FSU Football must go back to recruiting Florida prospects first

FSU football has the least percentage of Sunshine State players on their roster of the FBS teams in the state, and that is going to be a problem.

When the FSU football team took the field this season, the Seminoles brought with them a starting lineup that was complete with talent from across the state of Florida – as well as states like Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi and even Missouri among others to the point where 10 of the 25 offensive, defense and special teams starters were from outside the state.

The number wouldn’t be much of a big deal unless you take a look at the numbers – which the website Fifth and Goal did when they calculated the percentage of players on each of the Power Five teams who are from the same state that school is located. While the Noles ranked 13th among the 65 teams, that number is slightly deceptive.

We at Chop Chat went a step further and figured out the percentage of Sunshine State talent that is on each of the seven FBS teams in the state – and just like on the field, FSU football currently is sitting on the bottom of those standings as well.

No. 1 – South Florida (91 percent of players from Florida)

No. 2 – Florida International (83 percent)

No. 3 – Florida Atlantic (81 percent)

No. 4 – Central Florida (81 percent)

No. 5 – Florida (70 percent)

No. 6 – Miami (62 percent)

No. 7 – FLORIDA STATE (59 percent)

Now, before I get those out there saying I’m hating on guys like Cam Akers, Derrick Nnadi, Ronald Darby and even Jameis Winston who have come through the FSU football program recently, I am not saying that at all – there is a need to get the best players from across the country and convince them that the Seminoles are the program to play for.

That being said, there is a direct correlation between when the Noles lose an emphasis on recruiting the state of Florida and when the losses pile up. During the lost decade – in part because  the Canes and Gators were winning titles – FSU football had to go outside the state to get some recruits since they were losing in state battles.

The rise of Miami has made things somewhat harder to recruit South Florida with the mass success the Seminoles had in the first half of this decade, but it seems as if he previous coach was more focused on getting the top players in states like Virginia, Louisiana and other places while being in a state with arguably the best football talent in the country.

Would I take a three star recruit from areas like Miami, Tampa or Orlando over a five star player from Arkansas? In a heartbeat because the level of talent is so much more that those guys are going to be closer to being college ready than someone who played inferior high school competition.

The irony is that many of those players at South Florida were recruited by…Willie Taggart during his time coaching the Bulls. It gives hope that last year’s class – with just nine of 21 players being from Florida – was a one time thing just because of the short turnaround.

Go after top players from football rich states like Georgia, Texas, Alabama and other locations – but the FSU football recruiting class each season needs to be at least three quarters Sunshine State prospects.