Jimbo Fisher is eying another top 3 class in 2014.
Jimbo Fisher and his re-assembled staff have come out of the gates firing. Just 33 days have passed since 2013 Signing Day and the FSU staff has dished out 163 offers according to the records on Noles247.com.
The new coaching staff has been devouring recruiting film this offseason and offering any prospect they deem worthy, regardless of school, region of the country or state. If the FSU staff thinks a recruit could infuse talent to the roster - they get an offer.
What do the early offers mean?
Over the years the value of a school's scholarship offer has diminished. As has the value of a prospects commitment. The two go hand-in-hand. More offers go out, more commitments take place. Offers go out earlier, commitments occur earlier as well. It's a cycle that has resulted in some prospects making multiple commitments and decommitments before their senior year begins.
This explains FSU's rampage of early offers. There is little to no risk involved in offering prospects because there is little to no accountability to offering a prospect. In 2014 an offer essentially means, 'we like you'. A certain percentage of those offers would be considered 'committable', but there is truly no way to discern the two unless a prospect tried to commit. Coaches around the country make every recruit feel as if he's the one that school wants.
When FSU offers a recruit in California or Texas or Minnesota there isn't a whole lot of accountability if FSU chooses to never speak to that recruit again. A coach in northwest Texas isn't going to worry about FSU staying true to their offer. Local papers will not write angry articles if a commitment is not accepted by FSU from a prospect in their coverage area.
There are exceptions.
In-state DE Chad Thomas holds an offer from FSU.
Offers that matter
The unwritten rules that apply out-of-state are non existent within the borders of Florida. The 'Noles staff is held accountable in the Sunshine State. Even though programs from out of state come in and offer prospects from Florida in droves, they're playing by the same rules the FSU staff plays by when they recruit outside of Florida.
The high school coaches in Florida hold all of the in state colleges to a different standard. Which explains why only 32% of FSU's 163 offers are to Florida prospects. It's not because Jimbo Fisher has abandoned in-state recruiting (as some believe), it's because if they're going to offer an in state prospect, they need be sure that prospect is going to add to the program if they choose to commit. We've seen how situations can get sticky when an 'offered' prospect tries to commit to a program in state and his commitment is not accepted.
High school coaches, the local papers and recruits hold the in-state schools to different standards. It's not uncommon to see a Florida recruit holding offers from schools like USC and Ohio State, but not have an offer from Florida and Florida State. Just as FSU doesn't have to worry about the consequences of offering a running back from Mississippi, neither do the major programs from around the country that recruit Florida.
Recruitniks that follow FSU recruiting year round will be interested in every offer FSU extends. But if you are one of the fans that just wants to focus on the names that will be around come October, November, December and January, then look at the Florida offers. Those are the ones that hold the most weight at this early stage.
Different approach in 2014
Florida State will take a full class this year. Maybe 25, maybe 27. The exact number is unknown, but it is known that FSU will not be honoring all 163 offers that are currently floating around.
It's clear that Jimbo Fisher has decided to take a different approach in 2014. In past years, offers did not come flying out of the Moore Center as quickly as they are this year.
New recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster has dished out his fair share of offers.
Offensive line needs are one reason for this. Instead of waiting, evaluating, waiting some more and then offering - FSU is doing much more offering than waiting in 2014. One of the issues in 2013 at offensive line was the lack of depth on the offer board. This year the staff is contacting and offering any quality linemen they can get film on. Whatever process took place at O-line recruiting last year, the exact opposite is taking place this year.
Another big contributing factor in the uptick in offers is that the new staff hails from all parts of the country. Jimbos first staff of James Coley (came from FIU), Eddie Gran (came from Tennessee), Lawrence Dawsey (came from USF), Rick Trickett (came from West Virginia), Dameyune Craig (came from South Alabama) and Greg Hudson (came from ECU) had much more of a 'southeast flair' to it.
Regardless of how many offers go out to players on the west coast and in the northeast, FSU's 2014 class will still look very similar to past classes, when you look back on what region of the country FSU pulls from. The 'Noles 2014 class will be primarily made up of recruits from Florida, Georgia and the rest of the southeast. Just as in past years FSU will land a few outliers from areas like New Jersey, the DMV and Texas, maybe even a recruit or two from California. Sounds a lot like FSU's 2012 class.
Florida State will be offering more and more prospects over the next few weeks and even more in May when the Spring Evaluation Period begins. There is a way to follow this without going crazy and it goes something like this...
Initial offer goes out =>
* primary recruiter will gauge interest in initial conversation, some recruits will never hear from FSU again or choose not to contact them further.
FSU stays in contact with a large group of prospects heading into the spring =>
* Some recruits will fall off the map, but some will remain in contact with the staff.
The out of state recruits that keep in contact will get visits in the spring from FSU coaches =>
* From here the staff will meet them in person, make sure their ht/wt's check out and continue to gather info during the Eval Period. The list of prospects will continue to be paired down, but at the same time more targets will be added now that the staff is on the road.
Summer time visits =>
* This is when the FSU staff will truly find their out-of-state targets. If a prospect is serious about being recruited by FSU they'll visit during the summer. Whether it's for a camp or just an unofficial visit, this is the true 'weeding out process'. A prospect that doesn't make it to camp in the summer will very likely see his recruitment to FSU come to an end.
Official visits =>
* In the end a select group of out-of-state recruits will make it on campus for official visits. And even then there is a way to tell if that recruit is serious about FSU. Does his family tag along for the trip? An out-of-state recruit with no family on the official visit is a sign the visit is just for kicks.
Florida State is making an early push out-of-state, but in the end we don't expect the geographical makeup of this year's class to differ too much from past classes.