NoleNation addresses questions from the fan base about Florida State recruiting as we head toward national signing day.
ktruba asks, "What committed recruits out there are the most critical to FSU at snagging for the 2013 class?"
Dowlar: For me, the top remaining guy is Matthew Thomas. He is an instant impact guy at the linebacker position and Florida State has been all over him for a long time now. The Seminoles are probably the leader in the clubhouse, and from that position, they can't afford to lose him.
Other guys that are at the top of that list would include Alex Collins, Stacy Coley, Denver Kirkland, Keith Bryant, Leon McQuay III and Roderick Johnson. The Seminoles are definitely in the picture for every one of those prospects, but they would do very well to sign all of them. Could definitely see a scenario where they go over 50% or right at it, however.
FederalSnowman asks, "Why has this been such a down recruiting year for FSU? Seems like we're losing out on a lot of guys we would have gotten in years past."
Dowlar: Relative to the last couple of years at this point, it is a down year. But consider where Florida State is on a national level, and it is still a good top-15 haul.
The thing that separates this class from years prior is how the Seminoles could finish. Instead of hoping to hold on to some of the top committed guys, they have a chance to finish with some major uncommitted talents. If they do well and finish strong, you're looking at a very good recruiting class well inside the top 10. It seems like a lot of Florida State fans are getting a little restless, but hold out another two months or so, and you could be much happier.
IAmTheSeminolesBagMan asks, "If we could get just get Mackensie Alexander and Matthew Thomas I'd be happy. What's it looking like on those 2? Leon McQuay would be a great addition but he looks sold on USC."
Dowlar: Alexander is one of the wonders of the Class of 2013. He doesn't talk much and it is hard to get a realistic look at what he is planning to do. I think FSU was definitely in it, but the departure of Mark Stoops will hurt here. If I had to guess, I don't think he makes it to Tallahassee.
Like I said above, FSU is in a good spot with Thomas. I do think he signs with Florida State on national signing day so long as recruiters James Coley, Dameyune Craig and Eddie Gran remain in some capacity.
I think you're right on McQuay, but Vanderbilt is in there as well.
TJowens534 asks, "With all the decommits from the dumpster fire down south, FSU seems to get what has jumped ship thus far. With these kids doing this it has to say something about a sense of stability in Tally, even with the turnover in coaches. Tell me what you think Corey?"
Dowlar: I think that is true to a point. But the lingering thunderhead of the NCAA investigations is probably the biggest issue the Hurricanes are battling right now. There is just so much uncertainty that they have to compensate for. But if you compare Miami to the Floridas, Florida States and other out-of-state programs, there is definitely a consistency factor that they have an edge with. Great observation.
edu300 asks, "Can I ask about Jimbo "recruiting" a DC? How much would losing Eddie Gran hurt this year's recruiting class?"
Dowlar: Sure, of course you can. Unfortunately, Fisher doesn't really let me in on his defensive coordinator plans. I'm hearing the same names everybody else is, really, including the Ellis Johnsons of the world. But I don't know for sure who the guy is, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it is someone off the radar, so to speak. Stoops was pretty much the same way last time around. And, no, this isn't some ploy to tell you I knew about a surprise coming all along, either.
Travucf asks, "How bad did the UF loss hurt in state recruiting? Is UM a factor in recruiting at all?"
Dowlar: It is pretty minimal, actually. These games typically operate like that. Kids are now more and more tied into coaches, relationships and playing time than wins and losses. Sure, from UF's perspective, winning that game will never, ever hurt. But at the same time, FSU is far from crushed by it.
Miami is definitely a factor given that a lot of FSU's targets hail right from its backyard. It will push guys like Matthew Thomas and Denver Kirkland all the way to the finish line.