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February 5, 2013

Signing Day 2013 Road Map: What's in play for FSU

Warchant.com Signing Day Central 2013

In most of Jimbo Fisher's time at Florida State, there has been little drama by the time national signing day comes around.

This Wednesday, however, should be filled with intrigue. Headlined by five-star prospect Matthew Thomas and offensive line teammate Denver Kirkland Florida State is in the mix - but is not the clear-cut favorite - for more than a half dozen of the nation's top prospects.

Jimbo Fisher's recruiting classes at FSU
Year Rivals ranking / Class size Fisher
2008 No. 9 / 30 OC*
2009 No. 7 / 21 OC
2010 No. 10 / 24 OC/HC*
2011 No. 2 / 29 HC
2012 No. 6 / 19 HC
2013 TBA / 23-25 HC
* Jimbo Fisher took over as offensive coordinator in January of 2007. He took over as head coach in January of 2010

With two early enrollees and 16 commitments in house, Florida State sits outside at No. 13 in the Rivals.com team rankings entering Wednesday. If the chips fall the right way, the Seminoles could propel themselves among the best come Wednesday evening. If FSU isn't able to wrangle some key commitments, a finish outside the top 15 is plausible.

Warchant.com's 2013 Class Predictions

Unlike last season when FSU's scholarship space was limited, the Seminoles could potentially take anywhere from 22 to 25 players in the 2013 class, so room won't be a factor when it comes to landing any signing day surprises.

Will FSU meet its needs?

When it comes to needs, it all starts with the offensive line, where Florida State is in dire need of help in this class thanks to the departures of a pair of junior college offensive lineman (Daniel Glauser, Menelik Watson).

With the plan to take between 5-6 offensive lineman in 2013, the Seminoles enter Wednesday with only two true interior offensive lineman (Ira Denson and Ryan Hoefeld). a tight end (Jeremy Kerr) that is expected to transition to the offensive front and no true tackles.

FSU's class took a big hit in recent weeks when Austin Golson, a longtime FSU commitment, decommitted and visited Ole Miss.

Florida State's outlook at OL will change for better or worse starting at 9 a.m. when Miami Washington High offensive lineman Denver Kirkland chooses between FSU, Miami and Arkansas. Kirkland, the nation's No. 13-rated tackle, has been in the midst of a host of signing day drama for the past week as Miami reportedly pulled its scholarship offer, causing public outcry from Kirkland's head coach before Miami decided to re-offer him.

FSU is also in play for Wilson Bell, a three-star lineman from Alabama. While it is believed that Golson is leaning towards Ole Miss, he has not eliminated FSU. Golson is rated as the No. 8 tackle in the 2013 class.

FSU is also in need of another defensive end to help fill the holes left by a trio of NFL-bound sack artists (Bjoern Werner, Brandon Jenkins and Tank Carradine). Florida State is technically still in play for four-star Tashawn Bower and has just extended a late offer to sleeper Devarez Bryant, who has played only one year of high school football. FSU already has early enrollee DeMarcus Walker and a commitment from JUCO DE Desmond Hollin

Dealing with coaching turnover

The biggest storyline in FSU's recruiting efforts this offseason haven't involved a particular player, but instead its own coaching staff. Fisher has had to replace six assistant coaches since the season ended, adding much mystery to how the crop of FSU commitments would stay together.

Perhaps FSU's biggest recruiting blow was to be expected when offensive coordinator James Coley, a renowned Miami area recruiter, left FSU in late January to take over the offensive play calling at rival Miami.

So far, FSU has been able to stay afloat despite the turnover and the new faces, only losing two commitments - Golson and defensive end Davin Bellamy. While Bellamy's top two recruiters (Dameyune Craig and D.J. Eliot) both left FSU's staff, it is not for certain that staffing changes had any affect on Golson's decision.

When FSU lost Coley, it was believed that Miami-area targets Thomas and Kirkland would turn away from the Seminoles. But FSU has remained in the race and it is believed to be in good position to possibly land both players on Wednesday.

On the good side for FSU, new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has worked wonders already, reeling in elite defensive end Demarcus Walker as an early enrollee and leading the charge for five-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who is expected to sign with FSU on Wednesday following Tuesday's news of a switch. FSU wasn't heavily involved with either player prior to Pruitt's arrival.

Warchant.com NSD Coverage

  • Warchant will be running a live chat for subscribers throughout Signing Day starting at 7 a.m. ET. We will also provide expansive coverage and analysis of signings as they happen throughout the day.

  • For the first time, Warchant.com will host a premium live National Signing Day Breakdown Show. It will run at Warchant.com from 4-6 p.m. ET. There will also be a live chat where fans can ask questions directly to Warchant's Gene Williams and Warchant Recruiting analyst Michael Langston.

    To catch the best FSU Signing Day coverage there is, sign up for a 7-day free trial at Warchant.com

    Signing Times

    Here are the tentatively scheduled times for FSU targets and commitments to sign tomorrow. NOTE: 1) These times are subject to change and 2) Just because a player is listed doesn't mean that they will sign or not sign with FSU. This is a list of players who say they are considering FSU a finalist (all times eastern).

    Targets
    Augustus Edwards: 7 a.m.
    Austin Golson: 8 a.m.
    Davarez Bryant 9 a.m.
    Matthew Thomas: 9:15 a.m. (ESPNU)
    Denver Kirkland: 9:20 a.m. (ESPNU)
    Tashawn Bower: 9:30 a.m.
    Jordan Cunningham: 10:20 a.m. (ESPNU)
    Wilson Bell 10 a.m.
    Yannick Ngakoue: 10:30 a.m.
    Stacy Coley: 11:05 a.m. (ESPNU)
    Keith Bryant: 1 p.m. (ESPNU)

    Commitments
    Ro'Derrick Hoskins - 8 a.m.
    Jeremy Kerr 8:30 a.m.
    Tyrell Lyons 9 a.m.
    Levonte Whitfield 9 a.m.
    Michael Johnson 9:25 a.m.
    Marquez White 9:30 a.m.
    Nate Andrews 11 a.m.
    John Franklin: 11 a.m.
    EJ Levenberry: 11 a.m.
    Jalen Ramsey 11 a.m.
    Isaiah Jones: Noon
    Jesus Wilson Noon
    Ryan Green: 2 p.m.
    Ira Denson: 2:15 p.m.
    Ryan Hoefeld: 4:20 p.m.



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