Florida State recruiting mailbag: Does not getting a QB hurt Seminoles’ class?

Feb 09, 2018
  • By Sanjay Kirpalani
  • Diehards

Have Florida State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. You can tweet @Sanjay Kirpalani or @NolesDieHards with your questions. Join us every Friday for the Florida State DieHards recruiting mailbag to discuss Seminoles recruiting. This week, we discuss … where things stand with potential commitments, especially at defensive end.

First up this week, we have Alex Richmond asking whether the lack of a quarterback commitment hurts the Seminoles’ 2018 class?

It depends on how you look at it, Alex.

Let’s go glass half full first. And this is the approach Willie Taggart took in his presser after the Seminoles missed out on James Foster, who was the only passer they targeted, to Texas A&M.

“We’d like to have signed a quarterback in this class, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world that we didn’t sign one in this class,” Taggart said. “It’s important that we sign one next year. It will be great having the whole year to make sure you get the right guy in here. It has to be the right guy.”

He’s not wrong when you consider that Florida State has two experienced quarterbacks returning, sophomore James Blackman and junior Deondre Francois. I think Florida State can win games with either player.

The problem is with depth. The only other scholarship quarterback on the roster is redshirt freshman Bailey Hockman. He will also compete for the starting job in the spring and fall with Blackman and Francois — who is still recovering from the season-ending injury he suffered in the Alabama game and is unlikely to be cleared for full contact by spring practice.

Another thing to consider is how perilous this situation becomes this fall if any one of the three quarterbacks opts to transfer if they aren’t chosen as the starter.

That’s where Foster could have been a great insurance policy. Additionally, having a quarterback in this class would help reset the pecking order with quarterback recruiting where you can take one player at the position in each cycle. Now, it’s likely the Seminoles opt to take two quarterbacks in the 2019 cycle.

Regardless, that’s the dilemma Taggart and his staff are faced with in the 2018 season, so expect them to make finding a quarterback their top priority in the 2019 cycle.

Next, Steve Zolciak asks about which one of Florida State’s five receiver signees will make the quickest impact?

The first thing I will say, Steve, is that with Florida State’s lack of depth at receiver this fall, I expect a few of the five receivers signed in the Seminoles’ 2018 class to play this fall.

The one I would pick to make the quickest impact would be Tre’Shaun Harrison. He’d be my pick for a few reasons.

One, he and Warren Thompson are the two receivers that Taggart had been recruiting since he was at Oregon and has a long-standing relationship with. I don’t think Taggart enticed him to make his way to Tallahassee from Seattle to be a bystander.

Harrison is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound blur who might be the most versatile prospect of this group. As a senior, he caught 55 passes for 1,102 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also played defensive back on the prep level and was a standout return man.

But when you look at how he projects to the college level, he runs the 40-yard dash in a reported time of 4.35 seconds. With his size and speed, he can be a player that works the slot and gets bubble screens and turn short passes into long gains while also possessing the deep speed necessary to beat defenses with the deep ball.

Overall, he might prove to be the piece that fits best into Taggart’s high-octane, uptempo attack — at least in the early going.

Finally, Glenn Rainey asks about Florida State’s needs in the 2019 cycle.

As we referenced above, you can safely put quarterback at the top of the list as far as needs in the 2019 cycle.

I expect linebacker to be another area of focus on defense, as well as the trenches on both lines of scrimmage.

Safety and receiver should continue to be replenished also. Of course, the needs will fluctuate as the roster continues to fill out and sort itself out.

For now, I’d expect quarterback and linebacker to take center stage in the early going.

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