should fit nicely into Jeremy Pruitt's defense. He joins four-star strongside defensive end Demarcus Walker, who flipped from Alabama to FSU hours after the BCS title game and then enrolled early, in Jimbo Fisher's 2013 class.

Bryant will cut his teeth in the summer with most of the rest of the recruits, but could still potentially push to see the field in 2013. Either way he represents quality depth at an all-important position and his commitment is also a good way to ensure the Miami Hurricane D-Line- a major point of weakness which desperately needed depth in its own right- doesn't get a very good player to fill that need.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter.

Florida State Picks Up Major Commitment From Matthew Thomas


Matthew Thomas, the talented five-star linebacker from Booker T. Washington HS in Miami has decided to sign his letter of intent with the Florida State Seminoles.

This is a major pull for Florida State on a number of levels. For starters, it's a coup in the recruiting battle with the University of Miami. The Hurricanes went hard after Thomas, a South Florida kid, and in the days following James Coley's departure from FSU and arrival at UM, looked as if they might be inching ahead as the favorite.

Thomas opted to stay in-state but head to the panhandle, spurning his hometown team and giving Jimbo Fisher and his staff another five-star recruit (two in two days counting Jalen Ramsey).

The 6-3 205-pound linebacker should also challenge for playing time immediately. Florida State's linebacking corps was already thin thanks to graduation and the departure of starters Vince Williams and Nick Moody. Outside of Christian Jones and Telvin Smith, there's not much experience on the Florida State roster. There are a trio of second year players who should challenge for playing time in Spring, and Karlos Williams could always move to linebacker after he showed his ability at the position in last year's ACC Championship game. But this addition should also be a huge boost to the Seminoles' depth.

Yesterday night LB EJ Levenberry confirmed his commitment and LB Freddie Stevenson is already enrolled at FSU, but Thomas is the gem of the class and could really turn into a special player at FSU.

Thomas runs in the 4.5-40 range, he is powerful and explosive and should fit extremely well into Jeremy Pruitt's defense. 

Florida State did miss later on Thomas' high school teammate Denver Kirkland who opted to sign with Arkansas over FSU and Miami.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter.

Seminoles Lose Out on Austin Golson


Florida State got a little bit of bad news to start National Signing Day, after a good Tuesday in which they flipped five-star corner Jalen Ramsey from USC and confirmed the commitment of EJ Levenberry, former FSU-commit Austin Golson announced on Wednesday morning that he would be heading to Ole Miss to play football instead of enrolling in Tallahasee to play for the Seminoles come next season.

Golson was committed to Florida State for much of the year but decided to re-open his recruitment a little over a week ago. Once that happened Ole Miss was in. 

The 6-6 285-pound offensive lineman would have been a big pull for the Seminoles, but the writing has been on the wall for about a week that Golson was unlikely to remain a 'Nole come signing day.

So far, as of this writing Florida State has 8 letters of intent in, they are hoping for 22-24 on the day. 


For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter.



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