The Confidential

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Archive for the tag “Jimbo Fisher”

ACC TwitterBag, December 15, 2013

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

If you have any questions for the Confidential, don’t bother emailing… follow us on Twitter @ acconfi and send a direct message there.  Or leave us an answer here in the comments section for the next rundown.  If you insist on emailing, sending it to  If it is a good one (or there are only a few), we’ll answer it here.  Let us know how you want to be described (anonymously, etc.).

Now… onto the mailbag…errr… twitterbag.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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FSU Sets School Record – Tops for NFL Draft

This is my first post for ACC Confidential as the new contributor for the Seminoles of Florida State. I grew up in the middle of Big 10 country (Indiana), but fell in love with all things FSU during my first game at the Doak. Im looking forward to a turn around in ACC football and total domination during the basketball season.

Let’s begin…

Florida State had 11 former players drafted in this week’s NFL draft setting an all-time school record and leading all teams. 2012 Champion Alabama had 9 players drafted. The Noles got off to a fast start with three players drafted in the first round on Thursday evening and another two in the early portion of the second round accounting for 5 of the first 42 picks.

Seminoles drafted in the Top 42 picks:
EJ Manual QB 16th (Bills)
Bjoern Werner DE 24th (Colts)
Xavier Rhodes CB 25th (Vikings)
Tank Carradine DE 40th (49ers)
Menelik Wilson OT 42nd (Raiders)

Obviously the cupboard was filled with talent for the Noles last year.

Jimbo and Quarterback U?

With the selection of EJ Manual in the first round of the draft, Jimbo Fisher has solidified his reputation for developing quarterback talent. Fisher has now coached three recent quarterbacks that were drafted in the first round. In addition to Manual, Christian Ponder (2011) and JaMarcus Russell (2007)-from Fisher’s days in LSU-were drafted in the first round.

FSU: search for OC, recruiting, and ACC woes


News on the latest with FSU

Search for OC continues:  Ever since James Coley left, Jimbo Fisher has been operating with one less position coach.  Recently, it was rumored that former UCLA OC Mike Johnson was on campus for an interview.  Meanwhile, Tee Martin, current WRs coach at USC, was rumored to be also interviewing for the offensive coordinator position.  There haven’t been many leaks about who’s getting hired, so no one truly knows.  The big question will be whether the person named offensive coordinator is actually going to be the person who calls the plays someday.  Remember, Jimbo still calls the plays at FSU.  He admitted late last year that getting a real OC was part of his 5 year plan.  FSU currently has two former OCs as assistants (Randy Sanders, RB coach and Billy Napier, TE coach).  The wildcard here is that Jimbo promotes one of them to OC and hires an assistant with ties to the Miami area.

Early 2013 rankings:  FSU comes in at 16 according to Schlabach.  Here’s what Schabach had to say:

“The Seminoles underwent a complete facelift after finishing 12-2 last season. Coach Jimbo Fisher lost six assistants from his staff, including defensive coordinator Mark Stoops (Kentucky’s new coach) and offensive coordinator James Coley (same position at Miami). Fisher hired former Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt as his defensive coordinator and has yet to hire an offensive coordinator, although Fisher will probably continue to call FSU’s plays. Despite the staff overhaul, Fisher was able to bring in the country’s ninth-best recruiting class, which included No. 4 cornerback Jalen Ramsey, No. 5 defensive tackle DeMarcus Walker and No. 10 outside linebacker Matthew Thomas. The Seminoles will spend the spring looking for a new quarterback after losing EJ Manuel, who won four bowl games. They’ll also have to rebuild their defensive line, especially after star end Bjoern Werner left for the NFL draft.”

He’s spot on.  It’s a rebuild.  New coaches, new QB, new players on defense and new scheme.  Meanwhile, Clemson clocks in at 11.  It’s absolutely imperative for the ACC to have two top 20 teams.  At a minimum.

Recruiting:  This week, Rivals published its list of best recruiters.  Topping the list is Mike Groh at Alabama, but 2 FSU coaches made the list: Jeremy Pruitt and Odell Haggins.  The funny thing about Pruitt is that he was only on the staff for a month.  But he was able to pull a top 5 DE, CB and then brought in a few sleepers he evaluated himself.  Not bad work.  Odell, meanwhile, is the most underrated FSU coach has.  Looking around the ACC, Clemson’s Venables got props as a top recruiter, but so did Mike Locksley at Maryland.  Maryland absolutely killed it in this class…

Speaking of recruiting, Noles 247 released an article this week about the recruitment of Matthew Thomas.  I’m not sure what’s worse; that he said he would have gone to USC if his mom signed the LOI or that Denver Kirkland would have gone to FSU if Thomas told him he was going.

ACC Woes: released an article this week about FSU’s major loss… to the tune of $478,000 for showing up to the ACC Championship Game.  How does this happen?  There’s only one answer in my book: hold conference championships at the “home” team’s field.  Obviously, come up with a revenue sharing strategy, but I know how the ACC could have sold 82,000 tickets and given both FSU and GT real money for having played in the ACC Championship Game.  It’s an easy fix.

A blurb on basketball:  I’ve been meaning to write about FSU’s squad this year.  Truth be told, they were green going into the year and then all hell broke loose with injuries.  It has been a tough year to watch.  They lost a battle against UM this week and took them to the wire.  Today, FSU plays BC today in Boston.  A win could go a long way to saving the season and building momentum.  Of course, while this season may be lost while we rebuild, next year will be great with Andrew Wiggins.

As always, please comment and Go Noles!

Jimbo Fisher will win a National Championship at Florida State

Before we discuss Florida State’s recruiting class, I’d like to give you some context:

  • Mark Stoops, Defensive Coordinator, left to be Head Coach at Kentucky.
  • DJ Eliot, Defensive Line Coach, left to be Defensive Coordinator at Kentucky.
  • Eddie Gran, Running Backs Coach, left to be Offensive Coordinator at Cincinatti.
  • Dameyune Craig, Quarterbacks Coach, left to be Offensive Coordinator at Auburn.
  • Greg Hudson, Linebackers Coach, left to be Defensive Coordinator at Purdue.
  • James Coley, Offensive Coordinator, left to be (real) Offensive Coordinator at Miami.

A typical college football coaching staff has approximately 10 coaches.  Head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators, and position coaches (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, secondary).  The list above represents the coaches Florida State lost in one off-season; the most recent defection to a rival, two weeks from signing day, hurt the most.  As soon as Jimbo Fisher hires his last assistant, I will follow-up with profiles on each of the new coaches.

But let that last point sink in some—Jimbo didn’t just finalize this class without an assistant coach, but that assistant coach happened to be his best recruiter who recruits the Miami territory.  And as he admitted in his post-signing day press conference, Jimbo found himself doing the grunt work for the home stretch.

After all the dust settled, Florida State signed another top 10 class.  Many insiders are a touch disappointed because it could have been better.  There were a few that got away, like Denver Kirkland (OL) and Stacy Coley (WR).  More reason for concern is the lack of offensive line depth.  Florida State easily expected to sign 5-6 offensive lineman and only came away with 3 true offensive lineman and, potentially, a tight-end turned tackle in a few years time.  The rest of the class, however, is absolutely stacked.

The three best players in this class are on defense: Demarcus Walker (DE), Matthew Thomas (LB), and Jalen Ramsey (CB).  All are blue chips and considered top 5 at their position.  Meanwhile, Florida State’s seemingly singular focus on offense was speed.  And a lot of it.  For the second consecutive year, Florida State may have signed the fastest player in the country (last year it was Marvin Bracy, this year it is Kermit Whitfield).  Bracy and Whitfield have broken all types of track records.  Bracy is most known for his performance in this race.  And for the naysayers, yes, he’s fast in pads, too.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also show you Kermit Whitfield’s speed as well.  Jimbo’s strategy seems simple: a big, punishing, suffocating defense and burning speed on offense.  The SEC is awaiting a challenger to their style of smash mouth football but I think Jimbo is building the blueprint to challenge and break the paradigm.

And it all ties to the types of players Jimbo signs.  Athletes.  Smart kids with character.  Some blue chippers, some with chips on their shoulder.  This class will not go down as heralded as others, but these are handpicked players by Jimbo.  They fit the blueprint to a T.  This class also seems awfully reminiscent of FSU’s class of 2009 and 2010 — classes that are sending 13 players to the NFL combine.  It was this group that finally turned the corner for the program.  And each and every year, Jimbo just keeps adding to that foundation.

Lastly, looking around the rest of the ACC, and I’m sure my colleagues will correct me, it seems the top third of the conference is doing just fine in football performance.  However, the bottom two-thirds of the conference turned in weak performances.  I’m a little concerned by this.  The ACC will get better contracts for having a solid top-to-bottom slate.  The ACC is not capable of offering that right now, but then again, if you take away the SEC’s championship caliber teams, they aren’t all that different from the other conferences.

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