football Edit

FSU, ND benefit from classic

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It's the Florida State Seminoles' world and everyone else, Mississippi State included, is just watching the show. At least that's how it was this past weekend when the Seminoles beat Notre Dame (yes it was the correct call on the pick play) and hosted a ton of recruiting talent. However, this was actually one of those games that will be able to help both programs in the long run.
The Seminoles were able to showcase their program, school and game day atmosphere to many important recruits, while for the Fighting Irish were able to prove to many doubters that their team can compete against elite level athletes in the Southeast and redeemed themselves a bit for the brutal drubbing at the hands of Alabama in the national championship game in 2012.
For Florida State, one of their remaining priorities is adding a couple of cornerbacks to this class. With Tarvarus McFadden, DaVante Davis and Kendall Sheffield all taking their official visits for the Notre Dame game, the Seminoles feel rather confident that they can grab two of the three. Davis is currently the most likely of the three, as he had Florida State as his leader before the visit, and definitely still has them there afterwards. McFadden, however, is a must -get and makes his decision on Oct. 31. He has ties to Georgia (former teammates Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie), but some feel he will commit to the Seminoles on Halloween and then the staff will have to sweat out one final trip with his family to Athens. If he picks Georgia, it appears that will end the process. As for Sheffield, leaving the state of Texas appears to be less of a longshot than when the process started when most penciled him in for Texas A&M.
A surprise visitor to Florida State was five-star defensive tackle Daron Payne, who has long been considered an Alabama lean with Auburn and Mississippi State on the Tide's heels. Payne came away very impressed with the game atmosphere and the play of the defensive line, specifically Eddie Goldman, and paid his own way on this trip, which is huge. A return trip to Florida State for an official visit is more and more likely, and while Alabama still has to be considered the leader, the Seminoles have made up some ground since the season started.
For the Seminoles, the biggest recruiting issue may actually be numbers, as there just aren't enough spots left for the amount of talent that is interested in Florida State. The defensive backfield is a priority, but after that, the Seminoles can afford to do a little bit more picking and choosing. On the offensive line, Jalen Merrick has become more of a priority. While Florida and Miami are still seriously in consideration, the Seminoles definitely helped their situation on Saturday.
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On the defensive line, four-star Neville Gallimore made his way from Canada for an official visit. While it is very likely this will put the Seminoles very high on his list, will Florida State take his commitment if they believe that they now have a serious chance with Payne? There are still a lot of scenarios that need to play themselves out at Florida State before we really know how they actually fill out their recruiting class.
Now moving ahead to the Class of 2016, Saturday's game should provide a huge boost. Top in-state targets such as Shavar Manuel, Saivion Smith, Elijah Stove, Binjimen Victor, Jordan Woods, Malik Barrow, Patrick Bethel, Trayvon Mullen and Sam Bruce were all in attendance, but a couple out-of-state visitors should be noted. Five-star cornerback Levonta Taylor made his way to the game from Virginia and may return for the Florida game later this fall, while Alabama five-star commit Demetris Robertson definitely left Tallahassee holding the Seminoles in very high regard. Going back to Sam Bruce for a second, the Miami commit definitely was not bashful at the game with his appreciation for Florida State, as he was actually wearing Seminoles gear basically from head-to-toe. While he may be committed to the Canes, it is already obvious that the Seminoles will not be backing off Bruce any time soon. FSU is at the point where they are picking rather than recruiting in some instances and the only other program that has been able to do that in the last five or six years is in Tuscaloosa. Is a dynasty in the works?
One disappointment for Florida State from the weekend is that 2016 five-star quarterback Malik Henry did not attend, as originally was planned. However, he still plans to take a visit to Tallahassee this fall before his decision, which is still supposed to happen before the end of his junior season. The Seminoles definitely need this visit if they hope to overtake Notre Dame, who has been seen as his leader for several months now, and the play of Notre Dame in this huge game can only help their chances with Henry. Which offense does Henry fit into the best? I think it's the Seminoles, but he's so versatile he could play in any offense. However, when watching Henry on film and Jameis Winston, the similarities are clearly there.
As for Notre Dame, despite the loss they still managed to accomplish a great deal of what they were hoping to show in the game. The Irish already had the attention of four-star linebacker Tevon Coney and with his decision coming Thursday, anything but a commitment to Notre Dame will come as a huge shock. This came down to Notre Dame and Florida, but with the Gators nose-diving, the Irish have been the leader for a while now. Grabbing a four-star recruit from the Sunshine State is very important for what the Irish are trying to accomplish on the field, and they hope it's a sign of things to come.
With a bye week this weekend, it comes at the perfect time for the Irish coaching staff to hit the road and sell their product down in SEC country especially. That may seem odd to say after a loss, but many feel they defeated the best team in the Southeast and reigning national champions and that will give them a recruiting boost. Another player that might get a bit of an extra push from the staff in the next week or two is four-star running back Soso Jamabo from Texas, who took an official visit to South Bend in September. Jamabo has three possible official visits remaining, with Baylor, Texas A&M, Oregon, Ole Miss and Arizona State being possibilities. However, no additional visits have been finalized and you can be sure that the Notre Dame staff will work overtime in the next couple of weeks to try and secure a commitment. While his official visit to UCLA went well, most sources still believe that Notre Dame remains very much in this race and Jamabo is an instant difference-maker.
While there are a few other targets remaining for the Class of 2015, such as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Buncom IV, Equanimeous St. Brown, Porter Gustin, Cameron Scarlett, Cordell Broadus, Iman Marshall and Ykili Ross, with limited spots remaining, you can also be sure that the coaching staff will begin to go full throttle into the Class of 2016.
None of these prospects on Notre Dame's short list are from the Southeast. Just wait. I'm telling you, the goal of the move to the ACC schedule was to secure recruits from the Southeast and it will begin to happen with more regularity in 2016, 2017 and beyond.
This game was a win-win for both programs.
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