FSU building 'championship caliber' team

To say that Florida State's 2012 recruiting class was filled with athletes is an understatement.

It has the track stars.

It now has a potential professional baseball player in quarterback Jameis Winston.

And now it has back-to-back recruiting classes that were ranked among the top two in the country by ESPN.com. Over the past two recruiting classes, Florida State has lured in a total of 22 ESPNU 150 members and 28 four-star recruits. To put that into perspective, the entire rest of the ACC has brought in a total of 34 ESPNU 150 recruits over the past two recruiting classes. These aren't average players who need to be molded and developed into something special -- they're not "projects." They are arriving on campus already looking like men, and playing on another level -- the FBS level.

You can scoff at recruiting rankings and roll your eyes at Florida State's recruiting hype, knowing it hasn't panned out in recent years, but at some point -- this point -- you have to realize that eventually this will add up.

“I think it shows that people believe in what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Our players believe in the staff because they’re helping us recruit these guys. When you start to put back-to-back classes together like this, you start to build the depth and the competition level within your team that you need in my opinion to be a championship caliber team.”

Depth is the key word. It's what Florida State was missing in last year's injury-laden season, and it should no longer be an excuse moving forward. Nothing should be. All of the pieces are in place for Florida State to contend for a national title, it's just a question of when and how the new three-game nonconference schedule will factor into it.

Florida State didn't just bring in athletes into this year's class -- it brought it even higher expectations for them.