By: Alex Turko @aturko_23
Signing day is two weeks away and the pressure among college coaches is running high. Many consider this the most intense time of the year for coaches, as they scramble around to put the finishing touches on their recruiting class. This is when teams are built and championship caliber athletes are obtained. While fans are enamored by the star rankings of the recruits, coaches are rigorously reviewing film and evaluating players to find that diamond in the rough. They are working non-stop to land their desired prospects, flying around the country for their in-home visits and visiting the schools of all of these high-school athletes.
This is the time of year when former Seminole coach Bobby Bowden shined brightest. There was a point in time when if Bobby Bowden came to your house for an in-home visit, you were going to be a Nole. I don’t know whether it was his southern charm, or fatherly presence, but Bowden was the ultimate closer in recruiting and much of the Seminoles’ success during his reign was attributed to this recruiting prominence.
His tactics were unorthodox by some because he would barely talk to the recruit while he was at their house visiting. Bowden would go into the household and talk directly to the mother of the recruit and would sell himself to the family and not the player. By the time Bowden walked out of the house, Mamma told you that you were going to be a Seminole. There was a story of Bowden walking into the home of a recruit holding two younger siblings of the prospect in each arm, both of them dead asleep as if he was their grandfather or Santa. Bowden had this charm about him in his prime that couldn’t be measured.
Another staple to Bowden’s recruiting legacy was his ability to close at the last minute with a legendary class. The Seminoles rarely got off to a fast start in recruiting, but Bowden had the top prospects teed up in the perfect position to hit his walk-off homeruns. This year, current FSU coach Jimbo Fisher has set himself up in the same situation. He can begin his own legacy if he can close with the magnitude that Bowden did. FSU currently has 19 commitments and Fisher is looking to add about 7 more pieces to his recruiting puzzle. With the loss of another coach in James Coley, Fisher has his work cut out for him to reel in key recruits Matthew Thomas and Denver Kirkland out of Miami, an area where Coley excelled.
The Seminoles will look to finish inside of the top-ten in the final recruiting rankings while landing important players to keep the Seminole football team playing at a high level. In two weeks, Fisher will have his chance to close out the recruiting season with a bang like his predecessor did for many years before him. If Fisher has the Bowden flare, the Noles should finish strong.
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