High School Recruiting Has Changed
Mike Norvell was ahead of the curve on using the transfer portal, and I believe he's ahead of the curve on which positions to concentrate on from the high school ranks. The days of landing top-five high school recruiting classes are no more. What good does it do for a program to sign a top player who never plays a down, and then he enters the transfer portal? That's what's happening in college football. FSU recruited Jalen Brown out of high school, he signed with LSU, didn't make one catch all season, and he's in the transfer portal. Sam McCall is a prime FSU example of a highly-ranked player not contributing and leaving after one year. We're seeing more and more guys enter the portal after one season.
Which positions take the longest to develop and get on the field? The offensive line and that position need continuity to be an effective unit, so it makes more sense to concentrate on developing high school offensive linemen. The defensive line can have special players now and then make an impact as freshmen, but it often takes 1 to 2 years before they can contribute significant snaps. Why spend the money and resources on high school defensive linemen who likely can't play in year one and can enter the transfer portal if they want? It's easier to get players with experience from the transfer portal. Look at what Braden Fiske brought to FSU from Western Michigan. Look at what Jared Verse brought from Albany. If the staff can evaluate talent, they likely stand a better shot of having a higher hit rate in the trenches from the portal than from the high school ranks. I believe that's Mike Norvell's philosophy with defensive line recruiting and linebackers.