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Friday, July 19, 2013
FSU adds big back Johnathan Vickers

By Corey Dowlar

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State has its big back for the Class of 2014.

Johnathan Vickers (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) will stay home to play for the Seminoles after committing to FSU on a local television broadcast and attending the second Jimbo Fisher Camp.

Vickers, who chose the Seminoles over Louisville, credited the relationships he's developed with Fisher and running backs coach Jay Graham.

"Coach Fisher, Coach Graham, the relationship I have built with them over the last couple of years,” the four-star running back said. “Their running style, their academics and just everything they stand for here."

The coaching staff has been pushing for a commitment from the 6-foot, 212-pound Vickers since the first camp session in June. Vickers sees himself being used in a variety of ways.

"Just like they have used every other back, you know, Chris Thompson, James Wilder -- he came in at 230 and I am at 215 right now, and I should be about 225 when I get here," said Vickers. "Same running and blocking scheme and coming out of the flats and stuff like that."

ESPN’s scouts agree with the assessment.

“This is a prospect with a coveted size/speed ratio and overall impressive physical tools to develop,” the scouting report said. “Has a taller, well-built frame that looks like it could still fill out to the 220-pound range without losing the necessary speed he currently displays. Shows flashes on a straight-away of having much better speed than you might think.

“Vickers is a workhorse type of runner. Shows flashes of being a nice check-down with soft hands out of the backfield. Has good speed and strength and projects to be more of a downhill back at the next level. This is a physical back with good hole quickness, and he is only going to get bigger and stronger. Nice fit for a downhill scheme with some cutback possibilities for him to exploit.”

The No. 39-rated running back was being recruited by Alabama, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin before choosing his local team.

Vickers is the only running back in the Seminoles’ 2014 class. The 19th commit in the class joins 11 other offensive players.