FSU Football: Grading The ‘Noles 2013 Recruiting Class

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Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles linebacker Matthew Thomas (6) during the first quarter at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

FSU football had the No. 11 recruiting class in 2013 and No. 1 class in the ACC. We grade the class to see who lived up to expectations.

FSU football was coming off their Orange Bowl win over Northern Illinois and the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation in 2012.

The 2012 class was loaded and featured eight future NFL players.

Ironically, the 2013 recruiting class is the lowest rated class overall in the Jimbo Fisher era. It’s the only class thus far that finished outside the top 10.

There were 22 commitments with an average player rating of 89.19. That’s the second lowest player average under Fisher.

The lowest average player rating was the 2010 class where Fisher had about a month to close the class after becoming head coach.

FSU’s 2013 recruiting class had some studs and some duds. Let’s go through and see who graded where as we go from lowest rated to highest.

Davarez Bryant

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N/A

Davrez Bryant came to FSU as a defensive end project after only playing one year of high school football. He measured in at 6’3 250 pounds and carried a two-star player rating of 79.5. Bryant never played a down of football at FSU after questions about the high school he attended and he was deemed ineligible. Bryant was apparently “homeless” as late as 2015 according to the article below that details some of what happened in his situation.

Ineligible article.

Desmond Hollin

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C

Desmond Hollin came to FSU as a transfer rated as a three-star defensive end prospect and player rating of 81. He checked in at 6’4 260 pounds and played on the 2013 National Championship team, totaling 16 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Hollin played in 10 games on the 2014 team and had 31 tackles with three tackles for loss. Big game against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship with seven tackles.

Jeremy Kerr

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D

Jeremy Kerr came to FSU as a three star tight end prospect with a 81.7 player rating. Kerr checked in at 6’6 and 260 pounds and redshirted his freshman year and has played mostly on special teams and as a blocking tight end when on the field. Kerry does hold the distinction of having one career reception at FSU. That reception was a huge one yard TD catch against Florida in 2015 which helped the ‘Noles beat the Gators for the third time in a row at the time. Kerr rarely if ever saw the field in 2016 with Ryan Izzo and Mavin Saunders logging most of the time at tight end.

John Franklin III

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D

John Franklin III came to FSU as a three-star dual threat quarterback with a player rating of 83.77. Franklin red-shirted his first year while playing scout team quarterback. Played a big role in preparing the FSU defense to face Auburn in the National Championship game. Also, was All-ACC performer in track and field but transferred to East Mississippi JUCO after the 2014 season. While there, starred in the “Last Chance U” documentary with former ‘Noles QB Clint Trickett who was his QB coach there. Received a scholarship offer and transferred to Auburn where he played at times this past season as quarterback, but could never establish himself as the starter.

Wilson Bell

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C

Wilson Bell came to FSU as a three-star offensive guard with a player rating of 84.15. Bell checked in at 6’4 300 pounds and red-shirted his freshman year after suffering a knee injury. Bell played in two games in 2014 as a reserve. However, Bell was able to start every game in 2015 at the right guard position. He was one of two players on the offensive line to do that. Bell lost his starting job to freshman stud Landon Dickerson, but came back into the lineup when Dickerson suffered a ACL injury. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Nate Andrews

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B+

Nate Andrews came to FSU as a three-star defensive back from Alabama with a player rating of 85.60. Andrews burst on the scene as a true freshman on the 2013 National Championship team, leading the team with four interceptions with All-ACC Third Team honors and several All-America Second Team Honors. Andrews had 93 tackles his sophomore season and three more interceptions. However, his role reduced a bit in 2015 due to injuries. Injuries appeared again in 2016 with Andrews being granted a medical red-shirt. He has one year of eligibility remaining. Thus far he has 171 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 8 interceptions. When healthy he has gotten about as much out of his talent level as one could get.

Ryan Hoefield

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C-

Ryan Hoefield came to FSU as a three-star recruit with an average player rating of 85.85. He red-shirted in his freshman season and had to be plugged into the starting lineup in 2014 when injuries hit. He wasn’t ready for game action at the time, but played as well as he could under the circumstances. He started four games in 2015 with injuries hampering him during the season. Hoefield has consistently been named to the All-ACC Academic Team during his time at FSU.

Richie Klepal

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N/A

Richie Klepal was a part of the 2013 class, but his career was cut short due to multiple concussions in high school. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher honored his scholarship and Klepal enrolled at FSU without ever playing a down. This is a situation that tells you what kind of man coach Jimbo Fisher is. A lot of coaches would have not honored the scholarship since it was clear Klepal would never play football again.

Jesus Wilson

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A-

Jesus “Bobo” Wilson came to FSU as a three-star wide receiver recruit with an average player rating of 86.81. Wilson checked in at 5’10 185 pounds and had become one of the most productive members of the 2013 class before an injury ended his 2016 season against Wake Forest. Wilson became one of the top receivers on the team when healthy, was second on the team in receptions in 2015 and third in yardage. He finished his FSU career with 133 receptions for 1,562 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was also a valuable member on special teams as punt returner. He returned 44 punts in his career for 383 yards (8.7 avg). Outstanding contributions from a three-star recruit.

Tyrell Lyons

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D

Tyrell Lyons came to FSU as a three-star linebacker recruit with an average player rating of 87.12. Lyons checked in at 6’2 220 pounds and red-shirted during his freshman season. He played mostly on special teams and reserve linebacker and safety duty. Lyons tore his ACL in 2015 and transferred to Northern Iowa.

Ro’Derrick Hoskins

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C

Ro’Derrick Hoskins was a three-star linebacker recruit with a player rating of 87.60. Hoskins checked in at 6’3 215 and red-shirted his freshman season. Hoskins played on special teams mostly as a redshirt freshman and mop up duty, but was called into action as a starter his redshirt sophomore season when Terrance Smith was injured. Hoskins played well for the most part and finished the season with 52 tackles. He became a full time starter in 2016 and regressed a bit early in the season before starting to pick it up later in the season. He finished the season with 53 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

Freddie Stevenson

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A

Freddie Stevenson came to FSU as a three-star linebacker recruit with a player rating of 88.59. Stevenson checked in at 6’1 220 pounds and promptly made the switch to fullback to play behind Chad Abrams on the 2013 National Championship team. He lead the way for running backs Devonta Freeman, Karlos Williams and Dalvin Cook during his time at FSU. An unselfish player and excellent blocker with great hands catching passes out of the backfield. He finished his career with 25 carries for 132 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. A valuable contributor to the 2013 recruiting class.

Marquez White

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B+

Marquez White is the first four-star cornerback recruit we’ll cover of the 2013 recruiting class. White checked in at 6’1 175 pounds had a player rating of 88.59. White was a dual-sport athlete, also playing on the basketball team. However, he committed full time to FSU football in 2015 and was the starter at the field cornerback position and became a standout. He was only targeted on 7 percent of throws by opposing quarterbacks and finished the season with 25 tackles and an interception. White started at the same cornerback position in 2016, and again had 25 tackles but also had two interceptions. White is projected to be drafted in the third or fourth round of the upcoming NFL Draft.

Kermit Whitfield

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A-

Kermit Whitfield was a four-star wide receiver recruit with a player rating of 90.11. Whitfield checked in at 5’9 165 pounds and one of the fastest recruits in the nation. It didn’t take long for that speed to manifest itself on the field of play as Whitfield took a 100 yard kickoff to the house against Auburn in the 2013 National Championship game. Whitfield also became one of the most productive wide receivers during his time at FSU while also being one of the better kick returners in recent memory. Whitfield finished his FSU career with 102 receptions for 1,338 yards and 7 touchdowns. It’s likely that FSU doesn’t have its third National Title had Whitfield not returned that kick for a TD.

Isaiah Jones

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D-

Isaiah Jones came to FSU as a four-star wide receiver recruit. He checked in at 6’4 195 pounds and a player rating of 91.26. Jones had two receptions his freshman season while playing in five games before injuring his foot to miss the rest of the season. Jones was ruled academically ineligible for the 2014 season and transferred from FSU in 2015.

Keith Bryant

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D

Keith Bryant came to FSU as a highly regarded four-star defensive tackle recruit. He checked in at 6’1 300 pounds with a player rating of 92.05. Bryant red-shirted the 2013 season who has not been able to contribute much at all due to always being injured. Bryant worked hard and changed positions to defensive end, but those injuries arose again causing him to miss the entire 2016 season. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

E.J. Levenberry

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D

E.J. Levenberry came to FSU as a four-star linebacker recruit. He checked in at 6’3 225 pounds and carried a player rating of 92.26. Levenberry played as a true freshman and had 39 tackles while playing mostly in reserve duty and special teams. Levenberry was thought to have a bigger role in the defense in 2014, but Reggie Northrup surpassed him and led the team in tackles with 122. Levenberry decided to transfer to UCONN in 2015.

Ira Denson

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D-

Ira Denson came to FSU as a four-star offensive lineman recruit with a player rating of 94.59. He checked in at 6’4 320 pounds and never contributed to FSU football. He was dismissed from the team in 2014 after run-in’s with the law on theft charges. He played football with DII Winston Salem State in North Carolina this past season.

Ryan Green

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D+

Ryan Green came to FSU as a talented four-star running back recruit with a player rating of 97.40. Green checked in at 5’10 195 pounds. Green played his true freshman season, logging 33 carries for 163 yards and a touchdown. His 2014 season saw him injured much of the season and he decided to make the move to cornerback with Dalvin Cook becoming the featured running back. Green suffered a shoulder injury that caused him to miss all of 2015, and he decided to move back to the running back position for the 2016 season.. Green had 11 carries for 75 yards in 2016 and has one year of eligibility remaining. Unfortunately, Green has been a victim of bad injury luck, but has been a good student otherwise at FSU.

DeMarcus Walker

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A

DeMarcus Walker was one a big four-star defensive end recruit in the 2013 class. Walker checked in at 6’3 265 and a player rating of 98.22. Walker participated in a reserve role on the 2013 National Championship team, but increased his production every season he was at FSU. He’ll leave FSU in third place on the all-time sack list (28.5). Also, he’ll leave FSU tied in the No. 2 spot for most sacks in a single season with 16. The most valuable defensive player and All-ACC selection two years running, he will likely be a second round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Jalen Ramsey

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A+

Jalen Ramsey was one of two five-star recruits in the 2013 class. Ramsey hailed from Tennessee and was a last minute addition to the class do mainly to Jeremy Pruitt. Ramsey checked in at 6’1 190 pounds and a player rating of 99.21. The first true cornerback to start at FSU since Deion Sanders, Ramsey played both safety and cornerback at FSU. Three-time All-American on the football field and in Track and Field. He was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and one of the best 10 rookies according to Pro Football Focus.

Matthew Thomas

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C+

Matthew Thomas was the highest rated player in the 2013 class and was the No. 8 player in the nation. Thomas’s career at FSU was filled with drama before he even enrolled and the same has been consistent since. He has endured injuries, his mother passing away, failed drug test, being academically ineligible and somehow found a way to stay on the team and finally contribute in 2016. Thomas led the team in tackles (77) in 2016 and finally started playing up to his five-star rating about halfway through the season. He has already announced that he will return to FSU for his senior season. If he staves off injuries and plays like he did the second half of the season, he’ll likely be a high draft pick in 2018.
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Nov 26, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12), defensive end Demarcus Walker (44), and running back Dalvin Cook (4) celebrate after the Seminoles beat the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Final Thoughts

Matthew Thomas still has time to make an impact on his legacy. Kermit Whitfield, Jesus Wilson, Nate Andrews and Freddie Stevenson probably out performed their ratings with Andrews having one year left and a few others.

Andrews is an experienced player, but likely won’t be a huge contributor next season due to younger talent surpassing him.

Overall, the 2013 FSU Football recruiting class has been a disappointment with only 45 percent of the class being blue chip players.

Over 54 percent of the class either didn’t contribute, transferred or became academically ineligible.

Only 50 percent (5 of 10) of the blue chip players have made significant contributions on the field.

However, the class did give us two of the better players during the Jimbo Fisher era with Jalen Ramsey and DeMarcus Walker.

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