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2014 Florida State Signing Day Snapshot

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 2:29pm
By: ACCSports.com Staff

Here's an inside look at Florida State's 2014 recruiting class.


Head Coach:  Jimbo Fisher
Total Number of Signees:  29
National Recruiting Rankings:  
Rivals.com:  No. 4 (2002), No. 21 (2003), No. 3 (2004), No. 2 (2005), No. 3 (2006), No. 21 (2007), No. 9 (2008), No. 7 (2009) under Bobby Bowden; No. 10 (2010), No. 2 (2011), No. 6 (2012), No. 10 (2013) under Jimbo Fisher
Scout.com:  No. 6 (2002), No. 12 (2003), No. 4 (2004), No. 3 (2005), No. 12 (2006), No. 33 (2007), No. 8 (2008), No. 18 (2009) under Bobby Bowden;No. 9 (2010), No. 1 (2011), No. 11 (2012), No. 16 (2013) in Scout.com rankings under Jimbo Fisher.
247Sports.com: No. 1 (2011) No. 3 (2012), No. 12 (2013) under Jimbo Fisher
ACC Rankings (Rivals.com):  No. 1 (2002), No. 4 (2003), No. 1 (2004), No. 1 (2005), No. 1 (2006), No. 5 (2007), No. 2 (2008), No. 1 (2009), No. 1 (2010), No. 1 (2011), No. 1 (2012), No. 1 (2013)
2014 Florida State ACC & National Rankings:
ESPN: No. 1 ACC, No. 3 overall nationally 
Rivals.com: No. 1 ACC, No. 4 overall nationally 
Scout.com: No. 1 ACC, No. 3 overall nationally 
247Sports.com: No. 1 ACC, No. 3 overall nationally 
Signee Breakdown by Star Rating:  
Rivals.com: Five Stars (3), Four Stars (13), Three Stars (11), Two Stars (2)
Scout.com: Five Stars (3), Four Stars (12), Three Stars (13), Two Stars (1)
247Sports.com: Five Stars (2), Four Stars (16), Three Stars (10), Two Stars (1)
States Represented (11):  Florida (14), Maryland (2), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (2), Virginia (2)  Georgia (1), Mississippi (1), New York (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (1), Missouri (1)
NOTE: Kareem Are, a 6-6, 335-pound offensive lineman who attended high school in New York, signed with Florida State out of Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. He enrolled at FSU for the spring semester. A second JUCO offensive lineman - New Jersey native Chad Mavety, a 6-6, 320-pound offensive tackle - signed with the Seminoles out of Garden City (N.Y.) Nassau Community College. 
January (Spring Semester) Enrollees: Kareem Are, Dalvin Cook, Kain Daub, Stephen Gabbard, Trey Marshall 
Unconfirmed Academics: Malique Jackson, Lorenzo Featherston, Chad Mavety, Arthur Williams
Breakdown by Position: Defensive Linemen (8), Offensive Linemen (9), Linebackers (3), Defensive Backs (2), Quarterbacks (1), Running Backs (2), Tight Ends (2), Wide Receivers (2)

Top Recruiter  

This honor could have just about gone to any one of four Florida State assistants this recruiting cycle. Tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster, offensive line coach Rick Trickett, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and defensive line coach Odell Haggins all recruited at least five prospects, each who committed to the Seminoles. We’ll give the ever-so-slight nod to Tim Brewster as top recruiter, as he helped lure Miami running back Dalvin Cook---a consensus five-star recruit by all three major recruiting networks---to Tallahassee. Brewster also helped secure four-star quarterback Treon Harris, defensive tackle Frederick Jones (son of former FSU linebacker Fred Jones and nephew of former Seminole linebacker Marvin ‘Shade Tree’ Jones), and wide receiver JoJo Robinson, all out of Miami, as well as Houston tight end Mavin Saunders and Sparta (N.J.) tight end Ryan Izzo for the Seminoles. Trickett re-stocked FSU’s depth with five projected offensive linemen, as well as Pensacola (Fla.) linebacker Delvin Purifoy and Lake Mary (Fla.) defensive tackle Adam Torres. Haggins helped replenish the Seminoles along the defensive front with four commitments from defensive tackles, Bradenton (Fla.)‘s Demarcus Christmas, Miami’s Frederick Jones, Arthur Williams of Fayetteville (N.C.), and Dexter Wideman of Saluda (N.C.), a defensive end- Rick Leonard of Middletown (Md.), as well as an offensive lineman, Alec Eberle of Mechanicsville (Va.). Pruitt aided in FSU’s defensive reload by recruiting in Rivals 250 standouts Kain Daub and Jacob Pugh, as well as four-star defensive back, Trey Marshall

10 Key Misses

Gallatin (Tenn.) wide receiver Josh Malone (Tennessee), Meredian (Miss.) defensive back C.J. Hampton (Ole Miss), Lakeland (Fla.) wide receiver Javon Harrison (Virginia Tech), Purvis (Miss.) wide receiver Markell Pack (Ole Miss), St. Petersburg (Fla.) offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn (Georgia), Tallahassee (Fla.) defensive back Kendall Randolph (Kentucky), Plantation (Fla.) running back Sony Michel (Georgia), Gainesville (Ga.) quarterback Deshaun Watson (Clemson), Chesapeake (Va.) defensive tackle Andrew Brown (Virginia), Greenville (N.C.) defensive end Kentavius Street (N.C. State) 

Florida State Recruiting Storylines

  • The national champions made a statement in Florida this year, going all over the Sunshine State to bring home easily the best crop of talent from its prospect-rich home land out of any school in America. The ‘Noles had eight commitments from prospects ranked in the top 25 in the state of Florida in the Rivals.com rankings the day before National Signing Day, including the state’s top prospect (West Palm Beach wide receiver Travis Rudolph), the No. 3 prospect (Miami running back Dalvin Cook), and No. 10 (Miami quarterback Treon Harris). FSU added seven commits from Florida natives in the Scout.com Florida top 25 the day before Signing Day, including the No. 3 (Cook) and No. 8 (Kain Daub) prospects. It’s the third time in four signing classes under Jimbo Fisher that Florida State is signing at least 14 prospects from the state of Florida. 
  • The signing of Miami running back Dalvin Cook and West Palm Beach wide receiver Travis Rudolph continues a long-standing trend of the Seminoles landing Rivals.com five-star recruits. The Seminoles have landed at least one five-star prospect in the Rivals.com rankings in 12 of its last 13 signing classes, going back to 2002. The only class over that period of time in which Florida State did not sign at least one five-star prospect was 2007. In all, FSU has signed nearly 30 five-star prospects on National Signing Day since the introduction of the Rivals.com rankings in 2002. 
  • One FSU pledge in this class, Lake City (Fla.) defensive back/specialist Trey Marshall, suffered a freak injury his senior season that not only briefly jeopardized his football career, but also his life. In an early September game Marshall was knocked motionless on the field after what the Gainesville Sun called ‘a vicious helmet hit to the gut.’ The future Seminole lay without moving on the field before being placed on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with a ruptured stomach and taken into emergency surgery. Marshall missed several weeks of his senior season, but made a full recovery and doesn’t anticipate having any long-term side-effects of the injury heading into his career at Florida State. 
  • With the Seminoles losing multiple offensive and defensive lineman to graduation and the professional ranks this year and following the 2014 season, the FSU staff made recruiting in the trenches its single-biggest recruiting priority in this recruiting cycle. As a result, the Seminoles put together maybe the top combined recruiting class of offensive and defensive linemen in the country. FSU enters spring practice with less than 10 scholarship offensive tackles, guards, and centers---six of whom are seniors---but they’re reloading with an impressive haul of seven incoming offensive linemen in this class. Along the defensive line, FSU is preparing for a new season with the departure of three seniors and NFL-bound Timmy Jernigan, and to soften that blow, the FSU coaches are bringing in at least seven signees projected as either defensive tackles or defensive ends. 

A Closer Look At

Dalvin Cook, RB (5-11, 190), Miami (Fla.) Miami Central
Rivals.com Ranking:  (No. 18 overall nationally, No. 2 all-purpose back, No. 3 in Florida)
Scout.com Ranking:  (No. 16 overall nationally, No. 4 running back, No. 5 in Florida) 
247Sports.com Ranking:  (No. 12 overall nationally, No. 2 running back, No. 1 in Florida)
Lead Recruiter(s):  Tim Brewster
FSU plucked Cook out of the backyard of its arch-rival Miami, and it’s pretty clear they’re getting a good one. Cook led all of Miami-Dade county in rushing in 2013, producing 1,940 yards on the ground along with 34 touchdowns on 177 carries---averaging better than 11 yards a carry---while added three interceptions for a Miami Central High team that went 13-1 this fall and went on a 12-game winning streak on its way to the Florida Class 6A state title. For his efforts, Cook was named ‘Mr. Football’ in the state of Florida, and was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Bowl. “Cook is a back who can make a big play at any time from anywhere on the football field. He has great speed and he gets to his top end speed in a hurry. He can start and stop with the best of them as well. He is best when used on the perimeter, but he runs with a tough mentality. He is stronger than many expect because his speed is what most see. He also can catch the ball and that is a real strength. He can run with balance,” said Scout.com’s Chad Simmons of Cook. 
Kain Daub, LB (6-3, 240) Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood
Rivals.com Ranking: (No. 142 overall nationally, No. 9 inside linebacker, No. 22 in Florida)
Scout.com Ranking:  (No. 38 overall nationally, No. 4 linebacker, No. 6 in Florida)
247Sports.com Ranking:  (No. 144 overall nationally, No. 6 inside linebacker, No. 21 in Florida)
Lead Recruiter(s):  Jeremy Pruitt, Odell Haggins
Daub should provide Florida State with a prototypical middle linebacker in the coming years who’s excellent in run support and has the speed and athleticism to keep up with opposing pass-catchers downfield in coverage. Daub had over a hundred tackles at Ponte Vedra (Fla.) Nease earlier in his prep career before transferring to Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville midway through his junior year,. There he flourished and became an elite national prospect. Daub participated in ‘The Opening’ recruiting event at Nike headquarters in the summer of 2013, and then was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Game. “Daub is a big, physical, and imposing linebacker. He is constantly on the attack and he is always looking to tackle through his opponent. He can play sideline to sideline with good speed and fluidity. He has great agility and runs to the ball very well. He can work on his angles and his play in pass coverage. He is best when on the attack against the run. He can hit with force and identify the ball quickly,” said Scout.com’s Chad Simmons of Daub. 
Jacob Pugh, LB (6-4, 210) Miami (Fla.) Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby
Rivals.com Ranking:  (No. 105 overall nationally, No. 7 outside linebacker, No. 15 in Florida)
Scout.com Ranking: (No. 92 overall nationally, No. 6 outside linebacker, No. 11 in Florida)
247Sports.com Ranking: (No. 39 overall nationally, No. 5 outside linebacker, No. 7 in Florida)
Lead Recruiter(s):  Jeremy Pruitt
A local product from nearby Godby High School in Tallahassee, Pugh was an early pledge for the Seminoles, committing in late May just prior to the end of his junior school year. A January enrollee at Florida State, Pugh will have a chance this coming spring and summer to potentially work his way into early playing time in 2014 for the Seminoles. A consensus four-star prospect by all the major networks, Pugh recorded a combined 162 tackles (83 solo), 27 tackles for loss, and 15.5 sacks over his junior and senior seasons at Godby. As a junior in 2012 he recorded 98 tackles (39 solo) and 15 tackles for loss with nine sacks, while as a senior, with teams running away from him as much as possible, his numbers fell to 64 total tackles---though he improved with 44 solo tackles---as well as 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Like several of his future FSU teammates, Pugh was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Bowl after his senior season. “(Pugh) is a player we like a lot. On tape, he flashes superior pass-rushing ability as a rush end. He also has great lateral quickness to make plays sideline-to-sideline as an outside 'backer. The four-star talent plays tight end as well and if he wanted to be a top-tier pass-catcher, we feel he would excel on the offensive side of the ball, too,” said Rivals.com national analyst Kynon Codrington of Pugh.

Why They Chose Florida State:

I really feel at home when I'm at FSU and that's just the place I want to be. I knew it was the place for me. Coach (Rick) Trickett said I did good at run blocking and that I have flexible hips. He (Trickett) wasn't the biggest factor, but it played a big role (in the decision to sign with FSU). He's a great coach, with a great track record in putting players in the NFL.
---Summit (Miss.) offensive tackle Ethan Frith to Warchant.com 
I really liked coach (Sal) Sunseri. I felt like I got along with him and I like his track record, and I like the atmosphere down at Florida State. I really like Jimbo (Fisher) and what they have going on down there is great. They run a base 4-3 (defense), so I think it’s perfect for me. They have some guys leaving and there is a chance to play early, so I like it a lot. They (the FSU coaches) told me, ‘If you get here and we think you’re ready to play, we’re going to play you.’ They said they usually rotate four, five or six defensive ends, so there are not set starters.
---Middletown (Md.) defensive end Rick Leonard to Scout.com 
I like coach (Rick) Trickett. He’s a great coach. He's strict on the players; that's something we need as big offensive linemen. It (Florida State) has always been kind of in the back of my head really. I was comfortable with the school. My family was comfortable with me going there.
---Tampa (Fla.) offensive lineman Corey Martinez to Warchant.com 
The main reason why I picked Florida State is because it's the best opportunity for me and preparing myself for the future. When I took my official visit [to Florida State), from the moment I landed in Tallahassee, it just felt like home. I could see myself (at Florida State) for the next four or five years.
---West Palm Beach (Fla.) wide receiver Travis Rudolph to NoleDigest.com and FoxSportsRecruiting.com