TALLAHASSEE -- After what has already been a rather eventful postseason for Florida State, given the various coaching changes that have taken place for the Seminoles (and potential future coaching changes that could still be on the horizon), there have been good reasons for FSU's 2013 recruiting efforts to have taken a major, devastating blow.
Committed recruits have checked in with the various recruiting writers covering the team and the state, including the Orlando Sentinel's Chris Hays, and each have stood by the team they have long said they wanted to play for. Despite losses at defensive coordinator (Mark Stoops took Kentucky's head-coaching job) and defensive end's coach (D.J. Eliot became Stoops' defensive coordinator), and threats of the departures of head coach Jimbo Fisher and assistants Eddie Gran (although we're now learning Gran may indeed be leaving soon) and James Coley, the recruits have hung firm.
Action on the recruiting trail has been so comparatively positive for the Seminoles that they're still handing out well-received offers, and even picking up commitments.
Monday afternoon, the Seminoles' list of committed for the 2013 signing class grew by one when junior college defensive end Desmond Hollin informed FSU that he wanted to be part of next year's team.
A 6-foot-4, 260-pound lineman from Miami, Hollin currently is playing at ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y. The JUCO player has been one of the more sought-after ends in this class, holding offers from Kansas, Purdue and Kentucky, among others.
Coley, whose name has been at the center of reports recently about coaching opportunities at Kentucky and Florida International, has been Hollin's lead recruiter. The assistant was apparently in New York last week.
Before going the JUCO route, Hollin was a two-way player at Southridge High School in South Florida, playing defensive end and receiver. As you'll be able to see in the video embedded below, in high school, he had a knack at leaving his feet. As a receiver, it seemed he had a penchant for jumping for jump balls in the end zone. As an end, if he could jump and bat down a football, it appears he would do that, too. Leaping ability is one trait a good end should have. Look no further than All-ACC end and Nagurski finalist Bjoern Werner to see that.
Although Hollin is much thicker now than he was in the video below -- he's a good 25-30 pounds heavier -- you'll notice that he played the end position in high school as if he were a light-on-his-feet, agile and athletic skill player. To be honest, when first watching the clips below, I personally thought I was watching a carbon copy of FSU receiver Kelvin Benjamin playing at defensive end. Yes, maybe it's simply because in the video Hollin is wearing the No. 1 like Benjamin sports for the Seminoles, but he still reminded me of the large wide out than anyone else.
JUCO defensive ends have obviously been key additions for the Seminoles in recent years. Before getting drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2011, Markus White transferred to FSU to play the position. Later that same year, Cornellius Carradine came to Tallahassee from Butler Community College. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native went on to have a good junior season for the Seminoles, and flat-out dominated his senior campaign. Before a season-ending ACL injury in the regular season finale two weeks ago, Carradine had been leading the Seminoles in tackles, and was among the ACC's sack leaders.
Because of Carradine's injury, as well as the one to fellow senior Brandon Jenkins this season, the Seminoles learned they can never have enough solid defensive ends.
If he indeed signs with FSU, Hollin will be joining the likes of Mario Edwards Jr., Giorgio Newberry and Chris Casher at the position. Edwards and Newberry will be game-tested sophomores and Casher will be a redshirt freshman after missing nearly all of this season with a knee injury. Werner likely will go to the NFL a season early, but if the intimidating end decides to come back, the Seminoles will have even more depth at the position. Assuming he also upholds his commitment and signs, prospect Davin Bellamy also would be playing in FSU's defensive end rotation.
In order to get caught up on where the Seminoles stand with their 18 commitments (mind you, technically, they have 17 due to the career-ending concussion suffered by Richy Klepal; FSU still is honoring his scholarship) take a look at the chart below. Below it is video of Hollin.
FSU's 2013 commits (info from ESPN.com's Recruiting Nation)
RB Ryan Green, St. Petersburg, 5-10/187, No. 6 RB ... Four stars. Committed: June 15, 2012
OT Austin Golson, Prattville, Ala., 6-6/284, No. 4 OT ... Four stars. Committed: April 11, 2011
ATH Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield, Orlando, 5-9/176, No. 10 ATH ... Four stars. Committed: August 13, 2012
OG Ira Denson, Madison, 6-4/317, No. 3 OG ... Four stars. Committed: May 31, 2012