22 December 2011
Now that we are in the "quiet" period, we'll catch up with a few commits and targets to get an idea of where they presently stand.
Alphonse Taylor OL 6-6 340 Davidson (AL) high school
As of the time of this writing, Taylor is still de-committed to FSU. However the big offensive lineman took a visit this past weekend to Tallahassee with family to reassess things and ultimately determine his next course of action. Some are split as to Taylor's actual reasons for de-committing but the general consensus is that he would play along the defensive line for Alabama while he was only being recruited as an offensive lineman for Florida State. However, it isn’t totally clear at this time whether the Crimson Tide would even have room for Taylor in their recruiting class. Alphonse is an early enrollee candidate so hopefully this saga finds a resolution soon
Kyle Long OL 6-7 290 Saddleback Community college (Mission Viejo, California)
Long committed to the University of Oregon over the weekend. This is a development that occurred approximately a week after going on an official visit to Eugene, Oregon with his parents. The JUCO lineman who plays for Saddleback (CA) community college is only eligible to play one year of college ball but is expected to file an appeal with the NCAA in hopes of being granted an additional year.
Menelik Watson OL 6-7 312 Saddleback Community college (Mission Viejo, California)
Watson is a JUCO target for the Seminoles whose recruitment has picked steadily over the past month. He has officially visited the University of Washington and traveled to Auburn for another official visit this past weekend where he named them his leader. It would probably be best advised to wait until after Watson’s official visit to Florida State to assess the Noles chances of landing the athletic lineman.
Mario Edwards Jr. DE 6-4 280 Denton (TX) Ryan high school
Edward took a recruiting trip to the University of Texas recently. And of course, the rumors surfaced again in regards to Edwards and the standing of his commitment to the Noles. From all accounts, Edwards Jr. enjoyed the trip and was indeed photographed flashing the "Hook em" horns sign. But I trust that this was all done simply in fun as Edwards was accompanying his high school teammate, good friend and Longhorn commit Alex De La Torre on his official visit. No real concern here.
PJ Williams DB 6-1 170 Vanguard high school; Ocala, Florida
After his official visit, there were murmurs coming out of South Florida that the Canes could possibly flip Williams, who was the first pledge of Florida State's 2012 recruiting class. Now PJ had been heavily recruited by the Canes since this past summer and was very interested in the Miami program (He was accompanied on his trip by family. Always a telltale sign of legitimate interest). However shortly after the trip PJ reaffirmed his commitment to FSU. Now most insiders probably won't agree, but this may be a situation worth revisiting just to be sure.
Eddie Goldman DT 6-4 310 Friendship Academy (Washington DC)
Florida State defensive line coach Odell Haggins had an in home visit last week with the nation's number one defensive tackle. And as always, Goldman's father Eddie Muhammad had nothing but glowing things to say about Haggins. However, Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban himself had an in-home visit with Goldman just two days later. The general feeling now is that Alabama has made up significant ground with the big interior lineman from Washington DC. This feeling actually goes back to the weekend of Goldman's official visit to the University of Miami. I would still say as of now that if there was indeed a "leader" for Goldman's services it would be Florida State. But make no mistake Alabama is definitely a significant player in this recruiting battle and will be so up until National Signing Day.
Evan Goodman OG 6-4 290 Lakeland (FL) high school
Now there have been a lot of things to like about FSU's pursuit of the Arizona State commit. Goodman has already taken an official visit to Florida State and will visit Tallahassee on his own dime in January. Add to that the period of uncertainty that surrounded the Sun Devil program after the firing of head coach Dennis Erickson and a relatively long search to find a suitable replacement. Now with that being said, Goodman is still committed to Arizona State, a new coach has been hired, and Goodman's twin brother Devin is currently a freshman on the Arizona State football team. All those factors lead me to believe Goodman may be a much harder pull than some Florida State fans are led to believe.
Tracy Howard CB 5-10 175 Miramar (FL) high school
Howard himself has been largely silent during the most recent stages of his recruitment as he has been focused on his high school team’s pursuit of the state championship. During his Miramar team’s championship game loss to Plant, Howard made an interception in the first quarter and ran back to the sideline doing the “Gator Chomp” signal. While much was made of this, the fact is Howard’s mother was accompanied in the stands by about six university of Florida coaches, including head coach Will Muschamp who was seated right next to Howard’s mother, Shaiy. After the game Howard expressed that he just acknowledging the coach’s presence with the gesture. More importantly, the standout cornerback expressed a strong desire to get to know Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher better. So, while many alarmists might feel the gesture signifies Howard leaning to the gators. It would probably be best not to place too much stock in such a thing. I do however feel two things; #1 The gators are going all out in their pursuit of Howard (Which is somewhat of a change recently from what I have been told in the past few months from speaking with UF sources) and # 2 The University of Alabama has made a significant move in making a play for Howard’s commitment. Howard was initially scheduled to announce his decision in January at the US Army All Star game. However, in an interview shortly after Miramar’s state championship loss Howard confirmed that he will take visits to both LSU and Alabama after the US Army game. Those will be his third and fourth official visits. His fifth visit will come down to either USC or the University of Florida. Howard acknowledged that has already visited Florida “several times”.
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