FSU recruiting needs

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The FSU coaching staff is in a bit of a tricky situation, as it's still waiting to hear from the NCAA about possible scholarship reductions resulting from the academic cheating scandal, which could affect this year's recruiting class. The announcement could come by the end of the week. So far, Florida State has 18 commitments.

The Seminoles' recruiting philosophy has always been to sign the best players available, regardless of position. That said, FSU will take some hits on defense, especially with the loss of both starting defensive ends, linebackers Derek Nicholson and Toddrick Verdell, corner Tony Carter, and safety Myron Rolle. The staff put an emphasis on defensive linemen and defensive backs.

Offensively, the Noles are in good shape, as they had several young playmakers contribute this season who will be back, including their quarterback and all of their offensive linemen. FSU will have to replace leading rusher Antone Smith, starting receiver Greg Carr, and most likely Corey Surrency, who is petitioning the NCAA for another year of eligibility. The Noles are expected to add at least four wide receivers and two running backs.

Possibly the biggest shoes FSU will have to fill are those of Lou Groza Award winner Graham Gano. The Noles are hoping Dustin Hopkins, a kicker from Houston, will be able to help.