Florida State 2018 mock signing class: Seminoles add QB, top WR in projected offensive group
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Projecting Florida State’s 2018 class on offense
With two signing periods coming within the next four months, the window for the 2018 cycle is rapidly approaching its conclusion.
Each month until National Signing Day, I will project the Florida State 2018 recruiting class on both offense and defense.
Florida State has 19 commitments entering the stretch run, which means spots are limited moving forward.
The defensive projections will come later this week. The focus here is on offense, where the Seminoles have eight players currently committed.
Where could additions be made? Let’s look at which targets could end up in the class and project how things may shake out.
Quarterback (1): 3-star Riley Smith (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Florida State’s coaching staff had this spot reserved for 5-star quarterback Justin Fields — the nation’s top overall prospect in the 2018 cycle. However, Fields pledged to Georgia earlier this month.
So Florida State is left to figure out if it wants to target in 2018 or save the scholarship and turn its attention to the 2019 crop of passers.
The Seminoles signed two quarterbacks in the 2017 cycle, including current starter James Blackman, so they could choose to skip the position in this cycle.
However, as the injury to Deondre Francois in the season-opening loss to Alabama proved, depth is necessary at the game’s most important position.
Including Fields, the Seminoles have offered seven quarterbacks in the 2017 cycle, according to 247Sports.
I expect Jimbo Fisher and his staff to reach out to all of them even though they are committed. With his resume of developing quarterbacks, a late push could lead to a positive development if any of them are having second thoughts.
Assuming the Seminoles are unsuccessful to get a committed option to flip, they would have to expand their board.
Keeping in mind with Fisher’s penchant for offering quarterbacks that he’s worked with at his summer camp, the main target that could emerge late is 3-star Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail passer Riley Smith.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Smith shares quarterback duties on his prep squad with 4-star Auburn pledge Joey Gatewood — another player the Seminoles were involved with at one point.
However, Smith has 27 offers and has camped with the Seminoles on multiple occasions, as detailed by Chris Nee of Noles247. That level of familiarity could help facilitate his entry into this class.
Running Back (2): 4-star Jashaun Corbin (SW Brevard Co., Fla), 3-star Charles Strong (Lake Butler, Fla.)
At one point, Florida State’s running back class was the envy of the nation, considering that Corbin and Strong were joined by 4-star James Cook.
However, the younger brother of former Seminoles star rusher Dalvin Cook reopened his recruitment in July and appears bound for Georgia.
Still, Corbin and Strong are formidable in their own right. Both players are taking visits to other programs, but Florida State still appears to be in good shape to hold onto them.
As detailed by MaxPreps, Corbin rushed for 2,887 yards and 33 touchdowns combined in his sophomore and junior seasons. Strong is a 230-pound battering ram who has rushed for 849 yards and 12 touchdowns in his team’s first six games this season.
The duo brings a mix of size, speed and explosiveness to a backfield already littered with talent.
Wide Receiver (4): 3-star D’Marcus Adams (Daytona Beach, Fla.), 4-star Marquez Ezzard (Stockbridge, Ga.), 3-star Antoine Green (SW Brevard Co., Fla.), 4-star Jaylen Waddle (Bellaire, Tex.)
Florida State has three receivers committed in Adams, Ezzard and Green. I think all three will stick with those pledges.
Receiver is a huge need for Florida State in the 2018 cycle. Currently, Florida State has only seven receivers on scholarship. One, converted defensive back Malique Jackson, is a senior. Plus, there’s a chance leading receiver Auden Tate could test the NFL draft waters after this season.
With that in mind, signing five receivers is not out of the question. In fact, that might be the preference of the staff.
It’s just a matter of sorting out which options make the most sense. To be honest, I don’t think Florida State is the clear-cut favorite for any of its top remaining targets. However, the Seminoles are in the top group for a few of them.
Right now, the one with the strongest chance of ending up in Tallahassee is Waddle. Although Alabama is the team trending with him, Waddle enjoyed his official visit for the Miami game earlier this month.
Florida State has ground to make up, but the need for playmakers and the connection to former prep teammate Marvin Wilson — a prized 2017 Seminoles signee — should keep the Seminoles in the mix long enough to win out.
Receiver may be the one position where movement is likely to happen down the stretch with Florida State and its top targets.
Offensive line (3): 4-star Christian Armstrong (Warner Robins, Ga.), 4-star Verdis Brown (Bradenton, Fla.), 4-star Christian Meadows (Montezuma, Ga.)
Florida State seems to be in a good spot with its three offensive line commits.
The Seminoles would like to add at least one more big body — with tackle probably being the preference of position.
Florida State has a few targets in mind, but unlike the situation at receiver, there doesn’t appear to be any instances where the Seminoles are even in the lead group with a priority offensive line recruit. That makes it hard to project who the Seminoles could add, which is why I believe things remain with the status quo.
Of course, there’s still plenty of time left in the cycle, and new targets could emerge after the season is over.
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