Aside from a possible visit from Malik McDowell, we’re through with the drama of the 2014 recruiting season, and it’s time to turn our attention to 2015. ChopChat will be taking a look at several key position groups for FSU, where they stand after adding the 2014 class, and what can be expected during the 2015 cycle. First up is probably the biggest position of need in 2015: defensive backs.
Departing are senior safety Terrence Brooks and senior cornerback and team leader Lamarcus Joyner. The good news is that the ‘Noles will return corners Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams for their junior seasons, and safety Jalen Ramsey — FSU’s first true freshman to start in the defensive backfield since Deion Sanders — will remain for at least two more years. Darby and Williams may not, as each is eligible to declare for the NFL Draft after the 2014 season. More than capable back-ups such as Nate Andrews, Tyler Hunter, Marquez White, and Nick Waisome provide depth for the Seminoles as well.
As far as quantity goes, the 2014 recruiting class seems light. Safety Trey Marshall is long and athletic in the mold of a Jalen Ramsey, and most expect athlete Malique Jackson to be worked out primarily on the defensive side of the ball. These are two nice signings, and one of the reasons FSU went so light on DB in the 2014 class is because of who they’ve already got pledged to next year’s class.
As it currently stands, the top three players in the ‘Noles 2015 class are all defensive backs. The top safety in the country, 5-star prospect Derwin James of Haines City, Florida, is already committed to the Seminoles. In addition, FSU was one of the first to offer the nation’s second-ranked safety, Tarvarus McFadden of Fort Lauderdale. While LSU is currently projected to lead for his services, he’s yet to get to Tallahassee, and visits make a world of difference. Miami’s Calvin Brewton, the nation’s #12 safety, is also already committed to FSU. The ‘Noles are in similarly good shape at the corner. Tyrek Cole, the fifth-best CB in the land, who hails from Hollywood, Florida, is an early FSU commit.
Also of interest in the 2015 class is George Campbell of Tarpon Springs, Florida. Listed officially as the nation’s top athlete, the 6’4″ Campbell has been clocked running a 4.3 40 and could line up either at receiver or as an imposing safety. Campbell decommitted from Michigan in December, and is currently considered a Gator lean. But so was Ermon Lane. The Seminoles just need to get him on campus, as he hasn’t been to Tallahassee since the ‘Noles last loss, in November of 2012, to UF.