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How FSU recruits other schools' oral commitments

Former Blake High defensive lineman Shavar Manuel flipped from Florida to Florida State.
Former Blake High defensive lineman Shavar Manuel flipped from Florida to Florida State.
Published Feb. 4, 2016

One of Wednesday's biggest national signing day stories came from former Blake High DL Shavar Manuel, who flipped from Florida to Florida State.

Maybe flipped isn't quite the right word, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Here's what FSU defensive end coach Brad Lawing said during the Seminoles' signing day party Wednesday night, according to the Sentinel:

Shavar had told me the night before, 'I'm a Seminole' and then he committed to Florida. I called him up, asked what's going on and he said 'I'm just getting some pressure from people.'

So he didn't just flip tonight. We've known about this for about two weeks.

Regardless of how the four-star Manuel landed with the Noles, it brings up an interesting question. How do colleges recruit players who have already committed elsewhere? Every school has its own strategies, but FSU coach Jimbo Fisher gave an interesting peek at how the Noles work during Wednesday's news conference in Tallahassee.

"We don't recruit guys unless they say we're totally open," Fisher said.

Let's say a player orally commits to State U. FSU coaches would then ask the player or his family if that commitment is final.

"If this is final, okay," Fisher said. "We'll leave you alone. But are you still open? Is this a final deal? Would you like us to check back in with you in a month?"

Fisher said his staff leaves that up to the player and his family. If the prospect wants FSU to keep recruiting him, the school continues. If the player's mind is made up, FSU moves on. A player might initially say one thing but call the coaching staff with a change of heart.

"I don't like chasing guys and pounding on guys for recruiting," Fisher said. "I don't think it's good for them, and I don't think it's good for us."