From the Daily Note.
The letters of intent are in, the signatures are on the dotted lines, and everything has largely wrapped up for National Signing Day 2017. Not surprisingly, Florida State finished with yet another top class, signing 24 players to finalize a sixth place national ranking.
Fans typically don’t get to know everything about every recruit, but we at The Daily Nole attempt to do so. This year we bring back one of our fun pieces from last Signing Day, where we attempt to hand out superlatives to various members of the 2017 recruiting class. Find out who we chose this year:
Most Likely to Contribute Next Year
Cam Akers, RB
The best player in the class is also the most likely to contribute in 2017. Akers comes into a backfield that has one proven player (Jacques Patrick) and a group of unknowns. One of these unknowns is technically Akers, but his skill set is so impressive that he’s almost certainly going to be getting major reps by the end of the year. Barring any injury or off-the-field troubles, Akers will be active from the start of the very first game.
Runner-ups: Bailey Hockman, Adonis Thomas
Most Likely to Switch Positions
DeCalon Brooks, LB
Many forgot that Derrick Brooks’ son was in the class, mostly due to his very early commitment date (Aug. 8). Brooks is a low 3-star that would not be a take in usual classes, but he still provides interesting options for the FSU staff. He is listed as an inside linebacker, but he simply does not have the size FSU looks for in the linebacking corps, weighing in at just 5-11 and 197 pounds. Brooks will likely shift to the secondary, where he has a good chance of playing roles like the “Money” or “Star” positions that are present in the current defensive scheme. He likely won’t see the field for another year, but he could turn into a steal if developed properly.
Some would have put Hamsah Nasirildeen here, but he’s technically an athlete who could play multiple positions. Brooks fit the letter of the name better.
Runner-ups: Hamsah Nasirildeen, Tre Lawson
Most Likely to Redshirt
Tre Lawson, DE
Everyone knew when Lawson committed that he was a project. FSU defensive ends coach Brad Lawing is a fantastic coach who has proven he can get the most out of his players. If he thinks a prospect has potential, it’s best to trust his judgement. Lawson is 6-6 and 240 pounds, and his highlight tape shows how strong he is at the point of attack. He still needs to refine his technique and fill out his frame before he is ready to contribute. He could conceivably get converted into a defensive tackle if the staff likes how he progresses there. Regardless, taking a redshirt is his best course of action for Lawson at this point.
Runner-ups: James Blackman, DeCalon Brooks
Best Chance at Winning the Heisman Trophy
Cam Akers, RB
Don’t put too much stock into this superlative as last year’s winner was quarterback Malik Henry, but it’s still interesting to debate. The Heisman Trophy has largely become a quarterback-running back award, so whoever is the most talented of the offensive commits is likely getting the nod. Cam Akers fills this role pretty well. He has arrived in Tallahassee as a better player than Dalvin Cook was at the same point. If he lives up to his potential, he’s going to be the unquestioned starter by the time he’s a sophomore.
Runner-ups: Khalan Laborn, James Blackman
Adonis Thomas, LB
Thomas appears as a 3-star junior college recruit in Florida State’s listing. But when he was coming out of high school, Thomas was a 4-star linebacker and a top 200 overall player. He still has the prototype size of an inside linebacker, and he was good enough that Alabama offered and signed him the first time around. Thomas is going to immediately compete for playing time and will likely be seeing rotation early in the season. Florida State has a lot of talent in the linebacking unit, and Thomas will be yet another impressive addition.
Runner-ups: Tamorrion Terry, Zaquandre White
The Biggest Unknown
Ontaria Wilson, CB
There still exists some debate around the reasoning for extending a scholarship to Wilson. He had very little exposure prior to Florida State discovering him, and many still think that he was given a scholarship solely because of his more well-known teammate, Tamorrion Terry. But after reading about Wilson and looking at his tape, he does seem like the type of player that simply got overlooked — mainly because he didn’t particularly focus on getting his name out there. He’s a lengthy cornerback who has enough athleticism to turn into a starter at the next level. It will still be interesting to see how he pans out when practice begins and if he takes a redshirt or not.
Runner-ups: Tamorrion Terry, Tre Lawson