Posted: 3:36 pm Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Inside Look — Florida State 

By Post Staff

The good news for Warchant Nation: Parade All-America quarterback E.J. Manuel followed through on his commitment and could start for the Noles by 2009.

And Crawfordville’s Nigel Bradham, the top outside linebacker in the nation according to Rivals, also will be a Seminole.

But Wednesday’s Signing Day is about the players FSU DIDN’T get.


– The Noles didn’t get Tallahassee-Lincoln DB T.J. Bryant, who chose to play 3,000 miles away at USC instead of for his hometown Noles.

- They didn’t get Alabama receiver Julio Jones, the top receiver prospect in the country, who instead will play for Nick Saban and Alabama.

- They didn’t get West Virginia offensive guard Josh Jenkins, the top offensive lineman in the country who will stay with his home state Mountaineers.

- And they didn’t sign Hialeah DE Corey Liuget, who was wooed away by Ron Zook and Illinois.

“It’s like a class that’s incomplete,” longtime recruiting expert Larry Blustein said.

While FSU traditionally waited until Signing Day to fill out most of its class, this year Jimbo Fisher has had much of the class locked up for months.

The Noles signed nine players before 10 a.m. Wednesday, and despite missing out on those four recruits, still hit a home run with Manuel and Bradham.

Jamie Newberg, national manager of Scout.com, said Manuel is the real deal.

“Manuel is a lot like JaMarcus Russell at the same stage. They’re basically carbon copies of each other,” Newberg said. “He’s going to a great teacher in Jimbo, and I think he’s certainly the guy who is going to lead FSU back to what we expect them to be.”

Newberg likes receiver Jarmon Fortson, who had previously committed to Auburn. And DE Markus White is a big time transfer from Butler County (Kan.) Community College.

The Seminoles will still finish with a Top 10 recruiting class. But they did not dominate Signing Day like they used to.