Friday, January 29, 2010

Seminoles vs. Bulldogs: On the Recruiting Trail

Quite a battle is raging between the Seminoles and Bulldogs, but it's not on any field, court, or diamond; It's actually on the "streets" of the recruiting trail. The two teams and coaching staffs have ended up as finalists on the lists of a couple of high impact freshman, much like they were last year with Orson Charles and Greg Reid (Charles went to UGA, Reid chose FSU, swapping home states).

I fully expect the players that both the 'Noles and 'Dawgs are pursuing to have impacts much like those two last year, the big question is: "who will be the team that benefits from that impact?"

Coach Richt's tenure at Florida State allowed him to really get a foothold on recruiting in the state of Florida and he has used that foothold to continually travel down to Florida and bring talent up to Athens. As Coach Johnson would tell you, Coach Richt's recruiting prowess is probably the #1 factor that has led to UGA becoming what they are today.

Well for one player that is still uncommitted Coach Richt is hoping his Florida ties really make a big difference. That player is Christian Green. Christian is an Athlete (played QB in High School but projects to WR in college) from the Tampa area that has good size (6'2" and 200lbs), Speed (4.46), and the pedigree (his cousin is former Florida State standout WR E.G. Green). With those factors in his favor Christian is expected to make a smooth transition to WR and make an immediate impact at the next level.

Christian took an official visit to Athens to see the campus and visit with some of UGA's players.  After the visit he had this to say about his time spent there:

"Georgia is definitely still in the picture," he said. "I just really liked the environment there, they are about winning. Coach Richt has helped to change the program around, and he has made more changes, as they are trying to become a top, elite team. I liked that about them. I like their entire coaching staff and how they go about doing their business."

However FSU has the advantage with Green as the 'Noles will receive his final official visit this weekend just a few days before National Signing Day.  With the timing of that visit and the ties that Green has to FSU most recruiting experts expect Green to don a 'Noles cap on February 3rd.

Rivals: ATH Christian Green - It's FSU and Georgia here, and it would be a stunner if he went against all the ties he has to the Seminoles.


WR Christian Green / 6-2, 200 / Tampa, FL (Catholic)
Ranking: Four-star / No. 7 rated athlete

Predicted School: Florida State / Confidence Factor: 85% (up 15%)
Green is one of the most dynamic athletes in the Southeast. The high school quarterback projects as a wide receiver in college and it seems likely that the transition will be a smooth one (see Bert Reed, Anquan Boldin, Peter Warrick). As with Christian Jones, Green has family ties to the FSU program with cousin E.G. Green being a top wide receiver for the 'Noles back in the 90's. The Rivals100 member hasn't given many hints about his recruitment but his close relationship with wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey should give FSU the edge. Other advantages for the Seminoles include that his brother recently committed to nearby Florida A&M and his final visit will be to Tallahassee this weekend. A signing day announcement is expected.
Runner up: Georgia

I love the confidence displayed by Warchant and Rivals, however I know the magic that Athens can hold for a football fan and player.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if Richt was able to steal another Florida player right out from under the 'Noles nose.

The second player the two teams are battling for isn't quite as heralded as Christian Green, but is just as much of a physical specimen, and this time it's a recruit from the state of Georgia.  Telvin Smith  is from Lowndes High School in Valdosta, GA.  Lowndes has long been an established pipe line for Florida State recruits with just last year Greg Reid and Gerald Demps coming to the 'Noles from their program. 

Smith was playing basketball for Lowndes but recently dropped from the team to concentrate on football, and it's paid off.  Originally measured at 6'3" and 196 lbs, Smith has reportedly bulked up to 215 lbs to be better suited to play his Outside Linebacker position.  By all reports he hasn't lost a bit of speed but packs a lot more punch when he lays the hit.

Smith has been verbally committed to the 'Noles since he attended the Seminoles Showtime Camp in the Summer of 2009 but has continued to take official visits including two recent officials to UGA.  This is what Telvin had to say after those two visits:

"It was a great visit. Mark Richt is a great guy. It was nice to be around him," Smith said. "Coach McClendon came. I like him a lot. I am close to him also. The staff was real nice. We just talked most of the time, not even a whole lot about recruiting but instead just got to know each other."

This past weekend Smith made his way to Athens for his second official visit.

"My Georgia official was great," he said. "I hung out with a lot of the players, and I really liked them. The coaches, I already feel like I have a bond with them. I was hosted by Baccari Rambo during the visit. I was with him most of the time."

Even more recent was the radio interview that Telvin did on Thursday night in which he indicated some uncertainty about who will get his signature on February 3rd.  According to Warchant this is what Telvin had to say:

"I was told that Valdosta (GA) Lowndes four-star linebacker Telvin Smith was on the In The Game Magazine Radio Show tonight in Valdosta and said he was going to FSU on Friday and Athens on Saturday. He is really having a hard time deciding and still doesn't know where he is going."

I think Telvin is going to be a steal for whichever school gets him and will make an immediate impact.  His work ethic is reported to be off the charts and he makes strides to get better at every practice.  A player like that will always be an asset to his team.

Provided by the fact that Telvin has already taken two official visits to UGA and that he will be in Athens last in the recruiting process doesn't bode well for the 'Noles in my opinion.

Captain's Projection:

Christian Green - FSU
Telvin Smith - UGA

In a reverse of last year with Charles and Reid I think the natives will stay in their home states and go with in-state schools.

Be sure to check back over the next few days as I will have a couple more recruiting pieces posted concerning some players that haven't officially committed anywhere yet and what their likely destination is going to be.

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