- Corey Dowlar, RecruitingNation
Florida State's 2013 recruiting has been loosely tied, if at all, to the results on the field this season.
There is an interesting motif that has weaved through the fan base, media and prospects alike when it comes to the Seminoles, who this week claim the 12th best recruiting class for 2013. People want to know whether they are who they appear to be.
Commitments have come and gone with zero correlation to wins. Following the win against Clemson, a top-10 team, in September, there was no rush of pledges despite there being more than 100 prospects in attendance. After the loss at North Carolina State, there were no processes that opened up again.
Instead, Florida State's recruiting successes have been sporadic and correlated more with groundwork laid over the summer and time gone by. And it has been more for younger prospects than the seniors.
Denzel Ware, an ESPN Watch List defensive end prospect out of Crestview, Fla., committed not because he saw Florida State dismantle an FCS opponent in a stadium filled with below average attendance. No, it was again because of his relationship with the staff and the feeling of being comfortable.
With the season drawing to a close, things could change in a hurry. The separation between contender and pretender is starting to become a little clearer.
If Florida State beats Florida, wins an ACC championship and heads off to a BCS bowl, the Noles will have that tangible success that fans, media and recruits have been wondering about for years now. With so many highly regarded prospects still in play, evidence of return on such a season will come to pass.
The Seminoles, then, are presented with a golden opportunity to take their "recruiting destiny" into their own hands.
Coach Jimbo Fisher can prove that he is more than just a stock-piler of talent. He can prove that he can bring a team to the next level and his players to the big stage.
Or the skepticism could prove correct, too. The jury is still out on a results-based recruiting impact, but it won't be for long.
2dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney