September 15, 2011

Triple Threat: Three key FSU-OU recruit visitors

One of Florida State's biggest games in nearly a decade happens this Saturday. The No. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners head to Tallahassee to take on the No. 5 ranked Seminoles for a primetime game on national television. Who are some of the key Seminole targets for the 2012 and 2013 recruiting class expected to attend the game? Find out what they'll be looking for and why they are key to the 'Noles' future.


Josh Harvey-Clemons

Outside Linebacker | Lowndes County (Valdosta, Ga.) |

What he'll be looking for on Saturday: What the top overall LB visiting this weekend will be looking to do is build a relationship with FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, since he already has a strong bond with LB's coach Greg Hudson. During the game, Josh wants to see how the linebackers react to the run-and-shoot offense and how they adjust to that dynamic offense. He'll focus his attention mostly on the outside linebackers and how quick they read and react.

Why FSU wants him: FSU wants Clemons because of his speed off the edges as an OLB. He also has the strength to handle things at MLB. His body frame is more of a fit at OLB, but could grow into the "mike" position. FSU also likes his reaction time to the football and the vicious hits he can bring to the table.

Keys to his recruitment: Some teams like him on offense, while others like him on defense. Josh wants to play defense at the next level, so it appears the schools that are recruiting him there give them a better chance. He prefers the 3-4 defense, but has also said that he wants to play in a defense where the linebackers have a lot of freedom. Helping FSU's cause is the relationship he has with former teammates Telvin Smith and Greg Reid. But what has impressed Josh the most recently about FSU is how their young linebackers are making a big early impact.

Eddie Goldman

Defensive Tackle | Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.) |

What he'll be looking for on Saturday: We've heard that one of the main things Eddie will be looking on his return trip to Tallahassee is if he gets that same 'home' feeling he had during his visit last summer. On that visit, he clicked with everyone and liked that Tallahassee was a college town. He has also indicated that he is very interested in seeing the different looks FSU shows against Oklahoma and how much they use their younger lineman, like Tim Jernigan. Goldman is very close with Coach Haggins, but he is interested in seeing how his main recruiter in a game situation.

Why FSU wants him: Goldman's power is a huge selling point for FSU. However, one of the most underrated qualities that has impressed FSU is how quick he gets off the line of scrimmage, mostly in run support. He has a quick first step, gets underneath most offensive lineman, then his power takes over. FSU has one of the best pass rushing lineman in Tim Jernigan, so adding a run specialist like Goldman is the big attraction here.

Keys to his recruitment: It simply comes down to his comfort level on campus. The two finalists mentioned the most are Alabama and FSU. We've heard that the Seminoles holds the edge. Goldman plans to take all of his visits, but if he feels 100 percent comfortable on one of the visits, he might change his plans. Two positives swinging in the 'Noles favor is he is close with Coach Haggins and he prefers the defensive scheme FSU runs (4-3).

Kent Taylor

Tight End | Land O' Lakes (Fla.) |

What he'll be looking for on Saturday: Although Taylor has been pretty quiet about not having the 'Noles in his top four, he's always had them in the back of his mind. This weekend he wants to see how active FSU's offense uses their tight ends and that doesn't mean throwing the football. He wants to see how active they are in the offense (what sets will they be included in, how involved in the plays are, production blocking and receiving in those sets). The last time Taylor visited he nearly committed, so this time he wants to see if that feeling still exists.

Why FSU wants him: FSU already has a very talented tight end commitment in Christo Kourtzidis, who is a strong balanced prospect that is more dynamic with his blocking, but still has shown to be a very good receiving play maker. Taylor is more dynamic receiver and simply put, is like a big receiver out on the field and that's a huge attraction for FSU.

Keys to his recruitment: It comes down to simple math really. Can FSU show Taylor what he wants to see out of the offense and tight end position? As easy as that sounds, this is exactly the vibe we have been getting from the Taylor camp. Penn State was the school Taylor grew up liking. But, we've heard he would like to stay in the South if at all possible, so this weekend could be interesting.

Also in the mix:

Barry Sanders

Sanders is the only running back still on the board for the Seminoles when you look at the limited numbers they have at this point. D.J. Eliot and Eddie Gran have done a tremendous job with his recruitment. What Barry likes about Florida State is what Jimbo Fisher has done with his backs. He is also impressed that he isn't afraid to use several backs.

Keys to his recruitment would be if Barry can see himself in a specific offense. His comfort level with the staff is already there, but now it's about what he sees in a game situation. Personally, I'm skeptical FSU would take another back at this stage, but with how the injuries have occurred at this position I certainly wouldn't rule it out. The top competition is Oklahoma State, but Alabama is right up there as well. I don't believe there is a clear-cut leader yet, but I get the impression that Gran is a coach Sanders feels comfortable with. Now if I had to make a prediction, I don't believe Sanders would pick FSU. But as I said before, this one is too close to call.

Evan Goodman

Although he is committed to Arizona State, FSU isn't giving up and still taking a strong look at the 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive tackle. According to Evan, FSU was always his favorite team growing up and he kept close tabs on them. He mentioned that he's still committed to Arizona State but is keeping his options open. What FSU likes about Goodman is his large lower body frame, where the massive linemen can control his balance and footwork. He's also a road grader when it comes to run blocking so that alone would be essential to the FSU offense.

Although it's likely he'll stick with Arizona State, the key comes down to how early he can get on the field and going to a school that has a good history developing their linemen.


Daniel McMillian

Inside Linebacker | First Coast (Jacksonville, Fla.)

What he'll be looking for on Saturday: One of the biggest 2013 names in attendance is McMillian will be looking to see how the middle linebackers are utilized in the FSU defense. Overall, his main focus is how the defense performs.

Why FSU wants him: What Florida State is excited about is the versatility he possesses. Not only does he play middle or outside linebacker, but he has the skills to take his game to the outside and play defensive end as well. McMillian has great lateral movement and keeps himself in position to make a play. However, his best strength just might be his hitting power. According to the First Coast coaching staff, McMillian is not only one of the best defensive players they have had there, but also one of the hardest hitting players.

Keys to his recruitment: It will come down to comfort in the right system. The depth chart could play a role in his decision. The early reports in his recruitment have the 'Noles sitting in good shape. Clemson, South Carolina and Florida are also in the mix. However, if you're looking for one player to follow this weekend as a possible commitment, McMillian could be that guy.

Laremy Tunsil

Offensive Tackle | Columbia (Lake City, Fla.)

What he'll be looking for on Saturday: Last year it was Tim Jernigan who was coveted and next season you can expect Tunsil to receive the same kind of attention from schools all over the country. This weekend he will get to meet OL coach Rick Trickett for the first time. Tunsil has previously watched FSU and is familiar with the offense. But his focus will be on the coaching style of Trickett. He'll also be watching how the first year players are adjusting to the different checks on the line of scrimmage and the blocking schemes throughout the night.

Why FSU wants him: FSU likes his long reach, how it's nearly impossible to get an advantage on him off the edges. Tunsil is one of the most athletic linemen you will find around the state of Florida this year and even in the 2013 class. His motor is very consistent as well.

Keys to his recruitment: When we last spoke with Tunsil he mentioned that all the teams were even. However, we hear FSU appears to be the team that holds the slight edge. He likes Trickett's history developing linemen and Tim Jernigan has also helped. While it's still early, FSU gets a chance to make a strong impression this weekend.

Jordan Huff

Running Back | St. Pauls (Mobile, Ala.)

What he'll be looking for on Saturday: We hear Huff will be eyeing the running back rotation. He wants to see the different styles of backs that FSU is willing to use in crucial situations. How much are they expected to block and even more important, how are the running backs used both on the ground and through the air.

Why FSU wants him: Can he fit into that system? What is such an attractive part of Huff's game is his ability between the tackles. His style is actually pretty similar to freshman Devonta Freeman because of his quick feet and burst when he hits the line of scrimmage.

Keys to his recruitment: Just like with Jacob Coker, FSU hasn't wasted anytime in making a hard push for this 2013 prospect with an early verbal offer. Huff has had high interest for a while, but this weekend he wants to see everything for himself. He has no leader at this time.

Others in the mix:

Pete Dinovo

Quarterback Pete Dinovo has made an impression. He showcases solid mechanics, good arm strength and great pocket presence. In addition, he also made it clear that Florida State is a school that he is heavily interested in. This weekend should give Dinovo a very good glimpse at the FSU offense and will get a close look at a quarterback in EJ Manuel. FSU likes his accuracy, footwork, and game management. He's a prospect that has had a strong spring.

Isaac Rochell

DE/DT Isaac Rochell was offered at the FSU summer camp and raved about his first visit to Tallahassee. This weekend we hear he wants to see what the FSU defensive ends do in run support since he's seen what they can do with their pass rush. He will be watching FSU defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot and how he interacts with the experienced ends and also the younger players. Rochell has never attended an FSU game, so the atmosphere is also something he's looking forward to.

Taj Williams

As good as a job that FSU has done around the state they haven't landed a top prospect from the Tallahassee area since Brandon Jenkins. FSU hopes to change that with junior Taj Williams who currently likes Georgia, FSU and Florida. What used to be a strong pipeline for FSU in Lincoln High has turned into a drought lately. What is special about Williams is how quickly he can get off the line of scrimmage and his quickness out in space. Another thing FSU likes is how well he blocks downfield. He also has good top end speed and isn't afraid to go across the middle. This weekend Williams wants to see how much FSU will air the ball out, what routes are used and how much the receivers are implicated in the offense.

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