It’s a huge day for the college football on Wednesday as the annual event known as National Recruiting Day takes place. Let’s run down what we can expect from the various Florida Schools.
Florida State Seminoles
Here’s a shocking revelation, the Seminoles are expected to have yet another huge recruiting class. Jimbo Fisher is at it again. All signs are pointing to a top 5 class for the Noles, which seems to be some kind of a trend under the Fisher regime. The prize for the Noles is star running back Cam Aikers a 5’11 213lb running back from Clinton, MS. He’s the #2 player in the country, according to 247Sports.com
After his first season as head coach Mark Richt is looking to have another strong recruiting class. He has a few things in his favor. First off the team finished with a five game winning streak, and won their bowl game handily, which was their first bowl victory in a decade. Clearly the program is on an upswing and Richt proved in his first year to be the man for the job. Another factor that will help them on Wednesday is the fact that they played true freshman in key positions this season, mostly on defense. What this does is show recruits that there is no hierarchy based on which class you are in. If you are ready to play, you will get a shot. Right now 247Sports has then at #16 where ESPN has them at #14. If they get higher than 14, the aforementioned factors played a role.
Despite winning back to back SEC East titles, Jim McElwain has been roasted in the state for sub par recruiting results. There’s not doubt the man can coach, it’s just right now his recruiting resume at Florida needs a lot of improvement. Will this be the year he finally cracks the Sunshine State code? Right now 247Sports has them at #21 recruiting class and ESPN at #20. With Florida State and Miami ahead of Florida this year and potentially for years to come, McElwain’s coaching chops will have to elevate because #20 is not good enough for the Gator faithful year in and year out. They will get restless.
UCF Golden Knights
Of course recruiting at UCF is going to be a challenge because of the high level and middle level college programs you are competing against. Right now 247Sports has UCF as the #66 recruiting class in the country. Which isn’t earth shattering, but it isn’t moving the needle much. A school like UCF is much more about player development than recruiting. Though they rely on finding overlooked guys, so it usually takes three years to measure these recruiting classes.
Florida International Panthers
The master recruiter himself is back in the state ready to cause some serious disruptions. Butch Davis is back coaching football in Miami-Dade County, but now for the FIU Panthers. And look how quick of an impact he’s making, this commuter school is ranked 76th in the country in recruiting. Nice work Butch!
Florida Atlantic Owls
The fighting Lane Kiffins come into their head coach’s first recruiting class at #79 according to 247Sports. He took a pretty substantial pay cut to be the head coach at FAU, and he’s going to have to make it work. Kiffin is a high profile name, but also a strong recruiter. That said this program is going not only rely on recruiting young men out of high school, but also master the transfer game. It will be interesting to see if Kiffin has any surprises on Wednesday.
South Florida Bulls
Ranked last out of all the Florida schools is USF, which comes in ranked as the #118 recruiting class in the country. That’s really really bad for a program that is coming off it’s best year in school history. We have to wait and see what new head coach Charlie Strong will be able to do recruiting wise next season. This season the bottom fell out as several top recruits de-committed once Willie Taggart took the job at Oregon. This includes three very high level recruits who are following Taggart to Eugene. This pretty much destroyed the recruiting class, which would have been ranked much higher had there not been any defections. Luckily for Strong he inherits a solid team and should be able to recuperate any recruiting losses next season.
FSU and LSU announced two game neutral site series Tuesday
In an effort to continue to beef up their out-of-conference schedules, FSU announced on Tuesday that they will play newly-crowned National Champion, LSU in two neutral site games coming soon in 2022 and 2023.
The Seminoles made the announcement through social media and their website that they will be playing the “Bayou Bengals” first in New Orleans and then, in Orlando:
Noles vs. Tigers set for '22/'23!!!https://t.co/nfLwLGhXE3
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) February 11, 2020
Both teams will be given the benefit of essentially a “home-away-from-home neutral-site game” on Labor Day weekend. LSU considers New Orleans to be their second home and just won the College Football Playoff National Championship game over Clemson there on January 12.
The first game with the Noles will be on Saturday night September 4th, 2022.
FSU will, then play “hosts” in Orlando against the Tigers the following year on Saturday night September 3rd. The Noles recently played a season-opening game with Ole Miss, whom they defeated, at Camping World Stadium in 2016.
New Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell had this to say in the school statement about adding the games coming soon,
“I’m excited about this series,” head coach Mike Norvell said. “Florida State has a rich tradition in Louisiana, the home of many former Seminoles including Warrick Dunn and Travis Minor, and all three of our national championship teams had at least one player from Louisiana. It continues to be an important area for us now. We added two players from Louisiana in our first signing class, and it will be great for them and other future Noles to be able to play back in their home state.
This series matches two of the iconic brands in college football, and I know our fans will have a great time in New Orleans and Orlando. I want to thank our administration for all their hard work on this and for continuing to pursue first-class experiences for our student-athletes.”
These will be the 10th and 11th times that Florida State and LSU will meet. The Noles hold a 7 – 2 advantage, including winning four straight games in the series. It is the first time the two schools will have played since 1991.
Further, Florida State is 9 – 2 in their last 11 games opening a season on a neutral field. The Seminoles were to have played Boise State in Jacksonville last Labor Day weekend, but the threat of Hurricane Dorian moved the game to Tallahasse.
That’s where the Broncos upset the Seminoles and sent coach Willie Taggart into a second year spiral that resulted in his firing in November.
The Noles are also 8 – 2 all-time in games at the Superdome with the most prominent one coming in the BCS Championship Game win over Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.
Deion tells Dan Patrick he’d consider coaching Hurricanes
NFL Hall of Famer and former Seminoles All-American defensive back Deion Sanders is making the rounds for broadcast outlets at Super Bowl 54 in Miami,. And it’s not just his NFL Network duties that made some news on Tuesday. Rather, it’s an interview, where he expressed more desire for coaching college football and maybe, even in the city where he currently is working this week.
Sanders appeared on The Dan Patrick television – radio show Tuesday in advance of the 49ers and the Chiefs meeting for pro football’s title at Hard Rock stadium Sunday night.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) January 28, 2020
And, while most of the interview centered around the NFL and the Super Bowl match-up, Patrick naturally turned to Deion’s desire to apparently be a head coach in college football and maybe, as soon as next year.
This subject came up after Sanders was apparently under consideration to possibly be the new head coach at FSU, when they fired Willie Taggart in early November. The school and AD David Coburn did confirm that they had a serious formal discussion with “Prime Time” about building a staff, etc.
That’s when Patrick turn the questioning to Sanders’ son and what might test his loyalty to FSU and possibly, coaching at a hated-rival like the University of Miami.
“What if ‘The U’ called?” Patrick asked.
“You know what is so funny, cuz I saw that when I was watching you on television (earlier in the day when Patrick said he would ask Sanders about Miami). My son is a phenomenal quarterback. My youngest son. He has a plethora of offers. We’re going to visit ‘The U’ on Saturday,” Sanders said.
“But would you coach the U?,” Patrick quickly asked again.
“You know what. You never know,” Sanders replied leaving the door open, like most do.
“Are you a ‘package deal’ with your son,” asked Patrick?
“I’ve never been a package deal with any-body,” Sanders shot back, which drew laughter from the studio audience at Patrick’s Super Bowl show site.
Now, the Hurricanes have obviously floundered for much of the 2010s, including 2019 with first-year coach Manny Diaz struggling mightily down the stretch of his first season. Miami lost it’s final two games to finish 6 – 6, and then, were shutout humiliatingly by Louisiana Tech 14 – 0 in the Independence Bowl.
Miami has swapped offensive coordinators after Diaz fired Dan Enos after just his first season. The Canes have hired former Auburn and SMU play-caller Rhett Lashlee to replace him. And, they secured Houston dual threat transfer QB D’Eriq King for this season.
Sanders was a two-time All-American at Florida State (1987, ’88), and won the Jim Thorpe Award during his final season playing for the Seminoles in 1988. He was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the NFL through the 2005 season.
His elite level of play earned him inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sanders has been analyst for the NFL Network for the past 10 years and clearly has the desire to try something else.