Florida State Chopping Its Way To Another Stellar Class

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Less than one week remains until National Signing Day. For head coach Jimbo Fisher and Seminole fans, this almost counts as a second Christmas of sorts as they try to forget the 59-20 stomping they received at the hands of the Oregon Ducks in the national semifinal on New Years Day. Unable to defend their crown, the ‘Noles look to reload and continue their dominance in the ACC.

Since taking over as head coach for Florida State in 2010, head coach Jimbo Fisher has produced six consecutive top 10 recruiting classes, four of those being in the top five. Of the 21 commits for the class of 2015, seven have already enrolled this month in order to get a jump start on their collegiate careers. This group consists of some big time players including:

Derwin James, Safety

  • 5-star (247sports / Rivals)
  • 6’2″ – 200 pounds
  • Haines City Senior High (Haines City, FL)

James, an Under Armour All-American and top ranked safety in the nation has been the flag bearer for the 2015 FSU class as he was the first to commit all the way back in late February of 2012. He has since been helping the Seminole staff recruit and convince other top flight players to join him in Tallahassee.

James possesses a rare and unique mix of size, speed and incredible athletic ability. As a safety, he’s able to come up in run support and lay some hard hits while being a ball-hawk in the defensive backfield and able to match up with big/tall wide receivers. He also returned kick’s on special teams if that’s any indication on how his coaches felt about his athletic prowess. A true leader and future star in the making for the Seminoles.

Josh Sweat, Defensive End

  • 5-star (247sports / Rivals)
  • 6’5″ – 240 pounds
  • Oscar Smith High (Chesapeake, VA)

Sweat, an elite specimen out of Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Virginia was regarded by most  recruiting publications as the best overall defensive end in the nation. He’s garnered comparisons to former South Carolina Gamecock standout Jadeveon Clowney who went on to become the number one pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

His rankings though, took a plunge after suffering a season-ending knee injury (left kneecap dislocation) during a game in late September. Make no mistake, Sweat is still a deserved 5-star recruit and will use this time as an early enrollee to rehab his knee and get acclimated to the college football game, which should be no problem for the much ballyhooed standout. Despite missing most of his senior year, Sweat garnered Under Armour All-American honors.

George Campbell, Wide Receiver

  • 5-star (247sports / Rivals)
  • 6’3″ -185 pounds
  • East Lake High School (Tarpon Springs, FL)

Under Armour All-American star wide receiver George Campbell will add another top flight offensive weapon to the stable in Tallahassee. The tall, shifty, rangy (you get the picture) pass catcher will use his early entrance to Florida State to hone his skills and vie for early playing time as FSU returns a handful of sophomores and few juniors.

Jacques Patrick, Running Back

  • 4-star (247sports / Rivals)
  • 6’1″ – 224 pounds
  • Timber Creek High (Orlando, FL)

Also an Under Armour All-American, Jacques Patrick, one of the top ranked running backs in the country has also decided to enroll early. Patrick touted numerous offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Oregon, Ohio State, Texas, and USC just to give you an idea of how coaches around the nation view Patrick’s talent.

With his ability to run between the tackles or break it outside, Patrick will look to garner early playing time for the ‘Noles and join 2014 top RB recruit Dalvin Cook to create a devastating 1-2 punch in the backfield.

Remaining Targets:

Bryon Cowart, Defensive End

  • 5-star (247sports / Rivals)
  • 6’4″ – 250 pounds
  • Armwood High School (Seffner, FL)

Arguably the best defensive end prospect in the nation, Cowart appears to be SEC bound as he cancelled his visit to Tallahassee this weekend:


It appears to be down to Auburn and Florida. According to 247sports, the Florida Gators seem to have the edge, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how the recent firing of former Gator head coach Will Muschamp will affect Cowart’s decision. Auburn’s new defensive coordinator happens to Will Muschamp:


In unison, Gator Nation says D’oh!


Shelton Johnson, Defensive End

  • 4-star (247sports / Rivals)
  • 6’5″ – 220 pounds
  • Atlantic High School (Delray Beach, FL)

Another top flight defensive end recruit is considering the ‘Noles. Shelton, from Delray Beach, FL is considering FSU along with Miami, Michigan and Virginia Tech. He is expected to make an official visit to Florida State the weekend of January 30th with FSU seemingly in the lead for his signature.

Of the 21 total recruits (seven already enrolled) and 15-16 of them (depending on which recruiting service  you follow) in that elite 4 and 5-star category, there is absolutely no secret as to why Florida State has won multiple conference titles and 2014’s national championship. Unable to defend their title this past season, the ‘Noles are hungry and look to reload as they head into the 2015 season with national title aspirations at the top of their list.

With the plethora of top flight recruits coming into the program and many currently on the roster, coach Fisher and the Seminoles will continue to wreck havoc in the ACC and be a perennial national title contender for many years to come.

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