Florida State is quickly finding out that privilege has its perks.
There are many perks Florida State will become associated with as the BCS title game draws closer to fruition. The biggest, however, is likely to be the stature FSU gains in the national recruiting race.
The Seminoles have always had the luxury of being able to recruit against the biggest of dogs on the national scene. Now, however, FSU and Alabama are those dogs. And, they’ll sit on the porch if they wish, inviting whoever they want to join them.
FSU has the No. 7 recruiting class in the country for 2014 according to 247sports.com. That number, like the Seminoles current list of commitments, is going to change drastically over the next 70 days, which is exactly how many days are left until National Signing Day.
The ‘Noles came close to topping out early with 24 players on the 2014 commitment list, but as is always the case with commitments, all is not as it seems. The Seminoles coaches are hot on the recruiting trail and FSU’s success this season has turned heads among some of the nation’s top prospects.
Unfortunately for several of those currently committed to FSU, it might mean looking elsewhere, but some situations may end up working in the ‘Noles favor.
Markell Pack is one of those situations.
The gifted 6-foot-2, 180-pound, Purvis, Miss., wide receiver decommitted from the FSU 2014 class Friday and turned his pledge to state favorite Ole Miss. Sure, the Seminoles could have used him, but he’s also not a huge loss in the grand scheme of things.
With Pack gone the ‘Noles are left with just two receivers in the class, and both of those players are slot receivers in Orlando Lake Nona’s Ryan Sousa (6-1, 180) and Homestead South Dade’s C.J. Worton (5-11, 180), and FSU might be OK with letting one go, if not both, just because there are more fish in the recruiting sea. Big fish.
Sousa is a pretty big fish already on the list. He had an amazing senior season with 100 receptions for 1,664 yards and 23 touchdowns. His head has been turned recently, however, as several schools have approached. Florida is coming on strong.
Worton, whose brother, J.J., is UCF’s leading receiver, and his South Dade team is still alive in the Class 8A state playoffs and will face Coral Gables this week in a regional final. He has 32 catches for 852 yards and 11 touchdowns. Worton has gotten a strong push from the Knights and Ole Miss is also in the picture.
The ‘Noles are already chasing some big-time names in the ranks of the nation’s top receivers. Josh Malone (6-3, 190) of Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp is a top target. He is ranked No. 9 in the nation by the 247sports composite rankings and is thought to have FSU as a favorite. One other national lister is No. 2-ranked Malachi Dupre (6-3, 190) of New Orleans John Curtis. Dupre looks to be a heavy LSU leaner and FSU is not thought to be high on his list. The BCS stature, however, can have a way of luring prospects.
The ‘Noles are also looking to hit close to home with Palm Beach Cardinal Newman WR Travis Rudolph (6-1, 185) and Homestead WR Ermon Lane, who is currently committed to Florida.
Speaking of Florida, getting current Gators’ commitments to turn tail may not be too difficult and another ‘Noles target on the current UF list the nation’s No. 3 running back Dalvin Cook (5-11, 190) of Miami Central. Cook has a great relationship with FSU recruiter and tight ends coach Tim Brewster and FSU also has the benefit of having RB Devonta Freeman, a former Central teammate of Cook’s, helping sway the talented runner.
FSU would also like to see the signatures of some Jalen Ramsey-type defensive backs show up on signing day and some names that appear to be strong possibilities are Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra CB Adoree’ Jackson (5-10, 182), and Birmingham (Ala.) Hoover CB Marlon Humphrey (6-1, 175). Jackson is rated as the No. 2 corner in the country, while Humphrey is ranked No. 1.
Care to guess who are the top two teams battling for Humphrey? That is correct. FSU and ‘Bama. Funny how this thing works.
FSU’s success will also mean the ‘Noles lose some early NFL entries, which frees up more scholarships, so things are definitely fluid in the FSU recruiting world. Other key positions are safety and offensive line, but the stock is plentiful.
FSU can afford to be picky and they’ve got their eyes on who they want. When you are fishing with a shiny BCS lure, the big fish tend to take notice.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting, Instagram at os_recruiting and on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun