Florida State has received signed national letters of intent from a pair of former Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central standouts - defensive tackle Anthony McCloud and running back Debrale Smiley - who come to the Seminoles following a two-year stop at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College.
McCloud and Smiley, who initially signed with Florida State in 2008 out of Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central, played as freshmen at Itawamba in the fall of that year but sat out the 2009 season. They plan to enroll at FSU for the spring semester, participate in spring practice and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who will take over head coaching responsibilities in January, recruited both players.
"They had great freshmen years in junior college, just like they did in high school," Fisher said of the pair, who were the Thomasville Times-Enterprise's defensive and offensive players of the year following the 2007 season. "The great thing about is by redshirting (in 2009) they have three years left and it's a huge advantage for them."
Fisher is especially excited since both players address immediate needs for the Seminoles.
"Debrale brings a big, physical back to the table," Fisher said of the 6-foot, 240-pound back. "He's athletic, catches the ball very well and can block and run from the tailback spot. He could play fullback if he had to, but we like him as a one-back guy who can do some things. He has the speed to get outside and is very durable, just a good football player."
The same holds true for the 6-foot-3, 295-pound McCloud.
"He's physical and holds the point (of attack) very well," Fisher said. "He can change direction very well and runs well for a big guy. We definitely have that size need inside and it's a chance for an experienced guy to come in and make an impact right away."
As high school seniors McCloud and Smiley were central figures in the Yellow Jackets' 13-1 season which ended in the Georgia AAAA semifinals.
Anthony McCloud - 6-3, 295, DL - Thomasville, GA (Thomas County Central)
As a freshman defensive tackle at Itawamba Community College in 2008, registered 24 tackles (20 solos) with 5.5 tackles for loss, including four sacks. … The Indians ranked sixth nationally in rushing defense (86.7 ypg), despite a 3-6 finish. … Thomasville Times-Enterprise's Defensive Player of the Year for 2007…his Thomas County Central team had a perfect record in 2007 before losing in the class AAAA semifinal to finish the year at 13-1…selected to play in the GACA North-South All-Star game…recorded 25 tackles as a senior but opponents avoided the lineman "at all costs" according to Central coach Ed Pilcher.
Debrale Smiley - 6-0, 240, RB - Thomasville, GA (Thomas County Central)
Burst on the scene with 180 yards on 30 carries in his first start at Itwamba in 2008. … Finished the season with 569 yards on 102 carries (5.6 ypc) and two touchdowns. … Thomasville Times-Enterprise's Offensive Player of the Year…his Thomas County Central team had a perfect record in 2007 before losing in the class AAAA semifinal to finish the year at 13-1…all-state selection…selected to play in the GACA North-South All-Star game…set records at Central for touchdowns in a season (35), touchdowns in a career (81) and rushing yards in a season (2,028).