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Seminole Wrap: Commitments and Conference Realignment

From commitments to conference realignment the college football news cycle seems busier than ever, and we haven’t even made it to the season yet! It can be hard to stay up to date with all that’s going on.

At the same time, as a college football site, that means there is always something that needs to be covered. As some of you have heard me mention before, Plant The Spear is currently a one-man band. I try to produce as much content as possible, but between working full time and just life in general it is not always easy to keep up and break everything as is happens.

Knowing that, I thought it would be best to start a new series of articles that will help fulfill two demands at once. The new series will be a wrap up of recent major news and events that you need to know about while allowing me to cover it all in one encompassing article I can put together as time permits.

Obviously, news is constantly breaking across college football, so I’d like to put these out as often as possible and hopefully on a regular schedule soon. This first edition will be a little longer as I have lots of catching up to do, but hopefully in the future they will be shorter and more digestible.

It seemed obvious if I was going to do a “wrap up” about the Seminoles it was only fitting to call it the Seminole Wrap! Hopefully, it goes a little better than infamous rap song from the dynasty days, but enough about me, let’s get into this!

Commitments

I’ve got some ground to make up since the last commitment article I put out as FSU has been busy on the trail. They have landing a few new commitments and a transfer. We’ll start with the players who are part of Tribe 22 that we’ll get to see in garnet and gold this upcoming season.

Ayobami Tifase

First up is Ayobami Tifase, the Seminoles landed the 6-foot-4 300-pound defensive tackle from Maryland on June 14th. Tifase, chose FSU over the likes of Arkansas, Virginia Tech, and rival Miami. After reclassifying to 2022, Tifase will be immediately eligible to play for the Noles. If you saw the pictures he posted on social media, the 3-star defensive lineman looks like one of the first ones you’d want to step off the bus. I’m not sure how much you can expect from a true freshman defensive tackle in year one, but he’s a good take that will be in the system and gaining experience under coach Odell Haggins. This is key with the likely departure of Robert Cooper and Fabian Lovett after this season.

Ayobami Tifase Edit

Jazston Turnetine

Keeping it in the trenches, FSU signed another offensive line transfer in Jazston Turnetine from South Carolina. If you’re anything like me as an FSU fan you can never have enough offensive lineman to help fix this room given all the struggles they’ve had. Turnetine has the size you want coming in at 6-foot-6 340-pounds and has experience with 10 starts while at USC. To be fair there have been a few knocks about inconsistent play as well as not being in the greatest shape at times. Even if that is the case, getting an offensive tackle with starting experience in the SEC is never a bad thing. Alex Atkins is a good coach, and with a fresh start at a new program Jazston may be poised to put it all together and step into a starting role at FSU. Either way you get a massive, experienced, quality depth piece on the offensive line which in something FSU has been lacking for a long time.

Jazston Turnetine edit

Roderick Kearney

Moving to the class of 2023, the Noles picked up two huge commitments in the past few weeks. Like the class of 2022 commitments, both are on the line of scrimmage. Although stepping up the level of talent at the skill positions will be crucial for the future of FSU’s success, I feel teams are built in the trenches and I’m glad to see this area being addressed.

Florida State received a commitment from 4-star offensive lineman Roderick Kearney out of Orange Park, Florida. Kearney, who comes in at 6-foot-4 300-pounds, chose the Seminoles over the likes of Auburn, Arkansas, and rival Florida. The highly regarded tackle has a high upside with the tools needed to be an impact player in the future. As with most offensive lineman this may still be a few years down the road.

However, once again this speaks to the impact Alex Atkins has had on the offensive line room so far. If this staff stays in place and they hit on most of the players they have brought in, the offensive line room could be a strength in the coming years. That’s feels weird to even say as an FSU fan given the seemingly endless struggles but would certainly be a welcomed change.

Roderick Kearney

Keldric Faulk

The Seminoles weren’t finished loading the trenches as they received another big time commitment on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. 4-star defensive end Keldric Faulk pledged his commitment to the Seminoles over other offers from Clemson, Florida, and Alabama. Faulk is a 247 composite top 100 player and the 9th best defensive lineman in the class of 2023.

This was obviously a huge recruiting win for FSU beating out that caliber of teams for the talented edge rusher. These are the types of battles they need to win to get FSU back to the level they need to be at. Credit to DE coach John Papuchis who was the primary on Faulk and has proven to be a very under rated recruiter on this staff.

Coming in at 6-foot-5 240 pounds, Faulk is an athletic player with room to grow. He has a good first step and consistently wins battles with his length and athleticism per his scouting report. Faulk is the type of player who can develop into a multi-year starter for FSU and should make for an exciting duo of pass rushers with current 4-star legacy commitment Lamont Green Jr.

The Noles have other major targets set to commit soon including offensive line target Lucas Simmons. The Noles will need to have some success on the field to keep the momentum up and hold the class together, but it’s a good start.

Keldric Faulk Edit

Lucas Simmons

Update 7/11/2022 – Florida State just received another big time commitment from 6-foot-7 300-pound 4-star offensive lineman Lucas Simmons! Simmons, who is originally from Sweden, played his junior season at Clearwater Academy International this past year. Simmons is new to American football so there is still some development that will need to happen, but he possesses the tools and size you want in an offensive tackle. Simmons projects as a multi year starter with possible NFL potential given his size and ability. This was a huge get for the Noles who beat out USC, Tennessee and rival Florida for the blue chip offensive lineman. Simmons told 247sports “I want to help bring FSU back” after his commitment. Once again Alex Atkins impact on FSU recruiting cannot be understated.

Lucas Simmons Edit

Check out our article highlighting “The Atkins Effect” Here.

Conference Realignment

The hottest topic in college football right now is conference realignment. When the news of Texas and Oklahoma going to the SEC broke, it felt the first domino to fall in what seems to be an inevitable path to super conferences. Now with the news of USC and UCLA leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten, it feels more like a chaotic game of musical chairs with programs in limbo of where they may end up.

Obviously with the revenue gap of the Big Ten and SEC over the other conferences they will likely be the two giants that poach whoever they want from other conferences. There is a lot still up in the air as the other conferences scramble to answer the moves made so far. Will the Big 12 and Pac 12 merge in an attempt to stay alive? Will the ACC go on the offensive to try and add teams or are they a sitting duck waiting to be picked apart?

As far as the Seminoles are concerned there are rumors of FSU, Clemson and a few other possible ACC teams going to the SEC. Of course, with college football pretty much running through the south, the Big Ten could try to snag a part of that market with a couple of ACC teams too. There are simply too many moving parts and possibilities to start making assumptions just yet. I try not to take part in “click bait” for the sake of attention so I feel it is best to wait for something more concrete. However, there is evidence that the talks are at least happening.

Unfortunately for FSU, the ACC grant of rights (that locks of TV rights through 2036) is a massive hurdle standing in the way. The buyout to get out of the ACC would be enormous. However, given the massive revenue increase that would be had from jumping ship to the SEC or Big Ten it may still be feasible for those looking to leave.

In my opinion, Florida State would easily be better off leaving the ACC. The one silver bullet I believe the conference thought they had was getting Notre Dame to join as a full time ACC member, but it appears they have no interest in doing that and may end up in the Big Ten when it is all said and done.

Of course, there are moves the conference could make but I doubt there is anything blockbuster they could pull off that would warrant a renegotiation of TV contracts sizeable enough to make it worth staying. That’s if you even have the confidence the ACC would make those types of moves and I for one do not. As it stands the ACC looks like a sinking ship.

The SEC is currently projected to have an estimated payout of $50 million dollars more per team than the ACC by 2029 with the Big Ten numbers being similar. Those numbers will also continue to grow as new teams get added and contracts get negotiated.

As unfair as it seems, that is the world we live in right now and for FSU to keep up in the current arms race that is college football they need to find a way to tap into that revenue. FSU has been able to do a lot with a lot less for a long time. It would be interesting to see what this program could do with SEC money. Obviously, step one is to start winning games in the ACC before worrying about conference realignment, but it is becoming more of a reality and seems to be inevitable at this point.

While I’m not fan of the SEC and despise the SEC chants done by teams who have never won anything, it is fun to think about the non-monetary changes that would bring as well. Bigger matchups, better traveling fan bases, and playing in more exciting venues just to name a few. I don’t think anyone would argue that going to a road game in Baton Rouge or tailgating in the Grove in Oxford would be more fun than a sleepy nooner at Wake Forest. Only time will tell how things shake out, but change appears to be on the horizon.

Wrapping up

As we bring the first edition of our new Seminole Wrap series to a close, hopefully you found it informative and will stay tuned for more of the series. As I mentioned before this first one was on the longer side as there was a lot to cover, but I’ll try to keep them shorter and more digestible in the future. Thanks for reading and Go Noles!

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