The Daily Nole

FSU Football: Recruiting Outlook Heading Into the Dead Period

Don Juan Moore/FSU athletics

Monday marked the end of final surge in summer recruiting before the dead period began. Florida State’s staff has done a fantastic job of getting top targets on campus, while also continuing to evaluate prospects who they feel can contribute at the next level. As a result, Florida State has a ton of confidence heading into the recruiting dead period.

For those unaware, the summer recruiting dead period this year spans from June 24 to July 24. The “dead period” is named for its various restrictions on the process. The NCAA website clarifies that during a dead period, college coaches cannot have face-to-face contact with recruits or their parents. They can still write and call them, however. They also cannot watch recruits compete or visit their high schools.

This means that there will be no recruiting visitors on campus for the next month, and any updates on recruits will come out slowly. There could still be commitments or decommitments, but those are typically more rare in the dead period. One FSU target who might announce in the next month is 4-star safety Nick Cross, who went on an official visit to the university this past weekend.

A few weeks ago we published a recruiting checklist that kept track of certain recruiting needs for Florida State. Since then, the picture has come more into focus and the board has shifted a considerable amount. With that in mind, here are some general observations as Florida State enters the dead period.

Offensive Line Is More Secure

To be sure, FSU has yet to gain another offensive line commit aside from Dontae Lucas. But the Seminoles have now all but locked down another lineman in 4-star guard Will Putnam, who unofficially visited again this past weekend. Almost everyone expects Putnam to be a part of the class at some point.

The Seminoles have also put themselves in a good position with 3-star offensive tackle Charles Cross. FSU still has a hole with the outside line positions, so getting Cross would largely solve that, even if he is a project. Other names that have appeared are Brandon Cunningham and Warren McClendon — both of whom project as offensive tackles at the next level.

Some legitimate concerns were voiced a month ago when the offensive line board didn’t look all that secure. Now, it seems that offensive line coach Greg Frey has a good focus on what the team wants.

The Staff Moves Very Fast

Going into the month of June, FSU had just one true defensive end committed in Quashon Fuller (Mike Morris is being recruited on the offensive line). Now, the Seminoles have added blue-chip recruits Derick Hunter and Curtis Fann, and they expect Derrick McLendon to join the class when he announces on Thursday. The two additions to the class were quite surprising since both Hunter and Fann were not considered commitment candidates until very recently.

Witnessing how quickly the defensive end outlook changed confirmed a trait about this staff: they move very fast when they set their eyes on a recruit. The news quickly progresses from general interest, to planned visit, to commitment. It makes recruiting even more unpredictable than it is already.

July Event Focused On Top Talent

Pretty much every site has reported that FSU plans to host a big recruiting event on July 28. This event will center around the top prospects on the board, which includes players like 5-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, 5-star athlete Bru McCoy, 4-star offensive tackle Evan Neal, and others.

Considering some of the guys that FSU feels good about, they could conceivably wait until that weekend to announce a commitment. It would provide a nice end to the summer and give FSU momentum as it begins fall practice for the 2018 season. Expect a couple of highly-rated players to join the class at this event.

Rumors Of Demise Were Greatly Exaggerated

Florida State’s 2019 class went for almost two months without a commitment after 3-star cornerback Renardo Green announced on April 16. In the meantime, fans began to wonder about progress on the trail and whether or not rumors about “laziness” or “dysfunction” were true.

Quite obviously, those rumors were not true. The new staff simply does things differently than the old one, and recruiting is 90 percent below the surface. Everything has gone pretty much like we thought it would when head coach Willie Taggart first got hired. The Seminoles are in a fantastic spot to lock up a majority of their class before the season is over, while also using 2018 results to help confirm the message that they’re telling recruits.

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