Zane Herring became Florida State’s first offensive line commitment for the 2020 class in April.
Herring, who is 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds and is rated by 247Sports as the 75th best overall prospect in the state of Florida. The Madison County (Fla.) standout is the 29th ranked offensive guard in the nation for the 2020 recruiting class.
The Osceola’s Recruiting Analyst, Charles Fishbein, and Madison County coach Mike Coe see a bright future for Herring at FSU.
“Zane can play either guard or tackle,” said Fishbein. “He comes from a program I think you know pretty well. At Madison County the one thing you can count on is that their kids are tough, hard-nosed, they love football and I think that Zane fits that mold.”
Fishbein also thinks that while Herring could play tackle he will eventually end up as a guard at Florida State.
“He is athletic be he is not super athletic,” Fishbein said. “I like his toughness and he moves well. You could play him at right tackle in FSU’s new offensive scheme because offensive line coach Randy Clements doesn’t demand a whole lot of his offensive tackles, but I think his future is at guard.”
The longtime recruiting analyst thinks Herring could be a very solid player in the ACC.
“He has the potential to be an all-conference guard,” said Fishbein. “Zane is a big, physical kid. FSU is trying to recruit kids from winning programs and Madison has won the last two state championships in their classification, so he checks the box there as well.”.
Herring’s head coach agrees with Fishbein.
“Zane has always been a physical kid, he started for us as a sophomore at offensive tackle but moved to guard last year, which is where he will play this season,” Coe said. “He has always been a bigger kid. You can tell he has played for us a while. His technique is really good, he has tight hands, bends his knees and really moves well for a big boy. There are very few times he pulls that he doesn’t hit somebody.”
According to the state championship winning head coach versatility is a strength of Herring’s game.
“He is very versatile, he is going to play right guard for us, he can also play center, he is a smart kid,” said Coe. “I think FSU is going to start him out at right tackle.”
Herring has worked hard this off-season, especially as it relates to improving his pass blocking.
“He has gotten a lot better, he has worked really hard this off-season, going to camps and things like that. I think he has only been beaten one time all spring in one-on-one pass protection drills,” said Coe of the young lineman, who plays in an offensive system with an emphasis on the run game.
Coe also thinks signing with the Seminoles in December and enrolling at FSU in January will be of great benefit to Herring’s development and chance to play early in his college career.
“Zane is going to enroll early, so I think that gives him an opportunity. And his mindset is that he is not afraid of anything,” Coe said of Herring’s chances of early playing time. “I think getting there early and getting on their meal plan and lifting in their off-season program and doing those things, I would expect his body to change. I would usually say ‘no,’ but college football has changed so much. It has become a lot less complicated at a lot of places, so it wouldn’t surprise me.”
Florida State University School (Florida High) coach Jarrod Hickman has faced Herring the last two years and sees both potential and improvement in the young lineman.
“He is a really big kid and when you think of Madison County you think tough and he is both of those things,” started Hickman. “They use him as their puller quite a bit and he does a great job of getting down the line. He is athletic enough to get to you in space. He has been a huge part of their success in the run game the last two seasons.”
Hickman also believes that run blocking is the strength of Herring’s game right now.
“He is a hard-working kid,” Hickman said. “They don’t throw it a lot, so the main area he will have to improve on is his pass blocking. Run blocking is what they do at Madison County and he does a good job of that. Zane does a good job of locking onto defenders when pulling or blocking in space. They try to run everything to him or through him. Zane has gotten better every year and we have played them both his sophomore and junior seasons. You could see he had talent as a young kid and he has really improved and gotten more aggressive as he has gotten older.”
The first thing you notice both in-person and on tape his how hard Herring plays. He gives outstanding effort and never quits on a play. He is a big kid who is likely still growing into his body, but he does move well, particularly when pulling as he shows himself to have outstanding feet. Herring does a tremendous job of getting his hands inside the defender and works extremely hard to stay locked on to his defender. He makes it difficult for defenders to get off blocks when he wins with his hands.
The three-year starter is a dominant run blocker at the high school level and does a really good job of running his feet through contact and should only improve as he develops his lower body strength once he gets into FSU’s strength and conditioning program. He will need to improve as a pass blocker, but it is simply something that he hasn’t been asked to do in high school. I do agree with Fishbein in his assessment of Herring being athletic but not athletic enough to take on edge rushers at the major college level and that he will more than likely end up as a guard at FSU.
Enrolling early at FSU will certainly enhance his development and may lead to his competing to play as a freshman, but ultimately I think it will take a redshirt season before Herring is ready for major college football. He needs a year in the weight room to add strength to his lower body and core. Herring would also benefit from having a spring practice and full season as a redshirt to develop his technique as a pass protector. He has some work to do technically but he is still a young kid who will only get bigger, stronger and more fundamentally sound. Plus he still has a year of high school football to play which leads me to believe his best football is still in front of him.
Please continue to check-in with the Osceola for future updates on the development of Zane Herring as we follow the promising prospect throughout his senior season at Madison County.