Wednesday, February 2, 2011

FSU Seminoles, Jimbo Fisher Haul In Top Ranked Recruiting Class

Today, February 2, 2011 was "national signing day" for hundreds of aspiring prep football athletes that are realizing their dream of playing collegiate football.  The idea behind the day is for top high school football talents to sign a letter of intent to the university they plan on attending and playing football for this coming fall.  How this day has become somewhat of a media event is disturbing to me because it gives national recognition to very young men who have not accomplished anything yet.  In fact, the undue attention can ruin young players who are too young to realize that they really haven't done anything worth national attention and has in many cases created an unjust ego in them and hurting their psychological edge coming into their newly chosen school.  It has given past players the feeling that all they have to do is show up and universities will start chiseling statutes of them upon arrival.  Despite the circus that is the media coverage of high school kids deciding what colleges they will attend, the result of this day is important.

Each year, throughout the high school football season in the fall, hundreds of prep analysts rate recruits on specific skills for their respective positions.  Players are given two types of grades.  One of them is a star-rating system.  Players can be one star and up to 5 star talents, with five being the highest.  They are also given grades on a scale of 1-100, with 100 being the highest.  Players having a rating of 85 or higher are considered 5 star talents, 79 - 84 are considered 4 star and so on down the line.  Universities rely on scouting departments and independent high school player evaluation companies, ESPNU being the largest of the many that do so, to determine who they should spend their time recruiting to play for their program.

Once the players have chosen their schools and made the committment, it's high school prep experts that crunch the number of high star and top rated recruits to create a collective grade on how that university's recruiting class ranks amongst all schools across the country.  Simply put, the more high star and top recruits you land, the higher the grade you will be given by prep football analysts.

Now that the dust has settled on the 2011 signing day class of football players ready to take their talents to the collegiate level and the expert opinions are in, it has been announced that it is The Florida State University that has been named the 2011 top recruiting class in the U.S. Link: FSU brings in #1 recruiting class in 2011

FSU was able to nail down the #1 class by getting commitments from a nation leading 16 recruits that had a player ranking of 80 or above lead by the signing of a very rare talent, safety Karlos Williams out of Davenport, FL who is ranked nationally by ESPNU as the #1 safety in all of high school football and ranked #5 overall regardless of position.  He was FSU's one and only 5 star recruit, but a huge one to land that put FSU's class at the top.  FSU also lead the nation in 4 star recruits signed with a staggering 17, several more than any other school in the country.  Twelve of those 4 star players are ESPNU 150 recruits(denoting they are on a list of the top 150 overall high school players), also leading the nation.  For a full list and in-depth evaluation of their class, go to this link: Florida State Seminoles Recruit Class of 2011

Florida State's top recruit, Karlos Williams should help bolster a Seminole secondary that has been burned by the deep pass much of the last few years

When asked for an evaluation of FSU's recruiting class, ESPN college football expert, Kirk Herbstreit told ESPN that FSU did "an amazing job" and added that Seminole fans "have a lot to be excited about in the future and the Seminoles will be a national championship contender in 2011".

I, personally, will curb my enthusiasm being a graduate of Florida State University and will temper my excitement for what may be in the future of FSU football.  Many football people call the NFL's Washington Redskins the "preseason champions" each year because they go out every season and land the best talent available.  They haven't even won their division since 1999.  That's just a lesson to be learned about acquiring all the best talent and what results it may yield.  You can put a collection of the best talent on the field but if it can't play together as a team and it is not coached appropriately, it will just lead to expectations grossly not met.

If anyone can make a team out of great talent it is current FSU head coach, Jimbo Fisher.  He has a history of winning everywhere he has been, including a ten win season at FSU in his first year as head coach and FSU's first ten win season since 2003.  With this fresh group of high level high school talent coming in, FSU could be looking at a streak of 10+ win seasons in the immediate future and likely a BCS bowl game or National Championship game very soon.

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