Jimbo Fisher: FSU is one of teams that can play and recruit against SEC

How much of a challenge is it for a non-SEC school located in SEC territory to recruit against the almighty conference that has won six national championships in a row?

Jimbo Fisher would know. He’s the coach at Florida State, one of the few schools that hasn’t been smashed, clobbered and choked to death on the recruiting trail during the SEC’s golden era.

FSU's Jimbo Fisher (AP)

FSU's Jimbo Fisher on recruiting vs. SEC: “It’s a challenge but you need to remember this: Florida State and Miami were winning them (national championships) in the 80s and 90s" (AP)

“It’s a challenge but you need to remember this: Florida State and Miami were winning them [national championships] in the 80s and 90s,” Fisher told the AJC. “So Florida State is one of the teams that can line up and play with the SEC. We can recruit against them, and we have as good of a football tradition as any of those guys.

“We’ve had just as many great football players come through FSU, and kids know that. We just want to go get more great players. It doesn’t matter who we are recruiting against, if it’s the SEC or whomever. We think our conference [the ACC] is great but they’re hot right now over in the SEC as far as winning national championships. But at Florida State, we can recruit and compete against anybody.”

Earlier this month, Florida State finished with the No. 6 recruiting class in the nation, according to Rivals. The Seminoles raided Alabama for four recruits, including No. 1 QB recruit Jameis Winston, and plucked one out of Georgia – Stone Mountain High School LB Markuss Eligwe.

FSU’s 19-member class had prized prospects from Texas, California, New Jersey and Maryland – validating the school’s claim as a “national brand” despite being located in the heart of SEC land.

“It’s a great tradition at Florida State,” Fisher said. “You go back to all the players these kids grew up watching. And now we’re getting back with these elite [recruiting] classes, we’ve won 19 games in the last two years and we’re playing very good football. We’re right on the edge of getting back into the national title hunt and doing the things we need to do.

“Florida State has a great appeal. People like Florida State. It’s a national brand name. You know, why did Alabama go through that slump when Bear Bryant was still a national name? You know what I mean? Certain places have a national appeal, and you never lose it because you have history and you have tradition.”

Even though Florida State only got one Georgia recruit in 2012, the state is still a high priority for Fisher. “Georgia is very high on our list. We concentrate on Florida and Georgia. We sit here in North Florida. We have such great access to Florida and South Georgia. Atlanta is only four hours away. It is very close. We have great access, and Georgia has great football … we put a lot of coaches into recruiting the state of Georgia.”

The Lowndes-to-FSU pipeline? AJC Super 11 LB Josh Harvey-Clemons cracked it by signing with UGA (AJC)

The Lowndes-to-FSU pipeline? AJC Super 11 LB Josh Harvey-Clemons cracked it by signing with UGA (AJC)

That one player, again, was AJC Super 11 selection Markuss Eligwe, who committed to FSU last spring but still took official visits to UGA and Cal. Eligwe’s trip to Cal was on the final weekend before signing day, and he liked it so much that he announced he was going to wait until the week after signing day to make his final decision, which did not sit too well with Jimbo. Eligwe ended up going back to Plan A and signing with the Seminoles on signing day.

“I still thought he was going to sign with us on signing day all along,” Fisher said. “Kids always go through things with recruiting and he’s a great kid, a phenomenal young man. I think he’s going to have a great future here. With his size and his speed, and that intelligence, I think he’s a complete football player. With [the Cal situation], you go through stuff like that sometimes in recruiting. But Eligwe is easy to talk to, and we talked. And he wanted to sign with the rest of our guys.”

The “one that got away” was Josh Harvey-Clemons, the Lowndes High School linebacker who committed to UGA on national TV but waited until the next day to turn in his scholarship papers. It caused a crack in the Lowndes-to-FSU pipeline of football talent.

“Josh elected to go to UGA, and Georgia is a great school,” Fisher said. “We had gotten a lot of great players from that area before … Greg Reid, Telvin Smith, Tyler Hunter and Gerald Demps. But Josh made his own choice. He made a good choice. We would’ve loved to have had him. But we’ll worry about the guys we signed.”

This past season, FSU recovered from a 2-3 start, including a stunning loss to Wake Forest, to finish with a 9-4 record. Fisher was in his second season of replacing FSU coaching legend Bobby Bowden, who won national championships in 1993 and 1999.

SINCE THE LAST TIME YOU CHECKED YOUR LAPTOP …

Steve Spurrier: 8-0 vs. UGA, Florida, Tennessee and Clemson last two years

Steve Spurrier: 8-0 vs. UGA, Florida, Tennessee and Clemson last two years

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173 comments Add your comment

super dog

February 29th, 2012
10:13 am

Gonna be another ruff year for the Noles – young pups on the O – Line

smells of satan

February 29th, 2012
10:13 am

Enter your comments here

smells of satan

February 29th, 2012
10:14 am

Criminoles revisited.

George Stein

February 29th, 2012
10:14 am

Perhaps he should focus on beating Wake Forest before talking next time.

Ghost

February 29th, 2012
10:20 am

FSU is rebuilding their talent base and seem to be doing a good job. The ACC needs Miami and Fsu to come back in order to regain respectability.

joe joe

February 29th, 2012
10:28 am

Ha!!! You may be able to recruit the best as you do every year but there seems to be a problem w/ either evaluation or being able to coach them up. How do you keep recruiting top classes & have nothing to show for it?
How about the abysmal conferences that you & Miami played in when you were winning titles. You maybe had to “nut” up for just a few games a year, not every week like you have to do in the SEC.

1eyedJack

February 29th, 2012
10:33 am

I would have rather had FSU in the SEC than Missouri.

DawginLex

February 29th, 2012
10:35 am

Jimbo Fisher is a class act. Coaching ability? Remains to be seen.

Can’t help but pull for them to rule florida if it helps us get an advantage over the gators.

FreeTextbooksAnyone?

February 29th, 2012
10:41 am

Free Shoes University is back on the warpath. While I certainly don’t foresee FSU returning to their glory days of the 1990’s, Jimbo is indeed bringing back NFL caliber talent to Tallahassee. The man can recruit, not so sure about his accumen with the X’s & O’s…time will tell. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Noles dominate the ACC for the next several years but I don’t see them seriously contending for the Mythical National Championship until at least 2014.

George Stein

February 29th, 2012
10:43 am

Please, joe joe. The SEC has patsies just like everyone else. Let’s not confuse it with the NFC South.

GStateBen

February 29th, 2012
10:44 am

19 wins in the last two seasons. The other schools with 19 wins or more wins in the last two seasons:

24 LSU
24 Oregon
23 Oklahoma State
23 Stanford
22 Alabama
22 Auburn
22 Oklahoma
22 Michigan State
22 Virginia Tech
22 Wisconsin
21 Arkansas
20 South Carolina

Teams with wins equal to FSU over the last two seasons (19):
Nebraska
West Virginia

BCS Teams with fewer wins than FSU: 51

Are you betting against Jimbo winning 10 games this season? I’m not.

Drew

February 29th, 2012
10:45 am

Ha!!! You may be able to recruit the best as you do every year but there seems to be a problem w/ either evaluation or being able to coach them up. How do you keep recruiting top classes & have nothing to show for it?
============================

Reminds me of team in Athens. How many decades ago was the last NC in Athens? Want to talk about falling into the SEC East in ‘11 then getting obliterated and totally embarrassed on a national stage in ATL?

Italian_29

February 29th, 2012
10:45 am

I think FSU is doing a good job getting their talent base back and within a year or two, they will be the team to beat in the ACC. Go Dawgs and GATA!

GTBob

February 29th, 2012
10:49 am

You maybe had to “nut” up for just a few games a year, not every week like you have to do in the SEC.

Oh yeah. UGA really had to get pumped for the Ole Miss, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt games this year.

Italian_29

February 29th, 2012
10:51 am

Drew, I don’t think joe joe brought up the Dawgs, you did, and as far as embarrassed on a national stage in Atl, I disagree, I think that game just showed the lack of depth that the Dawgs had last year. You must be a Tech fan.

Italian_29

February 29th, 2012
10:52 am

Yeah and the Tech game too Bob, that was a HARD test.

Rick James

February 29th, 2012
10:54 am

Kids in the southeast want to play in the SEC,Miami,Florida St,Clemson,Virginia Tech or Southern California.Nobody else really matters.And yes I know Urban Myer has recruited the south very well in the past but he will have a hard time getting southern kids to come to Ohio St and play on ice.

Choke

February 29th, 2012
11:00 am

W/o a doubt, FSU can recruit against the SEC’s elite. Really, they could be in the hunt for any elite player on the east coast. If the past 2 seasons are any indication, however, they seem to be relinquishing their stranglehold on Valdosta, which is good news for UGA. In years past, I don’t think UGA would have had any shot at JHC, Jay Rome, or M. Mitchell. That could be attributable to UGA’s coaching staff putting renewed emphasis on South Georgia. We’re not simply surrending the area, and we’re putting up a fight.

As for whether FSU can compete w/ any of the big boys in the SEC, that’s a dubious claim. While FSU ran the table in the prior to the new millenium, they’ve had a somewhat marginal presence since then. Under Jimbo Fisher, they’ve had a bit of a revival, but they’re still way too inconsistent. On this count, they’re blowing hot air.

It’s similar to UGA. It’s ridiculous to say that we’re currently an elite team based on what we did from 2002-2008. Like UGA, though, FSU’s program certainly seems to be on the rise. W/ the level of elite talent they have, they have no excuse not to dominate the ACC, which might be the weakest of the AQs.

1eyedJack

February 29th, 2012
11:13 am

I wasn’t embarrassed by the Dawgs this past season. Now, the year before….

FreeTextbooksAnyone?

February 29th, 2012
11:13 am

I agree, FSU should win 10 games, 9 wins seems like a lock. I just looked at their schedule, they will be favorites in all games except for a Nov. Thur. night game in Blacksburg, VA. Clemson at home, @ Miami, & Florida at home should be their only other MAJOR tests.

GTBob

February 29th, 2012
11:17 am

Yeah and the Tech game too Bob, that was a HARD test.

Tech was probably the best team UGA beat this year. As sad as that is.

Todd Packer

February 29th, 2012
11:19 am

Jimbo is also 3-0 vs the all mighty sec

UGA Player Stuff Hash Browns Down Her Pants

February 29th, 2012
11:26 am

Only a simpleton would let his or her son go to as cesspool of a “University” to play football like FSU or UGA to earn a degree in Convicted Felon.

ROLL TIDE!

UGA Player Stuffs Hash Browns Down Her Pants

February 29th, 2012
11:28 am

F ree
S hoes
U niversity

UGA Player Stuffs Hash Browns Down Her Pants

February 29th, 2012
11:33 am

U gly
G irls
A cquire Food

UGA Player Stuffs Hash Browns Down Her Pants

February 29th, 2012
11:34 am

Jimbo Fisher will NEVER be worthy of being compared to Coach Bryant.

ROLL TIDE ROLL !!

Roll Tribe

February 29th, 2012
11:38 am

Jimbo has had only 2 years to right the ship Bobby left. The latter years of Bowden left the cupboard dry and Rivals had a great write-up to that affect.

Last season could have been special except for an extraordinary amount of injuries to the OL, QA, RB and WR’s. The defense however played lights out, was ranked int he top 5 and return most everyone on the 2 deep.

As for the SEC, FSU has beat the mighty lizards 2 years in a row and beat the SEC East champs in the chicken bowl. 3-0 vs the mighty SEC under Jimbo so he’s not just talking but doing the walking.

Add to that the stellar recruiting classes that, unlike previous years, have the grades and character to do the job and finish the job.

Finally as far as coaching, he’s done more with less, undefeated vs his main rivals, undefeated in Bowls. Now the ACC championship is next and perhaps more.

Special K

February 29th, 2012
11:41 am

Waffle House has posted pictures of the pup soccer player in all stores. Scattered, smothered and covered beware!!!!!!!!!

sogadog

February 29th, 2012
11:45 am

Fisher is a class act. FSU will be playing for championships soon.

If I had to pick a college coach to coach my kid, my first choice would be Mark Richt my second would be Jimbo Fisher.

Gator Phil

February 29th, 2012
11:47 am

“Jimbo Fisher will NEVER be worthy of being compared to Coach Bryant.

ROLL TIDE ROLL !!”

you are absolutely correct , UGA player. I don’t think Fisher has ever been accused of being a cheater.

GTBob

February 29th, 2012
12:04 pm

If I had to pick a college coach to coach my kid, my first choice would be Mark Richt my second would be Jimbo Fisher.

Ironically they coach two of the most underachieving teams in college football. Who is your third choice? Brian Kelly?

Gorilla Biscuit

February 29th, 2012
12:06 pm

@UGA Player Stuffs Hash Browns Down Her Pants

U ndeniable
A $$holes

DIT

February 29th, 2012
12:22 pm

I wish day would have joined the see instead of Missouri

DIT

February 29th, 2012
12:24 pm

Meant fsu, not day. Lousy spell checker

BigTimeTechFan

February 29th, 2012
12:26 pm

He has good points but the problem is if you real good in the ACC you can still get beat by a lot of teams, in the SEC if your real good you go undefeated. SEC seems to have teams come out of conference undefeated every year.

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 29th, 2012
12:39 pm

It’s past time to take your lithium …… are we going t have to lock you up again? Due to your paranoia I am not going to mention your name but your blood pressure is out of sight. If you weren’t sick you would be amusing. Riddle: How can you have 120 scholarship players on your roster without over signing? ANSWER: Take Math 101 at Bummer – as taught by Lucius Saban (90 hours credit).

Crimson Crush

February 29th, 2012
12:55 pm

“I don’t think Fisher has ever been accused of being a cheater”

@ Gator Phil

So far no one has really cared enough to label Fisher anything much . Of course knowing just the residual dislike of FSU I seriously doubt the “no one has called him cheater” . Especially the outliers of the Jort Nation .

All Fisher needs to do to is put the hurt on the Gators by consistently showing up with a team that kicks you around . Cheater will be the LEAST of the accusations leveled against him if history is any indication ;-)

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 29th, 2012
1:01 pm

It’s a mystery how FSU is pulling these top recruits in Alabama away from Saban. What do they have to OFFER that Lucius does not? FSU hasn’t won any titles lately and has had several down years in a row. It’s a mystery.

[...] the conversation linked here, Fisher talks a bit about the recruiting of Stone Mountain, Ga. linebacker Markuss Eligwe (the lone [...]

dawgfacedboy

February 29th, 2012
1:14 pm

Yeah I love FSU landing these ridiculous recruits, the media hyping them every year, and they promptly finish 8-4 every year. Notre Dame is even better. They haven’t been relevant in over 20 years yet they still keep bringing in the recruits.

6IML

February 29th, 2012
1:17 pm

Flo,

I’m guessing that FSU is selling recruits on (immediate) playing time. And keeping your HS number and position. These things are very attactive to short-sighted high schoolers. At BAMA, you will probably not see the field (in meaningful situations) in the first couple of years. And you may have to switch to another position.

Roll Tribe

February 29th, 2012
1:22 pm

Fisher has only had 2 recruiting classes (both top 5) to build quality talent, size and depth. It will be there this Fall. As for underachieving, Bobby gets credit for that.

Jmac823200

February 29th, 2012
1:26 pm

All the hating is pretty funny! If someone were to make accusations about your family, you would look at them like an idiot. “How can you tell me about my own family when you are on the outside looking in?”, is what you may ask yourself. Did FSU underachieve in Jimbo’s first year? No! Did FSU underachieve last year? No, but why could you believe otherwise. The big difference between this year and last was the amount of injuries. The national media built up the hype train because anyone who seriously follows this team knows that this year is the year. I don’t think it’ll be a cake walk but I will guarantee that they’ll be BCS bound (barring crazy injuries of course). In what capacity will they represent the ACC has yet to be seen. Will the ACC have to representatives? We will see…

6IML

February 29th, 2012
1:27 pm

As stated several times, the jury is still out on Jimbo the HC. Jumbo the Recruiter is pretty good.

GatorBud

February 29th, 2012
1:32 pm

Wish we had Jimbo instead of Muschamp

overrated

February 29th, 2012
1:36 pm

Jimbo Fisher is a d-bag

Sneaders

February 29th, 2012
1:39 pm

“Dream Team”?
“This is our year”
Pre-Season National Champs
Empty Promises
1980

Oh to be a Georgia Bulldawg fan……

Jmac823200

February 29th, 2012
1:45 pm

@6IML, I agree. Jimbo shouldn’t be crowned. Sometimes he makes me scratch my head too, but to count him out already is a bit premature! I mean this will be his 3rd year in control. All signs say that things are moving in the right direction.

Brian

February 29th, 2012
1:56 pm

What a bunch of morons! Like it or not, FSU will be back soon. Jimbo is building this thing back up the right way. Everyone has bought in. If our Oline holds up it could be THIS year. Keep on hating but there is NOTHING you can do about.

G-Dawg

February 29th, 2012
1:57 pm

Thank FAMU for FSU’s recruiting success!! Just saying…