Five Star Friday
Who would have thought Citadel week down in Tallahassee would wind up being such a huge week for the Seminoles? The Seminoles, coming off a 37-31 win over the young but very talented Oklahoma State team are hitting what would be considered a lull in the schedule. Kick off is tonight at 7:30PM against the Citadel and the Noles are 55 point favorites. This week is followed up by a bye week before playing Clemson the following week, a game that has determined the ACC Atlantic winner the last 4 years. Coming into the year, this might have been a good stretch to double down on work and other responsibilities so you can concentrate your fandom during the remainder of the year, right? WRONG! FSU had arguably their biggest recruiting day ever, and not in the way you’ve probably come to expect. Not to mention two other major announcements on current players on the football team.
The day started off with the announcement of George Campbell, a 4* ATH/WR, widely considered a top 10 player in the state of FL and a top 100 player in the country. Campbell was down to 3 schools in FSU, UF and LSU. At noon Campbell made his announcement, declaring that his collegiate years will be located in Tallahassee playing for Jimbo Fisher. Campbell is arguably the best athlete in the country, though he does have suspect hands for a recruit hoping to be a collegiate wide out. As Fisher has shown in the past with recruits like Xavier Rhodes, James Wilder and Karlos Williams, Campbell will be given the chance to play the position of his choosing. Jimbo’s choice to give these players this opportunity is one advantage he’s held in recruiting over his tenure at FSU. That paired with his success in position moves (See the aforementioned Rhodes & Williams, Cam Erving and others) gives FSU fans confidence Campbell will find a productive role moving forward with the Noles. Campbell is expected to be an Early Enroll recruit, something the Seminoles are focusing on this recruiting cycle.
The next big news of the day to drop was the eligibility of Chris Casher, the starting defensive end for the Noles opposite Mario Edwards. Casher had missed the Oklahoma State game which put the talented but mostly inexperienced defensive ends. Jimbo’s lack of trust in the back ups led to Edwards playing every snap for the Noles! Something that just isn’t sustainable over the course of a season. It was announced that Casher had his academics cleared and he will be eligible to play for the Noles tonight. This is about as good of news the Noles could have asked for this week. Having Casher get in some game time reps and practice for 2 weeks before Clemson is huge. Sadly not all eligibility news was completely positive for the Noles.
The rumor mill around Matthew Thomas this year has been unlike anything I’ve seen before in Tallahassee. Jimbo had previously reported that he was out due to an ankle injury, but there was too much mystery around that is was more. As reported by Rick Ballou, TomahawkNation and Warchant, Thomas had failed a drug test last year at the Rose Bowl during the Championship season. Per NCAA rule, he would be suspended for a full year for the violation. However in August this year, they changed the punishment from a full season to 6 games. It appears Thomas has been appealing this year suspension and very well may have won. Warchant reported that Thomas is “out indefinitely” but should “return midseason”. The hope for all Noles fans is that he will be back for the Notre Dame game. Thomas was a 5* Linebacker recruit last year who got hurt during the season. He should be able to secure a starting spot if he does indeed return this year.
Later in the evening, that’s where the Seminoles day/week/month, heck even year takes off into a stratosphere the Noles are not used to. Coming into town was a pair of 5* recruits for the Seminoles basketball team in Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon. Yes I did say BASKETBALL team. Malik got the night going announcing he was pledging his services to the Noles being the first 5* recruit since Michael Snaer for the Noles after coming in second for the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes. Beasley is a top 50 player for the 2015 class and can score, something that should make most Noles fans smile. His frame also gives him potential be a lockdown defender in Coach Hamilton’s suffocating defense.
Next came the player atop the Seminoles wish list this year, with Coach Ham bringing home the Bacon. Dwayne Bacon, a top 15 player in the class of 2015 committed. I absolutely love watching his highlights, the kid is an extremely talented player who can fill the small forward void that the Seminoles had heading into 2015. Bacon plays with utmost confidence, hitting many pull up three’s and finishing strong at the rim with apparently ease. This pair of recruits to go along with Terrance Mann who previously committed should lead the Seminoles into what could be one of the better basketball season in Tallahassee that we’ve seen.
The trio of players currently lands FSU as the #3 recruiting class in basketball. That’s right, FSU has a better recruiting class in basketball than the normal ACC powers of UNC, Syracuse and Duke, let alone state rival UF! George Campbell added to an already stellar top 10 recruiting class for the Noles that appears to just continue to rise and rise. The loss of Matthews this year hurts as expected, but can be manageable, especially if he does indeed return midseason. Finally I still believe the news of Chris Casher returning to the field tonight is the biggest news of it all, since his impact can be felt literally today. It continues to be a great time to be a fan of the Garnet and Gold, so enjoy the ride Seminoles Fans. As one last reminder, don’t forget to tune in and support the Noles tonight at 7:30 as they play the Citadel, check your local listings for the game. This is a great opportunity to see some of the young players and the future stars in the years to come. Go Noles!