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ESPN's Tom Luginbill talks Nate Craig-Myers, Florida Gators, FSU recruiting



With signing day coming up Wednesday, ESPN national director of recruiting Tom Luginbill hit on a number of recruiting issues on a teleconference with reporters. Three interesting local nuggets:

* Florida's bounce-back recruiting season isn't a surprise. The Gators had to scramble last year to salvage a respectable class. This year, UF enters the final week with a class ranked sixth by ESPN and 247Sports.

"This is what you expect to see," Luginbill said. "You expect to see this in the first full calendar year of a new staff that's no longer having to scratch and scrape..."

The Gators' key, Lunginbill said, will be whether coach Jim McElwain can develop either of its incoming quarterbacks - Crawfordville Wakulla's Feleipe Franks or Kyle Trask of Manvel, Texas.

"He knows as well as anybody the quarterback position has to be fixed," Luginbill said. "It's that simple...They know that if the quarterback position gets fixed at Florida, Florida is a different program to every opponent they play as a result of that one fix." 

* Florida State finds itself in a slightly different position than usual. The Seminoles are finalists for three top-150 players who will announce their decisions on signing day (OT Landon Dickerson, LB Dontavious Jackson and CB Trayvon Mullen). That's a change from last year, when FSU's class was pretty much set in January, if not earlier.

The good news for FSU? The Noles were in a similar position in 2012, when they landed star DT Eddie Goldman, DB Ronald Darby and flipped LB Reggie Northrup from Miami on signing day. Goldman and Darby were both key figures on FSU's title team, and Northrup developed into the team's leading tackler.

"There could be a little bit more drama with this team," Luginbill said. "Sometimes that drama is a good part of relevancy...Some of the kids that are still considering FSU aren't in-state kids. It could be another opportunity for the Seminoles to make an impact outside their immediate footprint."

* Tampa Catholic WR Nate Craig-Myers is set to choose between North Carolina and Auburn on Wednesday. Wherever Craig-Myers goes, Luginbill said the four-star talent should be able to play early, considering how well Craig-Myers rebounded from a broken leg in 2014.

"What he's really done is worked extremely hard to get back, get healthy, prove his worth," Luginbill said. "To me, that tells me a little bit about his maturity. It tells me about his competitive temperament."

And both of those intangibles lead Luginbill to believe that he has the mentality (and physical skills) to be an impact player next fall.

[Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2016 2:24pm]


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