FSU Football Recruiting: Three Reasons It’s OK To Miss On Elite Recruits

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Feb 1, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Marvin Wilson announces he will sign with the Florida State Seminoles at Episcopal High School. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

FSU football recruiting had some misses on high quality talent on National Signing Day. We provide three reasons why it’s OK to miss.

FSU football recruiting went into National Signing Day confident they were going to land the majority of the targets on their board.

In the end, they landed two out of 5 which in baseball terms is considered elite. I would say the same would hold true when targeting elite recruits in those types of situations.

It’s rare for teams to have the National Signing Day close that USC had on Wednesday (unless you’re Alabama). Of course, there is only one Alabama so it’s safe to say that was an outlier.

The FSU staff did a great job of getting most of the hay in the barn before National Signing Day. That allowed them to put full court presses on their remaining targets and let the chips fall where they may.

This will not be the case all the time, but all of FSU’s remaining targets were OUT OF STATE on National Signing Day. I’ll take getting two out of five every time. Especially when one of the two is the biggest target on the recruiting board in Marvin Wilson.

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Oct 29, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12) warms up before the game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Have To Be In The Conversation

Sorry for the baseball references, but that was my sport growing up and played through college at a high level.

“You can’t get a hit unless you swing.”

“You can’t steal second with your foot on first.”

“If you don’t believe you’re going to get a hit when you get in that batter’s box, you won’t.”

All three of those quotes were favorites of my grandfather who introduced me to baseball at a young age. They’re all true and can be applied to all walks of life.

Today we’re applying them to the world of college football recruiting at an elite level.

Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and other top recruiters are top recruiters because they attract elite talent.

They can’t do that unless they throw their hat in the ring. Now, coaching staffs have to be selective and rational about which recruits they decide to pursue obviously. If they’ve built a great relationship and feel they have a legitimate shot at landing a player, it’s time to go to work.

Dec 30, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA;  Florida State Seminoles defensive back A.J. Westbrook (19) breaks up the pass against Michigan Wolverines fullback Henry Poggi (19) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 30, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back A.J. Westbrook (19) breaks up the pass against Michigan Wolverines fullback Henry Poggi (19) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Understanding You Can Be Perfect And Still Not Land A Recruit

That sounds crazy right? A coaching staff could do everything perfectly and still not land a recruit.

It happens quite a bit believe it or not.

Henry Ruggs III recruitment process seems to be that way in hindsight. FSU reportedly was right there until the very end, and in the end he just couldn’t leave his home state along with the allure of playing for Nick Saban at Alabama.

Here’s another example:

The kid was reportedly a silent commit and then changed his mind. We have to remind ourselves that young kids do not think rationally a great deal of the time.

Sometimes they don’t look at a depth chart and realize they may never see the field, simply because they believe they are the best regardless of rankings.

Now, that’s a double-edged sword because players should believe they are the best. However, the key to it all is being in the mix for these elite players.

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Dec 30, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) carries the ball during the second half against Michigan Wolverines at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Why It’s OK To Miss On Elite Recruits

Our friend Dakota has the same mentality as a lot of fans. Also, shoutout to Dakota as he’s a good follow on Twitter regarding ‘Noles football.

Some fans think it’s a waste of resources to go after the Marvin Wilson’s of the world. For instance, if FSU had not landed him on Wednesday, folk would have pointed to the time and effort put into that recruitment process and called it a waste of time and money.

Trust the process.

The time and effort put into that recruitment process would have and still will pay off in the future. All you have to do is go back on recruiting cycle.

Who did FSU pull from Texas in the 2016 recruiting class? A four-star linebacker named Dontavious Jackson. Guess who helped the FSU coaching staff recruit Marvin Wilson?

You already know.

The fact that FSU got Jackson the year prior gave Wilson precedence and let him know FSU was serious about getting him to Tallahassee.

I’m sure Dontavious Jackson told Marvin Wilson ALL about his official visit and that probably helped influence Wilson to visit.

Elite recruits talk to one another all the time because they goto so many camps nowadays. Not to mention the social media effect.

Final Thoughts

It’s fine if FSU football goes after players like Levi Jones and Henry Ruggs III and don’t land them especially when 80 percent of the recruiting class is already solidly committed.

They may not have landed those players, but getting them on campus is huge because they’ll talk to other recruits. Those conversations will put FSU in position to get future recruits on campus.

In recruiting, you always follow the visits. If a team can get a player on campus multiple times that’s usually a sign there’s legit interest.

From there it’s anyone’s ball game.

However, if you’re a team and you’re rarely in the mix for elite recruits, that’s when you wind up like the Miami’s of the world, never winning the ACC Coastal division or playing for an ACC Championship.

If FSU football gets to a point where they are not in the mix for elite players, that’s when there’s a problem.

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