Just after Florida State coach Willie Taggart failed to land a quarterback in his 1st recruiting class, then dismissed starter Deondre Francois previously this thirty day period, the Seminoles desperately desired to indicator a passer on national signing day.
In its place, FSU joined Arizona State (2012-13) as the only Electrical power 5 courses I could find in the previous ten years that failed to include a quarterback in again-to-again courses.
“Obviously that wasn’t the approach,” then-Arizona State coach Todd Graham explained at the time.
But the approach fell aside in Tempe for the same good reasons it did in Tallahassee.
Like FSU, the Sunlight Devils’ 1st quarterback-totally free class came throughout a transition yr, as Graham changed just-fired Dennis Erickson. Simply because quarterbacks value balance and dedicate early in the recruiting cycle, new staffs often have difficulties signing a single Jim McElwain remaining the position vacant in his 1st Gators class right after failing to poach Lamar Jackson from Louisville.
And like FSU, Arizona State assumed it had a 4-star dedicate the future yr. But Joshua Dobbs flipped from the Sunlight Devils to Tennessee on signing day, just as Sam Howell flipped from the ’Noles to North Carolina on the 1st day of the December time period.
“We invested in an individual, and we skipped on them,” Taggart explained.
Then both of those courses skipped on their backup options: FSU dropped targets Lance LeGendre to Maryland and John Rhys Plumlee to Ole Pass up, and ASU couldn’t pry Phoenix native Tyler Bruggman absent from Washington State.
It finished up not mattering a great deal, if at all, in Tempe. The Sunlight Devils went 20-7 in excess of the future two seasons driving a pair of prosperous passers, and Graham’s eventual firing in 2017 had very little to do with quarterback enjoy.
Taylor Kelly (a 2010 recruit) started 37 game titles from 2012-14 and remaining as the program’s all-time chief in total offense. Mike Bercovici (a 2011 signee) played sparingly for a few seasons until eventually filling in admirably for the injured Kelly in ’14 and tying a faculty record with 30 landing passes the future yr.
The lack of depth didn’t previous very long. Arizona State backfilled the position by signing two passers in 2014 and two much more the future yr.
If there had been any adverse effects of people empty quarterback courses, they confirmed up in 2016. Starter Manny Wilkins and Brady White both of those experienced injuries, forcing Graham to switch to genuine freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole ahead of likely again to a banged-up Wilkins throughout a 5-7 disappointment.
A 2013 signee might have nevertheless been close to to salvage the period, but couple of quarterback rooms are that deep.
“When you’re enjoying a 3rd-string quarterback, the season’s now gone,” explained Hod Rabino, publisher of Rivals’ Devils Digest web site.
So how did Arizona State endure its recruiting drought at the game’s leading position?
Rabino explained the Sunlight Devils hit on the types they could indicator. Kelly excelled in the small time period. Wilkins (a 2014 signee) was a very long-time period repair who grew to become the fifth most prolific passer in faculty history. And Bercovici successfully bridged the hole from when Kelly remaining to when Wilkins was all set.
“They truly dodged a bullet, due to the fact they had an individual like Mike Bercovici who was very, very individual waiting his switch,” Rabino explained.
And which is the distinction amongst Arizona State and Florida State.
The ’Noles really don’t have a Bercovici.
FSU is established to commence spring observe future thirty day period with only two scholarship quarterbacks: 2017 starter James Blackman and Louisville transfer Jordan Travis (who requires an NCAA waiver to be qualified this period). Taggart’s only feasible option is to include a graduate transfer with instant eligibility (like Texas A&M’s Nick Starkel) and hope no matter what recruits he eventually symptoms do the job out.
“To have the sky not drop, you require to have a backup quarterback possibly ride factors out and patiently wait around their switch or get some quarterback in the transfer portal…” Rabino explained. “If you truly have slim figures, then the sky is slipping.”
Make contact with Matt Baker at [email protected]. Observe @MBakerTBTimes.
Among the quarterbacks FSU recruited but couldn’t land in excess of the previous two courses:
Justin Fields (2018): Jimbo Fisher’s workers heavily recruited the five-star prospect, who signed with Georgia instead. FSU couldn’t get him the 2nd time close to, possibly he transferred to Ohio State this offseason.
James Foster (2018): The 4-star recruit was Taggart’s best offered solution previous February, but he chose Fisher’s Aggies instead.
Sam Howell (2019): The 4-star prospect was dedicated to FSU for eight months until eventually Seminoles offensive coordinator Walt Bell remaining to turn into the head coach at UMass. Howell flipped to North Carolina on the December signing day.
John Rhys Plumlee (2019): He frequented FSU the weekend ahead of the regular signing day, but the 4-star passer flipped from Georgia to Ole Pass up.
Lance LeGendre (2019): The best offered talent right after the December time period chose Maryland, which supplied him less than two months ahead of signing day.