By: Alex Turko (@aturko_23)
With the season sadly in the past, the Seminoles have already endured massive changes to the make-up of its 12-win team. Besides the usual attrition of players leaving for a host of reasons, Jimbo Fisher’s staff has resembled swiss cheese with all of the coaching vacancies. I have never seen a coaching staff pulled apart and recruited as persistently by other programs as much as I have seen with this team.
Florida State has lost five of its coaches and it looks like coach Fisher has finally patched up all of the leaks, and added new members to his staff. The common denominator to all of the new hires is that these guys can flat out recruit. In fact, a noticeable positive of the new crew is that they will expand the recruiting boundaries that the previous coaching staff did not have access to. The Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia will now be blanketed by the relentless recruiting efforts of the new FSU staff.
Fisher also added a bevy of former play callers to the staff. On the offensive side of the ball Billy Napier has been added to coach the tight ends and become the new recruiting coordinator, while Randy Sanders is being brought in as the new running backs coach. Napier was a thorn in Florida State’s side when he was at Clemson, time and time again beating out FSU for top tier recruits. He played a huge role in C.J. Spiller’s decision to choose the Tigers over his childhood favorite Seminoles. On the other hand, Sanders has a ton of SEC offensive play calling experience as he was the offensive coordinator for 6 years at Tennessee and has coached some big name backs along the lines of Jamal Lewis.
On the defensive side of the ball, three top tier hires were made to coach up this extremely athletic defense. As everyone knows, Jeremy Pruitt will be the defensive coordinator, after Fisher plucked him off of the Saban coaching tree. Another Saban pupil set to join the Seminole coaching staff is Sal Sunseri, who is being brought in to coach the defensive ends. Sunseri was the defensive coordinator at Tennessee last year, and has NFL experience in his past. Charles Kelly declined a defensive coordinating position at Georgia Tech to come coach linebackers at Florida State. He is well known for his ability to coach linebackers that excel in coverage. This will be lethal for Kelly because he has never had this kind of talent surrounding him.
Of the five new coaches, all but one has called plays at the college level on their respected sides of the ball. Ironically the one member that has never called a down of college football is the new defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, who will take on the play calling duties after his promotion from secondary coach at Alabama.
There are plenty of questions pertaining to the success that these new coaches will have and it remains to be seen how they will gel together as they differ in experience and age, but on paper these additions should have Noles fans thrilled. It was important for coach Fisher to assemble a full staff before signing day so the new coaches can develop relationships with recruits and pull in another great class. As always, we are set up for another intriguing offseason.
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