For only the second time since 1948, Florida State didn’t sign a single player from Georgia. Blame it mainly on the assistant coaches who bailed, like Demayune Craig (his area). While FSU rebounded nicely from the departure of so many assistants by signing a top ten class, it came up with a big goose egg in the Peach State. Even Jimbo couldn’t work his magic across the state line.
But then the Noles were barely under consideration by Georgia’s best to begin with. Of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s top 50 players, not one had FSU as a contender in the week before signing day. The only guy on the list who was serious about the Noles late in the game was DE Davin Bellamy, a Rivals 3-Star. Bellamy was committed to FSU for most of 2012, but switched to the home state Bulldogs on January 30th, despite a visit by newly-hired Sal Sunseri on the 11th.
So maybe it wasn’t a great year for Georgia talent, you say? Apparently the gators believed it was. They recruited the state hard. Even Will Muschamp’s death ray stare on the sidelines during the UGA-UF game didn’t turn off six Georgia players-- kids who in previous years would’ve at least had FSU on their hot lists. Four of them were AJC Top 50 players. The other two were from South Georgia towns always considered Seminole territory, as much if not more than UGA.
Example: Octavious Jackson a 6-4, 275 OG from Moultrie, just an hour from Tallahassee -- and from Cam Erving’s high school -- signed with the dark side. Didn’t even have FSU on his list.
Border states on all sides joined in the harvest of Georgia’s 2013 high school crop. FSU’s main ACC rival, Clemson, reeled in five Georgia players. National champ Alabama grabbed three. Tennessee signed four and Auburn inked six.
Here’s hoping this one year Georgia drought is just that -- one year. FSU’s new assistants need to re-establish the Noles as the coolest, and in many cases the closest, out of state choice for Peach State stars.