Posted: 8:04 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
By Bud Elliott
Visit our National Signing Day hub for updates on all of the Seminoles recruiting.
The newly-crowned national champions are reloading: Florida State is putting together one of the nation's best recruiting classes, including one of the country's top halfbacks and thirteen consensus four-star prospects. Jimbo Fisher and his staff have landed 26 commitments in advance of Signing Day, including 14 players projected on the offensive or defensive line. Let's talk about the offensive line.
Offensive line was undoubtedly Florida State's biggest recruiting need in the class of 2014. After several years of bad luck and missing on key recruits, FSU entered the 2013 season with very little depth, and managed to win a national title in large part because it sustained very few injuries. The Seminoles had to avoid depending on luck if they could, and that meant numbers. Numbers is what Florida State brought in.
Fort Scott (Ks.) CC
Are has been playing for Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, though he attended high school in New York. He stands 6'6 and weighs 335 pounds and has been projected at both guard and tackle, depending on the recruiting service.
He is considered the No. 36 overall junior college player available in the 2014 class by 247, which gave him four stars and rates him as the best JUCO guard prospect in the nation. Scout and Rivals consider Are to be a three-star prospect.
He is enrolled for spring and working out with the Seminoles.
6'4, 295 | 4-star
Martinez was pretty much a sure thing to Florida State for a quite a while before he committed on July 3. A talented guard who has good balance and is very tough, he picked Florida State over a number of SEC and ACC offers, showed well at Nike's The Opening, and improved as a senior as well. Given that Florida State returns seven upperclassmen on the offensive line and is bringing in two JUCO prospects, Martinez may be headed for a redshirt, which is actually a good thing with most offensive linemen.
Garden City (N.Y.) Nassau CC
6'6, 330 | 4-star
Mavety was one of the highest-rated JUCO offensive tackles in the country, and this was a heated battle between Florida State and Ohio State. Ultimately, Rick Trickett and FSU's other coaches won out on December 9. Mavety appreciated the no-nonsense approach, as Trickett didn't promise him a starting spot, but did tell him he could make him the best player he can be. Mavety is also friends with Florida State backup quarterback Sean Maguire. Mavety will either provide really good depth, or he will start. That will be sorted out over spring, and fall when Mavety arrives. With the additions of Mavety and Are, four returning starters and three returning key reserves, plus other young talent, FSU should have one of the deepest offensive lines in 2014 to protect the reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston.
Hyattsville (Md.) Dematha Catholic
6'8, 315 | 3-star
Ruble is an offensive tackle that Florida State really liked (much more than I thought they did before speaking with sources who would know). He picked Florida State on December 13, and also held offers from Tennessee, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Given that Florida State returns seven upperclassmen on the offensive line and is bringing in two JUCO prospects, Ruble may be headed for a redshirt, which is actually a good thing with most offensive linemen. I project that Ruble could be a very good college player by the 2016 season.
Mechanicsville (Va.) Atlee
6'4, 270 | 3-star
Eberle is a tough center prospect who actually plays tackle for his high school. FSU offered him early and he committed on May 1, before coming down to their summer camp. Given that Florida State returns seven upperclassmen on the offensive line and is bringing in two JUCO prospects, Eberle may be headed for a redshirt, which is actually a good thing with most offensive linemen. Eberle needs time to develop, and I think he could be in line to start as a red-shirt sophomore in 2016 if all goes according to plan.
Summit (Ms.) North Pike
6'7, 290 | 3-star
Frith is a player targeted by tight ends coach Tim Brewster and offensive line coach Rick Trickett. He lost quite a bit of weight in his last two years of high school ball, gaining some muscle and a lot of quickness. He committed on Jun 14 while in town for FSU's camp. Unfortunately, he will be delaying his enrollment until spring because of an upcoming shoulder surgery. That means he will be eligible for the 2015-2018 seasons ('19 if he redshirts), which is probably a good thing so that he doesn't waste his first year of eligibility in recovery.
Florrisant (Mo.) Hazelwood Central
6'6, 315 | 4-star
From the start, Florida State liked Roderick Johnson a lot, and he reciprocated. Many felt that Johnson would have committed already to Florida State several times, but the big man told other Florida State prospects that he's just waiting to have his moment on National Signing Day. FSU feels very confident in its chances over Ohio State here. Johnson has good flexibility for such a large man, though he is rather raw. Florida State returns seven upperclassmen on the offensive line and is bringing in two JUCO prospects, but I am not convinced that Johnson is going to redshirt. He may be able to grab one of the second-team offensive tackle spots and provide quality depth early on. Johnson is one of the 10-best offensive tackle recruits in the country for my money.
Havana (Fla.) East Gadsen
6'5, 295 | 3-stars
Derrick Kelly is one of the fastest-rising offensive tackles in the class of 2014, turning in a very solid senior season. But will FSU have room? Kelly and his family are reportedly very much pro-FSU, but it is uncertain if FSU can fit him in the class with a full (read: non-grayshirt) offer. LSU and UF are also on Kelly, with both sides feeling vary degrees of confidence. If Kelly's announcement is later in the day, it may indicate that he is waiting to hear if FSU will have room. Update: Multiple sources report that Kelly received the offer late Tuesday night.