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Insider

FSU gets hooks into greater Miami

8/9/2012

Though the Seminoles did not sign a single player from the Greater Miami area in 2012, they have begun to make their home in one of the most talent-rich cities in the country.

The 2013 haul isn't complete yet, true, but it already is a marked increase from just a year ago.

The Seminoles have commitments from Adrian Baker, Michael Johnson, and Jesus Wilson -- all of whom look to be heading into the defensive backfield. But some of the biggest targets left on their board reside at Miami's Booker T. Washington in outside linebacker Matthew Thomas and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland.

The 2014 commitment list has even more names.

C.J. Worton's commitment Sunday gave the Seminoles four pledges for 2014 from the Miami area. Just one commitment so far, J.C. Jackson from Immokalee, lives outside the region.

Joseph Yearby, regarded as one of the top running back prospects in 2014, guided Miami's Central High School to the 6A State Final as the Rockets fell to Armwood in the season finale.

Wide receiver Jake McCrary has done nothing but impress on the camp circuit this summer and JoJo Robinson jumped on board despite not attending Jimbo Fisher Camp on the day he committed.

Why, though, has FSU suddenly returned to the area in such force?

Most analysts will say the 2012 crop wasn't as strong as it has been now. And they might be right.

That's a departure from the norm. What's happening now is the area's return to strong, high-quality football. And Florida State's coaching staff is well equipped to take advantage.

Offensive coordinator James Coley has always recruited the area well having coached at Miami Senior and Norland High School and then later returning to Florida International the year before being hired away to Florida State in 2008.

There might not be a better recruiter of the Greater Miami area during the course of a career than running backs coach Eddie Gran. He's always found success there in his days at Ole Miss, Auburn and Tennessee.

Dameyune Craig, Florida State's quarterbacks coach who has had well-documented success in Alabama, pitches in, too.

Nothing is guaranteed, but as long as the Seminoles continue to win on the football field -- defeating their in-state rivals included -- and manage to keep their relationships and staff intact, there isn't a reason to think this trend couldn't continue all the way until national signing day and beyond.