FSU camp highlighted by Coker, Hart
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- When quarterback Jacob Coker (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul's) committed to Florida State last month, the questions began.
Coker, who had offers from Arkansas State, Duke, Mississippi State and FCS program South Alabama was a relative unknown to most fans.
His high school team -- the same program that produced Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron in 2009 -- ran a Wing-T offense last year.
"You don't throw a lot in that sort of offense," the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Coker said. "But it teaches you a lot of different things, and we have to run the offense that makes us successful."
Still, when he headed to Florida State for the first session of Jimbo Fisher's camp, Coker knew he was being watched, but he never expected an offer.
"I came here to work and I really liked the place," he said. "I wasn't thinking they would offer, but when they did it was something I couldn't pass up."
Not surprisingly, Coker grew up an Alabama fan, but he was receptive to the recruiting efforts of former Auburn quarterback and current FSU quarterbacks coach Dameyune Craig.
Craig led Blount High School (Mobile, Ala.) to two state championships in the early '90s and is considered quite the celebrity around the city.
"Everyone in Mobile loves coach Craig so when he calls, you answer," Coker said. "And he's a great guy. I'm pretty sure every Auburn fan considers him their favorite quarterback."
Soon, Coker's challenge will be to win over the city of Tallahassee.
"I love the university and the people here. It is a positive atmosphere," he said. "I think the coaching staff here is going to do special things."
Hart makes the move
Offensive lineman Bobby Hart (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) made his move last week and committed to Florida State over roughly 35 offers from every major program in the nation.
For him it was a no brainer.
"Coach [Rick] Trickett is one of the best in the nation, so who wouldn't want to play for him," Hart said. "He doesn't except mediocrity and he's going to get the best out of you."
Hart said he and teammate Rashad Greene actually committed to the Seminoles at about the same time, but Greene went public with his commitment sooner.
Although Hart doesn't turn 16 until August, he is considered one of the top three offensive linemen in the state and the latest from a high school program that has produced Sam Young, Andrew Datko, Brandon Linder and a host of others.
"At Aquinas, it's all about the hard work," Hart said. "They give you everything you need to succeed but you have to want it. There will always be great linemen from STA."
Hart is going to focus on his senior season and improving his strength in the weight room. Although he is considered one of the quickest linemen in the state, Hart still sees room for improvement.
"You have to get better at everything to play big-time football," he said.
Hart has been at the Jimbo Fisher FSU camp all week and has been chatting with future teammates and current targets for the Seminoles.
"I've caught up with Lamarcus Brutus and Keelin Smith (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast)," Hart said. "And I talked to Aaron Lynch (Cape Coral, Fla./Island Coast). He was here, and I'm trying to get him to stay. I heard James Wilder II (Tampa Bay, Fla./Plant) and Giorgio Newberry (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Central) will be here [Friday] so I'm going to talk with them too."
Student of the game
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher has made it clear that his camp is a "work camp" and not a showcase.
Defensive lineman Elkino Watson (Miami/Booker T. Washington) has been taking advantage of the working opportunities.
"There is a lot of good teaching here," Watson said. "It's definitely going to help me use better moves this season."
The 6-2, 275-pounder has offers from South Florida, Rutgers, UCF, Georgia Tech, Duke and others. He is interested in FSU and hoping to add the Seminoles to his list of offers.
"I like the coaching staff here," he said. "They aren't afraid to get dirty and make you work. I like that."
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris Pool contributed to this piece.
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