With 29 oral commitments and a consensus top- 4 recruiting class, Florida State still has plenty to gain on signing day. Riding the wave of a national championship, coach Jimbo Fisher is looking to lure a few more blue chippers to a class that could end up in the same spot as FSU did in the polls — No. 1. “They’ve done a phenomenal job of positioning themselves to pull off something unexpected,” said Chris Nee, the state of Florida recruiting analyst for 247 Sports. Florida State remains in the running for an impressive list of four- and five-star prospects, all among the top players nationally at their positions. The consensus is they will pick up at least two (receiver Ermon Lane of Homestead and offensive tackle Roderick Johnson of Florissant, Mo.) and could pull off a surprise or two with several other targets “Jimbo closes as good as anybody in the country,” said Jeremy Crabtree, senior writer for ESPN recruiting nation. “They proved that last year with some of the surprises they pulled off down the stretch. “I wouldn’t write off anybody we think has written off Florida State. Somebody will surprise you.” While Nee believes FSU’s class will rank anywhere from No. 3 to No. 5 after the bulk of the class signs on Wednesday, Crabtree expects the Seminoles to finish No. 2 behind Alabama. An unexpected flip could then push FSU to No. 1. Here’s a look at the top remaining targets. The Seminoles should be able to take as many as possible considering they likely will see two or three of their current commits flip to other schools and are expecting one or two to be placed in junior college. WR Ermon Lane, Homestead This has been the worst-kept secret of the recruiting season. Once Lane withdrew his commitment to Florida, FSU become the frontrunner. Lane is close to Miami-Central running back Dalvin Cook, who flipped from Florida to FSU, and many believe Cook’s decision played a big part in Lane shunning the Gators. Lane is a Rivals and Scout five-star prospect and ESPN’s No. 2 receiver in the country. He is 6-foot-2 with great speed but is best known for his knowledge of the position. OT Roderick Johnson, Florissant, Mo.-Hazelwood Central The only other school the 6-7, 310-pound Johnson has visited is Ohio State. Some believe the only reason the four-star prospect has not announced is he wants a big splash on signing day. Johnson will benefit from playing behind FSU’s senior dominated line next year, brushing up on his technique — his strength and athleticism are not a question — before contributing two years when the Seminoles will unveil an entirely new front five. DT Derrick Nnadi, Virginia Beach-Ocean Lakes Nnadi’s dad went to Virginia Tech and although he still lists multiple schools, this will come down to FSU vs. Virginia Tech. Seminoles’ coaches, though, are confident in their chances. Nnadi, 6-1, 299 pounds, is ranked in the top five nationally among tackles by Rivals and Scout. With Timmy Jernigan and Jacobbi McDaniel departing, Nnadi could step in and play immediately. CB J.C. Jackson, Immokalee The Seminoles flipped Cook from Florida and will do the same with Lane. Could Jackson make three? The four-star prospect has a very shaky commitment to Florida. The biggest obstacle could be his dad, who is not a Seminoles fan and has said his son is down to Florida and Miami. Jackson, though, plans to visit FSU this weekend. If he follows through, the Seminoles’ chances of landing him become much better. DE Malik McDowell, Southfield, Mich. The 6-7, 290-pound McDowell is the No. 1 prospect in the state of Michigan and it will be difficult to lure him from his home state. McDowell visited Michigan State last weekend and the Spartans appear to be the leader with FSU No. 2. Still, assistants Tim Brewster and Odell Haggins are working him hard.
Signing day could see Florida State finish No. 1 again
Palm Beach Post | Feb 1