The list he held numbered 17 signees, but Bobby Bowden had seen enough to call this his best recruiting class at Florida State. By the end of national signing day Wednesday, recruiting analysts knew enough to call FSU's effort one of the nation's best. Allen Wallace, editor of the California-based SuperPrep, ranked FSU second behind Notre Dame.
The 23 signees include six Parade All-Americans: Marvin Jones (linebacker, Miami), Omar Ellison (running back, Griffin, Ga.), Chris Weinke (quarterback, St. Paul, Minn.), Ken Alexander (linebacker, Austin, Texas), Clifton Abraham (cornerback, Dallas) and Corey Sawyer (cornerback, Key West).
It is the second consecutive year FSU has recruited six Parade
Jones was ranked as the No. 1 outside linebacker, and seven others were ranked among the top four at their respective positions nationally by recruiting analyst Max Emfinger.
St. Petersburg's William Floyd (Lakewood High) was rated as the No. 2 fullback, and St. Cloud running back Sam McMillon is Emfinger's No. 2 utility back. In Abraham, FSU got the No. 2 cornerback, and Weinke is listed the No. 2 quarterback.
The 15 in-state signees include eight who will represent the state in the Florida-Georgia all-star game this summer. That group includes Bradenton Manatee lineman Patrick McNeil and Tallahassee defensive back Steve Gilmer, as well as Floyd, McMillon, Jones and Sawyer.
The signees also include Tampa Chamberlain linebacker Scott Kolar, who will attend FSU on an academic scholarship. Former Tampa Hillsborough standout Dan Footman is expected to sign with FSU today.
Footman is a defensive lineman from Northwest Mississippi Community College.
Florida State also is awaiting the decision of Parade All-American Andre Hastngs, who has narrowed his choices to FSU, Notre Dame and Georgia.
"It's impressive, they look it on paper," said Bowden when asked if this recruiting class exceeds the 1989 group, considered FSU's best. "You would like more lineman but that wasn't a priority. We wanted three offensive linemen, but we lost one. That would have been just perfect if we got the three."
The decision by Worth County (Ga.) lineman James Holcombe to attend Mississippi was Bowden's only disappointment. FSU even picked up one player who changed a previous commitment: University of Florida recruiter Jim Goodman was waiting for linebacker James Roberson at Lake Wales High on Wednesday morning, but Roberson instead became one of seven linebacker-types to sign with FSU.
"Linebacker and cornerbacks were a priority, and darn if we didn't get some of the best we've ever signed," Bowden said. "This has been the smoothest recruiting year we've had. I'm excited."
Six of the signees are partial qualifiers (they lack the qualifying ACT/SAT test). Nearly all said they took the ACT test Saturday. The six are Sawyer, Ellison, Lonnie Johnson (tight end, Miami), Corey Fuller (defensive back, Tallahassee) and Sean Jackson (running back, New Orleans).
FSU SIGNEES Clifton Abraham DB 5-9180 Dallas
Kevin Adams LB 6-1215 Lake Charles, La. Ken Alexander LB 6-3240 Austin, Texas
Chris Cowart LB 6-3215 New Orleans John Donaldson OL 6-4240 Marianna Omar Ellison RB 6-2200 Griffin, Ga. William Floyd FB 6-2200 St. Petersburg Corey Fuller DB 6-1190 Tallahassee Steve Gilmer DB5-11185 Tallahassee Billy Glenn TE 6-4245 Daytona Beach Dulack Guerrier LB 6-3230 Miami Sean Jackson RB 6-2220 New Orleans Lonnie Johnson TE 6-3230 Miami Marvin Jones LB 6-2220 Miami Scott Kolar LB 6-3210 Tampa Kez McCorvey WR 6-1180 Gautier, Miss. Sam McMillon RB5-10185 Kissimmee Patrick McNeil OL 6-3275 Bradenton Dan Mowrey K5-10165 Tallahassee James Roberson LB 6-3225 Lake Wales Corey Sawyer DB5-10160 Key West Eric Smith LB5-11210 Live Oak Chris Weinke QB 6-5 205 St. Paul, Minn.