Monday, January 21, 2013
Changing the game: 2010 class
By Corey Dowlar
Lamarcus Joyner was a five-star recruit in 2010, a class that seemed to bring Florida State back into the elite in recruiting.
For so many years, during the height of Bobby Bowden's run of championships and great teams, Florida State recruited at an elite level.
The Seminoles would lure the top prospects, not only from their talent-rich home state but from across the country. Their roster was loaded, as evidenced by the players Florida State sent to the NFL.
But somewhere along the line, those classes stopped panning out. Whether it was off-the-field issues, complacency or just a bust of talent, Florida State didn't reach the same level.
Jimbo Fisher's first year as head coach in 2010 signaled a revitalization. Florida State signed 25 prospects, eight of whom resided inside the ESPN 150.
It wasn't the best group Florida State had ever brought in -- it was the No. 6 class that year, according to the ESPN rankings -- but two prospects in particular, Lamarcus Joyner and Jeff Luc, sent a message.
The No. 1 players at their positions, as rated by ESPN, had their option to go to anywhere they liked. In-state rival Florida, a program coming off two national titles in the last couple of years, was in on those two players as well.
But Fisher and his assistants found a way to sign both five-star players. It told other elite prospects that the Seminoles might be a viable championship-level team again.
Luc didn't work out at Florida State, already having left the program, but Bjoern Werner, the No. 24 defensive end in the 2010 class, sure did. Werner could hear his name called within the first 10 picks of the NFL draft this April.
Most importantly, the 2010 FSU class laid the foundation for the next two classes. The 2011 class was ranked No. 1, and the 2012 class No. 2.