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Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Walker gives Pruitt, FSU momentum

By Corey Dowlar

Let's face it, things weren't going great for Florida State of late on the recruiting trail. Well, up until Monday night, anyway.

Amidst all of the turmoil that comes with multiple coaching changes -- and the loss of top recruiters at that -- the Seminoles had slipped a little bit. The class wasn't in a position to be in the top five, to which FSU fans have become accustomed in the last few years.

Florida State needed something big, something unexpected and something positive.

So, just like most college football fans on Monday night, the Garnet and Gold faithful tuned into the national championship game in Miami to watch an Alabama team thrash No. 1 Notre Dame. The last thing they would have expected is for the Seminoles to steal one of the top-ranked defensive linemen in the country from that same team hoisting the national championship trophy.

But that's what they did.

New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who coached for the Crimson Tide inside Sun Life Stadium, had been the lead recruiter for DeMarcus Walker (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) and was largely responsible for his impending enrollment in Tuscaloosa, Ala., this week. But as Pruitt left for Florida State, so did Walker.

By about the time Nick Saban and his team returned to the locker room to continue their celebration, Walker had made the flip to the Seminoles, becoming FSU's top-ranked commitment at No. 35 overall for the Class of 2013.

At 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, Walker will fit in with the likes of Mario Edward and Timmy Jernigan on the defensive line. In that sense, he wasn't tremendously important relative to need. What he is, though, is a signal. An injection of confidence and credibility not only for Florida State but for their new defensive coordinator.

The Seminoles might not swoop in and steal another coveted prospect for this cycle. They could even lose out on a guy like running back Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation).

But for now, the tide of negative perception has been stemmed, and, on the recruiting trail at least, Florida State fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Their new hire has already paid a dividend.

The question is whether or not it will continue leading into signing day, and if so, by how much.