- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
ACC recruiting reporters Corey Dowlar and Jared Shanker took time Friday to answer questions in their weekly mailbag. You can send questions to them on Twitter with the #AskACC hashtag and mentioning @cdowlar and @JShankerESPN. Or reach them via email at email@example.com and JShankerESPN@gmail.com.
@fsurock38: How is FSU's offensive line recruiting going? Why does this always seem to be an issue every couple of years for Coach Trickett?
Corey Dowlar: Right now, it's adequate. They've got a couple of offensive linemen on board now, most notably four-star guard Corey Martinez. Ethan Frith, a three-star offensive tackle, is a good-looking prospect. He performed well at camp and proved he belongs in Florida State’s class. Finally, Alec Eberle is a tough interior offensive lineman who probably will end up at center. What FSU needs, and what I think they will get (as of now anyway), is a big-time offensive tackle. Four-star Roderick Johnson is said to be favoring the Seminoles and would be just what the doctor ordered.
As for Rick Trickett and the offensive line issues, it's important to understand that in college football recruiting very few programs can land elite offensive linemen every single year. Alabama does it because they've churned out pro after pro and love to run the football. So it is a difficult task. I don't think there is an exact reason that turns off recruits to Florida State, but people will talk about Trickett's rough attitude and even that he's getting up there in age. Something I've noticed about this class is that the coaching staff has been much more proactive in recruiting linemen and getting on them earlier in the process. It seems to be paying off to some extent.
@JUSTINSMITH78: You think [Montae] Nicholson to PSU is going to happen?
Jared Shanker: The Nittany Lions are definitely near the top, but a few ACC schools could stand in the way. Nicholson will be at Pitt on Monday -- he’ll be at PSU at some point too -- and he’s visited the Panthers more than any other team. Nicholson said he likes the idea of being the hometown hero, but he always adds that he’s not afraid to make a name for himself elsewhere. Florida State is also a school Nicholson likes, and his friend J.J. Cosentino is already committed to the Noles. At this point, those three schools are the most likely to land Nicholson. However, he wants to take most of, if not all five of his official visits, so teams like Oregon or Stanford could make a real push this fall.
Shanker: At this point I do not see either at Pitt. I know Kamara, an ESPN 300 receiver, enjoyed his visit to Pittsburgh, but it is hard to see him landing anywhere other than Virginia. The Cavs are the leader in the clubhouse, and it is anyone’s guess which school is even running second. Whichever team it is, it is already a lap down. As for Winfree, he also liked his visit to Pitt this summer, but there is a long way to go in his recruitment. Which brings us to the next question ...
@uric12: So who do you like for Winfree now that Rutgers is out?
Shanker: Winfree released his top six earlier this week with Georgia, Maryland, NC State, Pitt, Vanderbilt and West Virginia making the cut. He will officially visit Georgia in September, and that trip could really shake up his top group as he has yet to visit Athens. He just visited Maryland, and he liked what he saw from NC State this summer. Vanderbilt is a sleeper. Pittsburgh and West Virginia are two schools in good position, and Pitt is a school Winfree said was up there with Rutgers back in May. Maryland could have a slight lead now with Pitt possibly second. NC State and West Virginia might be just a step behind Pitt. The team’s on-field success in the first half of the 2013 season will have a big impact on Winfree, as will visits obviously. At this point, though, all six schools are legitimate contenders for Winfree.