February 25, 2012

Impact analysis: FSU adds a huge weapon in Stevens


Florida State took just one wide receiver in the 2012 recruiting class, Orlando Boone's Marvin Bracy. The Seminole coaching staff stayed in Orlando to nab another receiver, this time from Evans. Tony Stevens committed to the Seminoles at the FSU junior day on Saturday. He is one of the fastest receivers in the county, one that will be a tremendous match-up problem for FSU opponents for years to come. Today Florida national recruiting analyst Chris Nee breaks down Stevens' talent and discusses how he might fit into the FSU offense in the future.

Make no mistake about it, Tony Stevens might not have started as a highly regarded prospect in the rankings, but that will all change soon. Consider the fact that Stevens averages over 20 yards every time he touches the football and that's in the highest classification for the State of Florida.

"I got a chance to see him last year when Evans played Winter Park," Nee said. "He is very capable of stretching the field vertically and athletic enough to make the big plays with his leaping ability. He utilizes that size well. You can see all that very clearly in seeing his film."

Stevens' speed is what captures your breath. He has shown the ability to take over the game and that never more evident in the big chunks of yards he gobbles up.

"Tony gets out of his breaks very quickly, catches the ball well and he turns those plays into really big plays in how he gets big chunks of yardage and his skills after catching the football," Nee said. "He's the type of receiver that has long arms to go up for that leaping catch, but the speed to get behind the defense. You find guys that are tall, and some that are fast but it's really nice when you find a rare one like Tony that can do both."

The 6-foot-3, 175 pound receiver brings a different definition of talent at the wide receiver position. He adds a tremendous threat both in red zone situations, but also anywhere on the field when you start taking a closer look at his film. But how will he fit at FSU?

"I think he's another excellent vertical threat for Florida State more than anything. He can really stretch the field and the defense because of the challenge in handling him at the line of scrimmage, but also downfield as well," he said. "He's also going to be a player that is very effective inside in the red zone with his vertical ability in being taller than most cornerbacks."

Difference in Stevens' skill is how he has both size and speed to be an immediate difference maker for the FSU receiving group.

"He can go up and get the ball just like a basketball player, but even with that size he isn't going to be a guy that just lumbers up the field he has a lot of speed," Nee said. "Now I want to see more of him developing into a well rounded receiver and that includes the route running, as most receivers need to at this stage. He needs to fill that frame because he's going to need to get stronger before getting to college."

The initial ranking for Stevens should be very high, starting off as a four star prospect. Although Nee said he's not sure if that would be inside the Rivals100 or Rivals250 yet.

"He has big play ability from that size, so that's rare this year. As I said before, it's not very often you have a player with that size that can stretch the field like Stevens can."

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