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.