February 5, 2009

Grading the 2008 recruiting class - offense

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Signees: Will Secord

Top Recruit: Secord

Most Underrated: Secord

Biggest Loss: Eugene Smith (West Virginia)

Average Star Ranking: 3

Grade: B

Still on roster: Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel
Strengths: With Drew Weatherford's graduation and D'Vontrey Richardson either opting for pro baseball or moving to safety, Florida State found itself with only two scholarship quarterbacks for 2009. Secord fills that need perfectly. With a 4.6 time in the 40-yard dash, the three-star signal caller is athletic and has above average arm strength. In all likelihood Secord will redshirt in 2009, but it's comforting for Jimbo Fisher and the offensive staff to have a buffer should Ponder and Manuel suffer injuries.

Weaknesses: While Secord is a talented quarterback, he will need polishing once he arrives on campus. He will need to work on his throwing motion and playing in a more complicated offensive system. This will come in time, but the Texas native probably won't be ready to provide a contribution in his first season. The good news is that absent a rash of injuries at the position, he should have plenty of time to develop into a quality college signal-caller.

Analysis: For a while it looked like FSU would go without a quarterback in this recruiting class but Jimbo Fisher was able to find a quality player to add much needed depth to the position. The interesting aftermath of Secord's signing is how it will impact the search for a quarterback in 2010. Ponder will only be a junior (Manuel a redshirt freshman) this season so FSU would have four quarterbacks on scholarship if one more is added to the next recruiting class. With scholarships limited because of NCAA sanctions you have to wonder if having four quarterbacks is a luxury FSU can't afford.

Needs for next year: Florida State will not lose a quarterback after this season unless Christian Ponder decides to leave early, which seems unlikely. Quarterback won't be a huge need but if you can bet that Jimbo Fisher will make a run at one or two talented signal-callers.

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