All in all, Willie Taggart and his staff did great work in a short amount of time.
The ground work was laid, and all these players fit. Now, if FSU wins in the fall, then look for the Seminoles to challenge for a top-five spot in the 2019 recruiting cycle. A lot of coaches are buzzing about what is going on at FSU. But at some point, it must translate on the field.
Seminole Nation is getting on board more and more each day – even the skeptics must respect the finish – but you are measured by championships, conference and national, not by recruiting classes.
Overall grade: B. The class looked to be on the brink of disaster when Taggart took over, but you have to be pleased with how the staff closed. That this class finished rank so high without it being a full class is incredible. The grade would’ve been a B+ with the signing of QB James Foster.
Offensive class: B. Again, had there been a quarterback in this class, it would’ve made it more complete. There is quality in every position group except quarterback. But there are three quarterbacks already on scholarship, and if you’re down to your third-string quarterback, you have huge problems. There is depth at wide receiver; there are big, physical guys in Warren Thompson and Jordan Young and shifty guys in Keyshawn Helton and D’Marcus Adams. Add Tre’Shaun Harrison to the mix and one could argue that these playmakers are perfect for Taggart’s offense in combination with what is already on the roster. Anthony Grant is an explosive running back. And the added depth for the offensive line is a great addition; some of the defensive linemen, such as Chaz Neal, are said to be switching over.
Defensive class: B. Every position group was taken care of and the grade could’ve been higher had FSU brought in a few more pass rushers. Four-star S Jaiden Woodbey is the headliner, and he really turned heads when he requested a scholarship via social media. That let Seminoles fans see the disconnect of the previous regime, as many top guys weren’t even offered. Continuing to add depth to the secondary that has plenty of talent is going to be necessary with coordinator Harlon Barnett wanting to put DBs on islands and bring pressure. Adding a true nose tackle in Robert Cooper and players such as Jamarcus Chatman, who can play end or the 3 technique, help add depth and versatility to one of the deepest position groups at FSU. Malcolm Lamar was much-needed. The biggest weakness on this FSU team is the defensive end group. Position coach Mark Snyder needs bodies. Amari Gainer and Xavier Peters remind me of Seminoles linebackers of old. The Seminoles need a violent linebacker who can set the tone, and they have that in Peters. Gainer is the sideline-to-sideline linebacker needed against today’s spread offenses.
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