A word of caution: don’t jump, it is going to be okay. I promise.
Over the weekend, FSU offered and received a commitment from Nyqwan Murray. This news made some fans upset and only because Murray seems like an undersized three-star recruit.
Maybe he is. But what we know is that Jimbo Fisher and his staff recruits a player, as he is today, but also how he projects for tomorrow. The textbook example of this is none other than Jacob Coker, a fairly unheralded quarterback when Jimbo Fisher first offered him, but he's poised to become the starting quarterback at Alabama.
[Note: I think Davarez Bryant is another example and a player that we will profile later this week for this very reason.]
I believe Nyquan Murray is going to prove the naysayers wrong and for so many reasons. First of all, the kid is only 16 years old and has a ton of room to grow. Second of all, have you seen his tape? Are you kidding me? This kid is s-m-o-o-t-h. Like butter. Or margarine, depending on your dietary restrictions or preferences. Third, the kid wants to be here. I know a lot recruits want to be at Florida State, but Murray committed immediately upon receiving the offer. Our recent success was built on kids like Kenny Shaw and Telvin Smith that may have been a little undersized and underrated, but wanted to be here and had the heart and soul of a Seminole. They also had a habit of playing "bigger than they were."
So, please, for a moment, step back from the edge of the cliff. Jimbo Fisher recruited himself a football player. A kid who players bigger than he is. A kid who projects to be better than “just a three star.” The kid is a home-run threat each time he touches the ball.
I understand the gripes. Fans feels that, given our recent success, five-star recruits should be falling over themselves to play for us. And given our lack of momentum, fans are becoming a little restless with our recruiting efforts thus far. But to that, I say calm down. Florida State continues to sign excellent recruiting classes, even in the face of moments of uncertainty as to whether we’d pull it off.
Fear not, Florida State will get the big fish they need. Each class has a centerpiece, surrounded by players that address specific needs. Wait to judge our recruiting efforts until the ink is dry.
Update: Just as I was writing this yesterday, news broke that defensive back AJ Westbrook committed to Florida State. He’s just “another three-star” who is huge on talent and upside.
But watch the film. He has instincts. He has field vision.
Fans will bemoan the fact that his other offers include schools like Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Duke, FIU, South Alabama, and Western Michigan. Forget all of that. The same logic I discussed above applies here. Trust Jimbo Fisher. Xavier Rhodes was a three-star recruit when he stepped on campus. He was a first-round draft pick when he stepped off campus. Granted, not everyone turns into Xavier Rhodes, but we’ve seen Jimbo Fisher and his staff recruit and coach championship caliber players. Eventually, you have to give Jimbo Fisher credit for finding these kids before everyone else does, just like they did with Devonta Freeman.
Murray and Westbrook have three-star rankings. Consider me in the camp of “not worried” because if you bothered to watch their tape, you’d know why they were offered a scholarship. The kids can play... just like another 3-star, Nate Andrews. Don't worry about stars. Jimbo will sort all of that out.