While FSU tries to prove it's back where it belongs among the big boys in college football, the Seminoles have already surpassed that effort on the recruiting landscape.
Saturday night, prior to then-No. 5-ranked FSU's 23-13 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma, more than 40 recruits and their parents/coaches gathered in the northwest corner of Doak Campbell Stadium to watch the pre-game warm-ups.
Sure, the bright lights and atmosphere of Oklahoma coming to town drew recruits to Tallahassee, but the players came with an FSU visit in mind.
Though FSU lost, Winter Garden West Orange DE Corey Vereen said it didn't matter.
"No, not really. [Oklahoma] is the No. 1 team in nation and we were expecting a tough battle," Vereen said via phone interview on Sunday. "They stayed in the game and played them close."
Orlando Jones High defensive end Devin Washington echoed Vereen's sentiments. "Some people might say it does, but not to me," Washington said of the home team losing. "That was the No. 1 team in the nation. FSU played hard, stayed with them. It doesn't change my opinion about them. It's not really a big deal to me."
When it comes to luring top prospects, the only group better than Jimbo Fisher and his crew has been Nick Saban's bunch at Alabama. The Tide and Seminoles are 1-2 right now for the 2012 class, the same way they finished the recruiting race last year.
I can see it now. Revive the old Bo Jackson commercials, only it would be 'Jimbo Knows Recruiting,' and 'Jimbo Knows ...,' yada yada.
With OU in town, it was certainly a big red carpet day in Tally.
One of the top uncommitted players in attendance was the nation's top-rated tight end by Rivals.com in Kent Taylor (6-5, 220), a senior at Land O' Lakes, who was still sporting a cast on his broken left hand he suffered in a kickoff classic game. He was down to four: Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Penn State, but could be reconsidering FSU.
Two other uncommitted players are Tampa Berkeley ATH Nelson Agholor (6-2, 180) and Washington D.C. Friendship Collegiate Academy DT Eddie Goldman (6-4, 307). Agholor is thought to be down to FSU and UF, while Goldman is getting a hard push from FSU, as well as Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Maryland and Miami.
The nation's top-rated defensive tackle, FSU commit Dante Fowler (6-3, 232) of St. Petersburg Lakewood, was also at Doak and still remains solid with FSU, he has said. He was joined by No. 3 DT Chris Casher (6-4, 225) of Mobile, Ala., another Seminole commitment.
The Orlando area has three FSU commitments and all three were on site in Boone WR Marvin Bracy (5-10, 162), Olympia DT J.T. Hamilton (6-4, 325) and Groveland South Lake K Roberto Aguayo (6-0, 183), all seniors and all solid.
Also among the attending was 2012 senior QB Vegas Harley (6-0, 180) of Mount Dora, as well as senior LB-FB Ryan Bishop (6-0, 220) of Orlando Olympia. Class of 2013 athletes in attendance were WR Ahmad Fulwood (6-4, 197) of Jacksonville Bishop Kenny, S Marcell Harris (6-2, 193) of South Lake, Orlando Jones WR Levonte 'Kermit' Whitfield (5-9, 165, UM commit), Orlando Lake Highland Prep DE Landon Stokes (6-4, 201) and OL-DL Shawn Curtis (6-4, 272) of Olympia.
Confirmed Tallahassee locals present were Lincoln High players senior DB Marcus Wilson (6-1, 188) and juniors WR Taj Williams (6-3, 185) and LB James Hearns (6-3, 235).
Young 2014 WR Nick Ruffin (6-1, 185) of Atlanta's St. Pius X was also checking out the 'Noles.
And those are just a few.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun