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Monday, December 3, 2012
2012 season's impact on recruiting

By Corey Dowlar

Jimbo Fisher
The 2012 season looks like a success on the field, but will Jimbo Fisher and his staff be able to translate that on signing day?

Florida State won 11 games and captured an ACC championship for the first time since 2005. But Seminoles fans can't decide if they should celebrate.

The success could feel hollow because of an underperforming conference, and questions remain if the program's momentum is moving forward.

That also applies to recruiting. A look at the positives and the negatives:

The Good

ACC title: Florida State was anointed by the national media as a favorite to win a national championship. They stumbled twice along the way.

But an ACC championship is tangible evidence of some sort of achievement. And in recruits' living rooms that means something -- certainly more than nothing at all. For the first time in seven years, the Seminoles coaching staff can tell prospects that a winning mentality has begun to take hold.

Beating Miami: More so than the last couple of years, South Florida is loaded with top-flight talent.

Having a road game with the Hurricanes gave them a chance to prove their status is more advanced than their in-state rivals. One game doesn't exactly become a decider, but it can be an influence.

Top talents such as Matthew Thomas, Alex Collins, Denver Kirkland and Stacy Coley were watching -- or from Florida State's perspective, they'd hope so.

The Negative

NC State loss: The Seminoles' hopes for national glory ended in Raleigh, N.C., on a last-minute comeback drive engineered by NC State quarterback Mike Glennon. The ACC hopes survived, but the loss was damaging. These were the games Florida State was no longer supposed to be losing.

They had their chance for retribution, and a golden one at that. A top-five Florida team visited Tallahassee, but Florida State fumbled away that opportunity.

Talk vs. results: Up until now, the recruits have been buying into whatever is being said by the coaching staff. But at some point, Jimbo Fisher and the coaching staff will have to truly cash in. Does it have to be a national title team? Not necessarily. But beating NC State and defending home turf against in-state rivals is necessary.

The program is certainly well stocked in talent and is better that it was when Fisher took over, but has it come far enough and fast enough to sustain a high level of recruiting? That should become apparent soon.