- Corey Dowlar, RecruitingNation
NoleNation takes a look at five candidates for the safety position among the Class of 2014:
Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside): The last time Florida State went to Bayside High School, they came away with their current starting quarterback, EJ Manuel. Blanding has a positive outlook on Florida State, and a lot of that has to do with Manuel's presence there. He was far too young to have been teammates with him, but Manuel's success is widely known locally. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound safety already has offers from Connecticut, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. And he's also on ESPN's Watch List for the Class of 2014.
Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb): In the shadows of Neyland Stadium, one of the top defensive back prospects in the country makes his home feasting off of opposing offenses. With offers including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, Kelly is an easy choice for ESPN's Watch List. He's got good size at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds and moves well. It would be a difficult pull to get Kelly out from the heart of SEC country, but the Seminoles did themselves a favor by at least offering early.
Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County): In what is shaping up to be a Florida-Florida State battle, this ESPN Watch List member could see an all-out battle for his signature between two in-state rivals. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Dawson also has offers from Big Ten schools Iowa and Wisconsin, but it doesn't appear likely that he will leave the state for college. At this point, the Gators are considered to have a lead for Dawson, but Florida State remains very much in the mix.
Jalen Tabor (Washington D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy): With offers from the who's who of college football, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Tabor is a clear choice for the ESPN Watch List for the Class of 2014. The Seminoles, who have had some success recruiting the D.C. area, would love to see that continue here. Alabama, Florida and Ohio State are some schools that figure to have the inside track for his signature, but FSU will continue their efforts for as long as they make Tabor's cut.
Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia): A 6-foot-1, 185-pound prospect with offers from FIU , USF and Tennessee, Marshall's recruitment is off to a bright start. Florida State has shown significant interest in the safety, headed up by defensive line coach Odell Haggins. Marshall was a fixture on the sideline at Doak Campbell Stadium in September, visiting multiple times, including for the Clemson game. The Seminoles have not offered yet, but if they were to do so, they would be a favorite to land Marshall.
2dDavid M. Hale
3dDavid M. Hale
4dDavid M. Hale