Thursday, February 7, 2013
Pruitt makes instant impact on 2013 class
By Corey Dowlar
Florida State's recruiting class might have looked a lot different if it weren't for the hire of defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Pruitt's appointment in Tallahassee directly resulted in no fewer than two commitments from top-40 players destined elsewhere that the Seminoles wouldn't have had a shot at otherwise.
Beginning with DeMarcus Walker (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) on the night of the national championship, Pruitt's move orchestrated one of the headlines of the season. Minutes after Nick Saban and Alabama hoisted another national championship trophy, the Tuscaloosa-bound Walker switched his commitment to Florida State and enrolled at the school the next day.
Flipping Jalen Ramsey from USC to FSU was one of Jeremy Pruitt's biggest recruiting coups.
Jalen Ramsey (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood), the No. 14 prospect in the country, was next on the list.
A longtime commitment to USC, Ramsey became unsettled down the stretch. He visited Florida and Florida State during the process, and both programs figured to be a major factor.
But Pruitt got Florida State there in the first place. A couple of weeks later, Ramsey's national letter of intent was faxed to Tallahassee, not Gainesville or Los Angeles.
The flipping didn't end there.
Pruitt returned to Alabama, the state he's most familiar with, to turn Nate Andrews (Fairhope, Ala./Fairhope) from Minnesota. Andrews, a three-star prospect, was evaluated thoroughly by the coaching staff, and it came away impressed.
Some of Pruitt's value might have come in intangible ways. It is hard to quantify if defensive recruits, such as Marquez White (Dothan, Ala./Northview), felt at ease at FSU because of Pruitt.
Regardless, Pruitt represents one of the rare examples of a coach coming into a situation with mass turnover and making a class better in spite of it.