FSU freshman QB J.J. Cosentino is impressing Jimbo Fisher early in fall camp. (CHRIS HAYS/ORLANDO SENTINEL / April 20, 2013)
It is difficult to poke holes in FSU’s 2014 recruiting class.
The Seminoles brought in at least one player at every position and filled needs with players of value. It was a consensus top 5 class by every major recruiting publication and will give Jimbo Fisher the talent base to continue building his program.
The one potential area of concern is at quarterback. FSU brought in a promising prospect: J.J. Cosentino of Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
The issue, however, is that Cosentino was the only QB FSU added.
Miami Booker T. Washington QB Treon Harris, who was committed to FSU since July, flipped to in-state rival Florida on National Signing Day.
“You hear rumors all the time. That’s just part of recruiting,” Fisher said. “That goes with the territory.”
Losing Harris by no means was a huge blow. He’s an athletic yet undersized signal caller with a winning pedigree, but most analysts viewed Cosentino as the better prospect.
What does hurt is that FSU’s QB depth is now a little shaky entering the 2014 season.
FSU is set at starter, obviously. Jameis Winston will look to become the second player in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy twice. The Seminoles have four scholarship QBs on its roster – which is what teams normally aim for – but experience is lacking.
It gets dicey after Winston.
Jacob Coker, who was lost midway through the year with a knee injury, has transferred to Alabama and is the frontrunner to land the starting job there. Not to get sidetracked, but think about this: Jimbo Fisher had a major hand in developing the starters at two top-5 teams to start next season.
FSU fans became familiar with Sean Maguire, who moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart after Coker’s injury. He played well in spot duty (13-of-21 for 116 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs) but it’s tough to tell if he’d be capable of carrying the load if Winston were to go down for a long stretch of time.
After Maguire, the Seminoles have two options: John Franklin III and Cosentino.
Franklin is a dynamic athlete and throws a very nice ball. But because of his track speed, there have been constant rumors of him switching to DB or WR. Even teammates tease him about the move, but he seems intent with sticking at QB for the time being. Cosentino has strong mechanics, a nice arm and looks to have the mental fortitude to be a guy teammates can rally around. However, he played in a run-dominated offense in high school, so he’ll need time to adjust to a much more complex offense.
Fisher feels that the depth at QB is fine where it’s at and that FSU did not need a second QB in its class.
“We had to have one. We thought two if they were of great quality, then yes,” Fisher said. “But we’re very comfortable with where we’re at.”
A freshman QB would likely not help with depth this season anyways, as a redshirt is likely.
Because FSU did not take two QBs in this class, there is a reasonable expectation that FSU will add two in the Class of 2015.
FSU extended an offer to Orlando Olympia QB Deondre Francois on Wednesday, who told the Sentinel that FSU’s staff informed him that the Seminoles were trying to bring in two QBs. FSU has one commit so far in Jacksonville First Coast QB De'Andre Johnson. Francois said that FSU is making him a high priority and he also mentioned another QB from California that the Noles were targeting: Presumably USC commit Ricky Town, who is ranked 5 stars by 247 Sports.
If FSU can bring a player of Town’s caliber, that’d give the team a building block and potential heir to Winston, who will be with FSU or at least one more year, maybe two.