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Re-Evaluating Tennessee's 2012 Recruiting Class

Recruiting under former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley was never particularly rewarding, but there have been few clunker classes bigger than his final full haul in 2012.

Even though a few of the players still have eligibility remaining, it's already safe to label the class a failure.

The group of 22 players that was ranked 20th by 247Sports and eighth in the SEC was never met with much fanfare.

But the little impact of their careers—for those who actually had careers—is staggering.

The players from that group were supposed to be upperclassmen leaders during 2014, but just 11 remain. Only six of those have legitimate chances to be in the rotation, which means Butch Jones already has overrecruited many of them.

Defections and poor evaluations are key reasons why UT currently is devoid of dependable juniors and seniors.

Dooley signed zero offensive linemen in the '12 class. Of the defensive linemen, only a couple remain who could contribute. As a result, UT will be forced to play newcomers all through the trenches.

"All in all, if you look at all that's happened, all that's transpired, it's hard to feel better than I do today," Dooley told GoVolsXtra's Austin Ward on national signing day 2012.

The Dooley era in Knoxville was characterized by Vols fans trying to convince themselves and the rest of the SEC that things weren't as bad as they seemed.

They were, and the 2012 class is proof. 

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Pros and Cons for 4-Star QB Travis Waller's Top Schools

Travis Waller is among the hottest recruits in the country right now. The 4-star quarterback hails from California, where he uses his athleticism to make plays as a passer and a runner.

Waller, who is 6'3" and 190 pounds, has solid arm strength to all levels of the field. His accuracy is above-average, plus he can elude rushers in the pocket and make plays with his legs.

Waller has seen his stock soar this spring, but he has narrowed his list down to four schools, per 247Sports. Before he announces his decision July 1, Waller will have to go through the pros and the cons of each of his finalists.

 

All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' composite rankings.Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

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Big Ten Football: 10 Best Players from BCS Era

The BCS has been consigned to the history books, and many Big Ten fans may be happy to see it go.  After all, the Bowl Championship Series was marred with repeated disappointments for the conference.  But despite winning just a lone BCS title way back in 2002, the conference had more than its fair share of spectacular individual performances.

To expand on the great player performances, the Big Ten racked up an impressive list of individual awards that rival any conference in the nation.  The list of awards includes more than 50 national individual awards, including two Heisman Trophy winners.

Any list identifying the top-10 players from a conference when there are so many award winners to pick from is going to be somewhat subjective, so we've laid out a few simple ground rules.  First, we're excluding some pretty great players from Big Ten programs that never actually played in the Big Ten during the BCS era (1998-2013).  Sorry, Nebraska fans, but you won't see Ndamukong Suh's name here.  Secondly, with so many players receiving national awards, it's not crazy to limit our selections to players who received a national award, a Big Ten Player of the Year Award or was a consensus All-American.

With those provisos laid out, we now present Bleacher Report's selection of the top-10 Big Ten football players from the Bowl Championship Series era.

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9 Recruits Who Could Join 5-Star WR Preston Williams at Tennessee

Preston Williams is a 5-star receiver who committed to Tennessee in September of 2013. At 6'5" and 200 pounds, the Georgia native has a splendid combination of size and speed.

Williams possesses impressive agility to make plays after the catch, plus he has the strength to become a good blocker on the perimeter. The Volunteers earning a commitment from Williams has surely helped them on the recruiting trail, and it will continue to aid head coach Butch Jones' efforts to attract more talent to Rocky Top through next February.

Williams could help the Vols land a 5-star defensive end, plus he could push Tennessee over the top for a 5-star quarterback.

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7 2015 Offensive Recruits with Most to Prove This Summer

With summer just about here, several 2015 offensive recruits have a lot to prove over the next few months. Although these prospects are great players, questions still surround their skill sets.

A 5-star receiver needs to prove that he has the hands and ball skills to play the position on the collegiate level. A 5-star quarterback has consistency issues that need to be straightened out, plus a 4-star tight end must prove he has the speed and quickness to be effective in the passing game.

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Re-Evaluating Texas A&M's 2011 Recruiting Class

When the players in Texas A&M's 2011 recruiting class signed their national letters of intent, no one had a clue how impactful the class would become. A recruiting class that failed to raise an eyebrow on the national scene would eventually change the way people perceived Texas A&M. 

The 2011 Texas A&M recruiting class was ranked No. 31 overall by 247Sports.com. It was the last complete class signed by head coach Mike Sherman, as he was let go in December 2012. 

The class was recruited to help the Aggies win games in the Big 12.

Multiple members of the class would discover that the SEC style of play did not fit their skill set, and they decided to transfer. A couple of members would achieve success beyond the wildest dreams of even the most optimistic of Aggie fans. The 2011 class will leave a positive mark on Texas A&M for years to come.

This is a look back at the 2011 Texas A&M recruiting class.   

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Jameis Winston Signs Florida Gators Shirt with 'Go Noles'

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is not afraid to troll fans of rival teams that ask him to sign things.

While attending Charlie Ward's football camp as a special guest, someone in a Florida Gators shirt asked Winston to sign it. Winston was nice enough to do so, but also added a special message, saying "Go Noles".

Winston also added "37-7", which was the score of the Seminoles' game against the Gators this year.

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

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Florida Sends Recruits Photoshopped 'Richest People in America' Forbes Covers

Forget Sports Illustrated covers. The Florida Gators football program thinks it knows what recruits are really after.

Pretty cool! 💯 pic.twitter.com/DnQfHfEm0m

— Ivan Drago (@cecejeferson7) June 13, 2014

pic.twitter.com/23Co4UUN0s

— Tyler Jordan#71 (@tyjordan58) June 13, 2014

As you can see, the Photoshopped covers include a picture of the recruit the "magazine" was sent to as well as phrase "Success in life after football has landed him at the top - thanks to his Florida education."

CeCe Jefferson is a defensive end listed as a 5-star, and Tyler Jordan is a 3-star center.

[College Spun]

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Virginia Tech Football Recruiting: 5 Commits and Targets to Watch at the Opening

Summer prospect camps are always good places to get an early glimpse at top recruits, and the 2015 Virginia Tech football recruiting class will have its fair share of both commits and targets at The Opening in early July.

The camp, which will be held at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon, features 162 prospects from across the country, and a few could very well end up in Hokie uniforms in just a year’s time.

Tech is still in the early stages of assembling its 2015 class, so the event will be an excellent chance for the coaching staff to get a glimpse at several of its targets all in the same place.

Read on to find out more about the commits and targets the Hokies will have their eye on at The Opening.

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Tennessee Football: What Butch Jones Must Accomplish in 2014

Second-year Tennessee head coach Butch Jones already has a top-five Rivals recruiting class and a signature win under his belt, but his work is cut out for him during the 2014 season to maintain the program's momentum.

Since his arrival on Rocky Top in early December 2012, he has hit all the right buttons. Recruiting is reaching a level not seen since the early 2000s, the fanbase is beginning to unite, and there's a general sense that Tennessee is on its way back.

However, any SEC fan knows that success in this league is fickle and can disappear in an instant. Look no further than Florida's Will Muschamp, who appeared to be the heir apparent to Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer after leading the Gators to an 11-2 record in 2012. But one dismal 4-8 season later, Muschamp is squarely on the hot seat.

Jones may have a longer leash than Muschamp, but there are a few things he must accomplish in 2014 to remove any doubt about his job security and status as the man to bring Tennessee back to the top of the SEC. 

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Clemson Football: 5 Tigers Facing the Most Pressure in 2014

The Clemson Tigers entered the 2013 season with sky-high expectations, and with those expectations came an enormous amount of pressure to perform well.

This season has a different feel to it; some folks around college football don’t expect the same from Clemson this year because of what they lost from last year’s roster.

Even though expectations aren’t as high, these five players will feel the pressure in 2014.

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FSU Ballboy 'Red Lightning' Gets Lit Up at Camp, Jumps Right Back Up

Florida State's ball boy Red Lightning, a.k.a. Frank Grizzle-Malgrat, is easily the most famous ball boy in college football. But with fame comes constant attention, even at your worst. 

At the school's training camp, Red Lightning collided with a player. Both players take a spill but Red Lightning jumps right back up like a champ.

[Instagram, h/t CollegeSpun]

Update from 6:32pm ET

Next Impulse Sports gives this huge collision the Jim Ross treatment.


[YouTube, h/t Next Impulse Sports]


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4-Star QB Brady White Dishes on Rivalry with Blake Barnett, Other QB Recruits

Brady White once played football with his hand in the dirt, spending an entire season dishing out blocks. There's no record of how many pancakes he served up while manning the offensive front, but it was his first home on the football field.

"The coaches put me on the line, and I did what I was told," White said.

His career as an offensive lineman came to a screeching halt at the age of 6 when he transitioned to quarterback. Unfortunately for a long list of Southern California defenders, White has remained at the position for more than a decade.

"Quarterback is exactly where I wanted to be from the beginning," he said. "I wanted to be the guy who leads the offense and has a big impact on the game. I was blessed with the ability to sling the ball at a young age, and I've worked to get better year after year. I take pride in that."

White, a 17-year-old rising senior at Hart High School in Los Angeles County, is among the most coveted quarterback recruits in the country. He's also one of several standout passers in his home state, setting the stage for budding rivalries now and in the future.

California features the top four prospects in 247Sports' pro-style quarterback rankings. It's also home to three of the nation's top seven dual-threat talents.

"People will probably measure us up against each other for a long time," White said.

They already are.

White is rated third nationally among pro-style passers, behind only Josh Rosen (Bellflower, California) and Ricky Town (Ventura, California), respectively. The 4-star prospect is a consensus top 100 overall player in the 2015 recruiting class.

"I've always had confidence in my abilities and thought I could become a national recruit," White said. "I just didn't realize I'd be rated so high."

He earned attention after taking over the Indians' starting job as a sophomore.

White led Hart to the quarterfinals of the Southern California sectional playoffs, completing 67 percent of his pass attempts for 2,575 yards and 23 touchdowns. Thrust into a pivotal position for a playoff contender, he quickly learned what it would take to be a successful leader.

"I've always felt like I've been ahead of the curve mentally, but the 2012 season really kicked me into gear," White recalled. "I realized you've got to bust your butt every week, every day."

The journey toward stardom started long before White took his first snap as a varsity athlete.

He began training with renowned quarterback guru Steve Clarkson in middle school. The former Woodrow Wilson High School (Los Angeles) and San Jose State star has tutored a long list of successful collegiate passers, including Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow and Gino Torretta.

Clarkson shared an assessment of White's skill set on his website.

One look at Brady White and there is no doubt that he reminds you of what the great quarterbacks of the past were made of. Brady brings a perfect hybrid of old school flare with modern day play making ability. Brady was born to impress...with a release like Joe Namath, and pocket presence like Aaron Rodgers, you will be hearing his name for years to come.

College recruiters began hearing his name during the breakout sophomore campaign. He received his first piece of mail from Oregon State and reacted how most 15-year-old kids would.

"I was pumped, took a picture of it and shared it online with all my buddies," White said. "Knowing what I know now, I look back and realize it wasn't a huge deal. At the time I was like a kid in a candy shop."

Letters from schools quickly became commonplace as interest mounted. He began to see the writing on the wall—playing quarterback at the next level was a legitimate possibility.

"Colleges started coming by to see me," White said. "Hand-written letters from coaches also began arriving and those are the most meaningful pieces of mail."

Despite the growing sense of a looming scholarship offer, he arrived at summer break 2013 empty-handed. Meanwhile, California quarterback contemporaries Town and Rosen were already racking up offers.

"Things moved a little slower than I expected," White admitted.

So he set out to change the course of his recruitment by doing what White describes as "all the self-promotion stuff." He attended camps and went on an expansive tour of college campuses.

His first offer finally arrived that summer. San Jose State pulled the trigger during a passing tournament.

"I was ecstatic," White said. "I thought, 'Ok, there's the first one. Now the ball is going to start rolling.' But I didn't think there was going to be a ton more."

Several schools followed suit during the course of his junior season. From the start of his second campaign as a starting quarterback, it was apparent White belonged among America's best recruits.

He outdueled fellow 4-star prospect Blake Barnett in the 2013 opener against Santiago High School. White was 35-of-46 for 471 yards and three touchdowns while adding two more scores on the ground in a 56-49 victory.

Barnett, who spent seven months committed to Notre Dame before backing out of the verbal pact in June, also impressed with six touchdowns. The two square off again Sept. 26 in a rematch that should attract plenty of attention.

"Reporters are definitely going to make a big deal about the matchup and compare everything we do," White said. "They'll try to make it out to be me versus Blake. I can't worry about that stuff. At the end of the day, you judge a quarterback by the win column."

White torched opponents for at least 300 yards passing in half of the team's 12 games last fall. He finished the year with 4,535 passing yards and 50 total touchdowns. Offers began to arrive in bunches.

By mid-spring, teams from across the country were clamoring for his commitment. Tennessee, Oregon, Kentucky, Penn State, Illinois and Louisville were just a few of the programs that threw their hat into the ring.

Just as things were really heating up, White decided it was time to focus on finding the right fit.

Following an early April visit to Arizona State, he moved the Sun Devils to the top of his short list of favorites. Fellow Pac-12 members Cal and Oregon were also in the mix, along with Penn State.

UCLA and USC—nearby squads searching for a quarterback in the 2015 class—never truly entered the equation.

"UCLA pretty much disrespected me," White said. "They offered a lot of quarterbacks in the class and didn't pay much attention to me so that wasn't a place I really looked at."

The Bruins landed Rosen in late March.

White established a rapport with Steve Sarkisian and his staff at Washington, so when USC hired the head coach he thought the Trojans could come calling.

"It would have been awesome to have USC offer when the new coaching staff came in, but they weren't showing me much love," he said.

Sarkisian secured a commitment from Town in January, flipping the 5-star quarterback from his original pledge to Alabama.

By the time May rolled around, White decided he'd done enough research to make his decision. After another visit to Arizona State, the Sun Devils were the clear choice, and he went public on May 2.

"When I reviewed everything, ASU stood out in all aspects," White said. "The coaching staff is doing amazing things, I love the city of Tempe and I'm going to get a quality education. I can see myself enjoying school and life there even if things don't pan out with football."

There's also the matter of him leading the Sun Devils against a pair of his hometown teams. It's a safe bet White will be circling dates with UCLA and USC on his calendar.

"There's no doubt they will be meaningful games," he said. "I want to put up stats and points on them but it's not to make them jealous. It's all about getting a win for the Sun Devils."

White understands comparisons with Rosen and Town won't end in high school. He expects the hype will be in full force whenever they meet in college.

"When we play each other, the media will make it out to be a quarterback battle and try to build up a rivalry part of it," White said. "But Rosen and Town will be playing the Sun Devils defense, I'll be facing the Bruins and Trojans defense. Sure, there's going to be talk about a rivalry but my only concern is trying to get our team a win."

He hopes to get a head start toward those victories by leaning toward early enrollment. Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly has started 27 games and departs after his senior season, opening the door for a group inexperienced passers to replace him.

"It's crucial for me to enroll early if I want to potentially be the starter," White said. "The competition is going to be fun. We're each going to get after it. I'm going in there swinging, and hopefully I'll earn the respect of my teammates. Starting as a freshman would be a dream come true."

Continued physical maturation will build a stronger case for his ability to weather the storm as a starting quarterback in Tempe. White, who was 6'1", 170 pounds at the end of his sophomore season, is now 6'2" and approaching 190 pounds.

Less than a year after he was waiting for the recruitment to really get rolling, White has reached a different phase of the process. He is fully committed to Arizona State, though other programs haven't completely called off their pursuit.

"It's cooled down, but schools still stop by and reach out to make sure I know they're still interested," White said. "They tell me to keep in touch. But I'm a Sun Devil now and couldn't be happier about that."

 

Recruit information and ratings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

All quotes obtained firsthand by B/R college football recruiting columnist Tyler Donohue unless otherwise noted.

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4-Star QB Brady White Dishes on Rivalry with Blake Barnett, Other QB Recruits

Brady White once played football with his hand in the dirt, spending an entire season dishing out blocks. There's no record of how many pancakes he served up while manning the offensive front, but it was his first home on the football field...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Texas Football: Longhorns with the Most to Prove in 2014

Over the past four seasons, the Texas Longhorns have struggled to put together a consistent game plan, resulting in a 30-21 overall record since 2010 and ultimately causing former head coach Mack Brown's resignation.

Texas has historically put together some of the top recruiting classes in college football. But in recent years, many of the top-rated recruits have not played to their potential once they arrived in Austin. First-year head coach Charlie Strong will look to change that trend.

The Longhorns have a lot to prove, as do the new coaches. But some of the players have much more to prove than others.

Nevertheless, a new coaching staff means a clean slate for Texas, and it couldn't come at a better time for many of the players.

Here's a look at five Longhorns with the most to prove in 2014.

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Notre Dame Football: Vegas Odds Suggest Low Expectations for 2014 Irish

There are various signs that college football is right around the corner during the summer. One of those came Friday, when the Golden Nugget sportsbook in Las Vegas released its opening lines for its college football "games of the year."

With Notre Dame playing a rigorous schedule and always being a popular play for bettors, lines for 11 Fighting Irish games were released Friday.

Because Notre Dame always draws heavy action, lines for Irish games often tend to be inflated a bit in order for a sportsbook to draw an equal amount of money on each side of the line. 

Analyzing the lines, they actually come in much less favorable to Notre Dame than I had imagined. Notre Dame is listed as an underdog in four games (Stanford, at Florida State, at Arizona State, at USC) and is favored by a field goal or less at home against Michigan and North Carolina. With a three-point advantage generally given to the home team, Las Vegas is saying the Irish are on par with the Wolverines and Tar Heels.

I expected the Florida State line to be closer to 14 than 24, and USC and Arizona State to only be field-goal favorites rather than 10 and four-and-a-half respectively. Stanford being listed as a six-point favorite in South Bend means Las Vegas thinks the Cardinal would be nine to 10 points better than the Irish on a neutral field. That's surprising.

The Purdue, Northwestern and Louisville lines were all close to what I anticipated. The Irish being a mere three-point favorite against Navy shows the respect that the Midshipmen have garnered among oddsmakers, and five-and-a-half for Syracuse was four to five points fewer than my expectations.

No line was listed for the season opener against Rice.

Notre Dame was 5-8 against the spread last season and is 24-25-3 in the four-year Brian Kelly era. 

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14 Redshirt Freshmen Who Will Be Impact Defensive Players in 2014

Jameis Winston carried the banner for redshirt freshmen nationwide last season, but his success masked some of the deficiencies on the other side of the ball.

Only two of the 11 players named to the FWAA Freshman All-America Team were redshirts in 2013, and neither of those players—UCF cornerback Jacoby Glenn and Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez—came from the front seven. They both play in the secondary.

The previous two years sent six and five redshirt freshmen to the first-team defense, respectively, so there's reason to suspect that 2013 was a fluke. There should be more of a contribution this season.

This list sought a combination of talent and opportunity. It is not merely a rundown of the top-ranked recruits who didn't play last year; it's a rundown of the most talented players who didn't play last year and should play a lot in 2014. Only one of those two did not cut it.

Sound off below, and let me know whom I missed.

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4-Star QB Travis Waller Talks Alabama, Lane Kiffin and His Surprise Finalist

The recruitment of 4-star dual-threat quarterback Travis Waller got a little more interesting this week when he announced his list of top four colleges:

Waller listed July 1 as the day he will verbally commit to Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame or Northwestern, which means there is a very narrow window of opportunity for one of these programs to get the advantage over the others. 

Right now, all four are in a dead heat in Waller's mind. The Servite High (Anaheim, California) quarterback spent Wednesday in Crimson Tide country on an official visit. 

"No edge right now, all four are even," Waller said. "Once I visit, that will change. It could be Bama after this visit."

Alabama's existing reputation intrigues Waller and is one of the reasons the Tide made the cut.

"They're the powerhouse team. I know it’s a pro style, but a mobile quarterback in that offense; that's dangerous for defense," Waller said of how he could potentially fit into Alabama's scheme.

While in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, Waller spent time with college football's most notorious coach, Lane Kiffin. Though his reputation may proceed him, Kiffin's reputation isn't impacting Waller. 

"I've talked to Lane Kiffin. I'm trying to build a good relationship with him," he said.

Kiffin is highly regarded for his recruiting abilities, and establishing a bond with Waller could be exactly what Bama needs to convince the California boy to come down South.

But Northwestern and Notre Dame will be trying to pull him North. Ohio State has yet to extend an offer to Waller, but he expects one in the coming days.

Each school represents a unique opportunity for Waller to excel at the college level.

At Ohio State, Braxton Miller is gone, so he could compete for the starting job. At Notre Dame, once Everett Golson leaves, the starting quarterback job would be wide open. But perhaps no school provides Waller with a better opportunity to carve his own destiny than Northwestern.

Yes, that's right: Northwestern.

While the Wildcats don't tout BCS titles or Heisman trophies, they do offer opportunities he wouldn't necessarily be guaranteed with the bigger, more storied programs.

"A degree from Northwestern would be huge for me," Waller said, first speaking about the academic prestige of the university. "I plan to major in business and marketing, and they have a good program for that. I could start early and play all four years there."

Graduating with a degree is very important to Waller, and it doesn't get much better than one from Northwestern. 

"I need a plan B no matter what happens football-wise, so Northwestern is the place to be for that."

While Northwestern's lack of football pedigree would be a deterrent to some, Waller sees things differently.

"One thing my head coach told me: Do you want to start your own legacy or continue someone else's? I would have the chance to start my own legacy there," Waller said, and that is a possibility that sounds very good to him.

Notre Dame also has the academic prowess to sell Waller on the Fighting Irish experience, but its quarterback situation is a bit more precarious.

If Waller were to join that mix, it would be much tougher to earn playing time, as Zaire has three years of eligibility left, and Kizer has all four.

But that doesn't seem to faze Waller.

"It's not necessarily a concern," he said. "Once Golson leaves, I have chance to compete for the spot, so that’s really good."

The high school senior doesn't have to worry about any of that right now. In the next few weeks, all he will be focusing on is taking his visits and deciding which school truly is the best fit for him.

"The visits will definitely be a huge determining factor," he said. "I need to see if I can see myself there on campus. All these schools are back east, so I need to be comfortable there and I need to feel like I want be there for the next four years."

Once he makes a decision in July, Waller says he plans to visit that school again at some point during the summer. But shortly after he announces his commitment, he ships out to Nike's The Opening camp, July 6-11.

 

All quotes were obtained firsthand, unless otherwise stated. 

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Insider Buzz: The 5 Players Atop FSU's 2015 Recruiting Big Board

The Florida State Seminoles are trying to put together a stellar recruiting class in 2015, and five names are currently at the top of their list.

Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe checked in with Michael Langston of Warchant.com to discuss the names atop the Seminoles' big board and which recruits will most likely end up at FSU.

Watch the video and learn the latest on Florida State's recruiting.

 

Highlights courtesy of XOS Digital.

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Florida State Football: What We Learned from Jimbo Fisher's June Camp

With each passing year, more and more high school football prospects make the trip to Tallahassee, Florida, for Jimbo Fisher's summer football camp.

There's certainly a direct correlation between winning a national title in January and the increase in enrollment, as about 500 players spent time on the Florida State campus this week.

"I thought it went really well," Fisher said on Friday afternoon. "I thought our assistant coaches, I thought our players did a good job of running it and teaching. Whether you're a prospect or not, we teach everybody the same, want to make them better. Coach them just like our players—coach them hard, put them through the same drills.

"The camp has grown each year. It's gotten bigger and bigger."

FSU's success over the past four seasons under Fisher is one reason. The Seminoles are 45-10 since he took over before the 2010 season after Bobby Bowden was forced into retirement.

Fisher has found success by surrounding himself with good assistant coaches. Together, they have put together Scout.com's No. 8 signing class in 2010 along with 247Sports.com's No. 1 class in 2011, No. 3 class in 2012 and No. 12 class in 2013. FSU's 2014 class was ranked No. 4 by 247Sports.

That's three of the last four classes in the top five. Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football, and FSU's roster is deep.

Fisher and his staff welcomed a large number of 4- and 5-star prospects to campus from Wednesday through Friday, so let's take a look back at some things that we learned as FSU continues to build its 2015 class.

According to 247Sports, FSU currently has 12 verbal commitments.

 

Current FSU Players Embraced New Rule as Coaches

For the first time, the NCAA has allowed college football players to serve as coaches—and earn money—as they pass on what they've learned to high school players.

FSU players like wide receiver Rashad Greene, defensive backs P.J. Williams, Ronald Darby and Lamarcus Brutus, and offensive lineman Austin Barron were among those on the practice fields giving encouragement.

A few recent graduates, like defensive end Dan Hicks and offensive lineman Daniel Glauser, were there too.

It's one thing to learn from wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey. It's another to learn from Greene, who had 1,128 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season.

"It's definitely been fun," Greene said. "Just to pass on your knowledge to younger kids and kids that actually want to be in the same position as you. That makes it more personal for them."

Just rubbing shoulders with current players helps coaches sell their program to recruits.

 

Phillips Weighing FSU and Miami

Da'Vante Phillips, a 4-star receiver from Miami Central (Florida), was one of the top uncommitted prospects at FSU's camp.

According to the Orlando Sentinel's Chris Hays, Phillips had been a verbal commitment to Florida. But with wide receivers coach Joker Phillips' resignation, Da'Vante Phillips (no relation) is apparently having second thoughts.

Phillips suggested he has no favorites, but FSU and Miami have shown the most interest. 

"I like Florida State. This is the one school I've been to the most. I've been here more than any school out there," Phillips said. "It really feels sorta like home up here. They show me the love."

He then said the following regarding Miami: 

If you're growing up rough, with struggles and everything, you don't want to stay in Miami. You want to get away from Miami, move your family from Miami, just to be in a better place. I like Miami, but that's just some of it. 

There's a lot of problems in Miami and I just don't want to be in those problems.

 

Another QB in the Mix

Fisher spent about 10-15 minutes working with quarterback Kai Locksley, a 4-star prospect from Gilman High School (Baltimore). Locksley displayed a strong arm and a willingness to learn from Fisher as well as quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders.

FSU already has a verbal commitment from 3-star quarterback De'Andre Johnson, but 247Sports analysts Chris Nee and Josh Newberg have both made Crystal Ball predictions (subscription required) that Locksley will join Johnson in Tallahassee as part of the 2015 class.

Fisher has signed two quarterbacks in the same class before, as Jameis Winston and Sean Maguire were both part of FSU's 2012 class.

 

Barnett Enjoys Visit to FSU

Michael Barnett, a 4-star defensive end from Woodland High School (South Carolina), visited with FSU this week. He told 247Sports' Ryan Bartow (subscription required) that he spent a lot of time talking and working out with FSU defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri.

"I think this is the nicest I've been treated on any of my visits," Barnett said. "They showed that they really want me. They also showed me that when you’re here you have to work your butt off to achieve that common goal."

Barnett said that he's debating between FSU and North Carolina State.

 

Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and recruit information courtesy of 247Sports.com.

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