Recruiting: Changes at Miami and Florida Already Have Recruits Second-Guessing
The instability of two prestigious programs in the state of Florida will be beneficial for college coaches around the country. Both the Miami and Florida football programs boast rich traditions that are unrivaled by most.
After four average seasons, Miami showed the door to former coach Randy Shannon. Shannon went 28-22 from 2007 until 2010 and 7-5 this past season.
A year after a big transition of their own, Florida State and Jimbo Fisher have racked a great recruiting class in Tallahassee.
After years of inconsistency, it looks as the Seminoles may reclaim their place as the best football team in the state of Florida for the next few years.
One thing is for sure, Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Chip Kelly and other high-profile coaches are chomping at the bit to reach several blue-chip Florida and Miami commits.
The state of Florida has always been one of the most fertile recruiting lands in the country. The Gators and Hurricanes have built their bodies of work from the talent in their backyards.
There is evidence over the past few weeks that these talented preps are taking a second look at their previous verbal commits.
Both programs are less then a week into their new eras of football.
Last Monday, the Hurricanes replaced Shannon with former-Temple coach Al Golden. Golden re-built the once sorry Owls into a respectable program. Now Golden must work fast to add some quality talent to a very small list of current 2011 Hurricane commits.
The dominoes have begun to fall.
This past weekend, standout five-star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater decomitted from the Hurricanes, announcing instead his intentions to attend Louisville. Hailing from Miami Northwestern High School, Bridgewater is widely considered one of top quarterback prospects in the nation.
Two Hurricane decommits Albert Louis-Jean and Marcus Jackson have also recently re-opened their recruiting processes.
Currently a soft verbal, four-star defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo is Golden’s highest-rated recruit.
He hasn’t been shy in reconsidering his commitment to the Hurricanes. He states that he is “committed right now”, but rumors have been swirling of Butch Davis and the Tar Heels closing in on his services.
On the bright side for the Hurricanes, New Jersey prep Olson Pierre announced yesterday he would be following Golden to Miami.
Up north in Gainesville, newly hired Will Muschamp is also looking to shore up the Gators 2011 recruiting class. The former-Texas defensive coordinator left his “coach in waiting” role in Austin to lead the prestigious Gator program.
At least Meyer left behind a better class of prep commits then Shannon did for Golden. Florida currently holds fifteen verbal commits including five-star quarterback Jeff Driskel and seven four-star (Scouts) preps.
The program is stock-piled with talent from previous recruiting hauls and are still in the running for several highly rated prospects. Muschamp is widely regarded as one of the best recruiters in the nation.
While he may show his recruiting muscles in the long run, he may encounter difficulty now until February.
Reports out of Eugene this past weekend prove other coaches see a great opportunity to swipe a few Gator commits. A four-star wide receiver, JeJuan Story of Brooksville, Florida, reportedly flew out west to visit Kelly and the Ducks.
Oregon already holds verbals from Florida preps Tacoi Sumler and Jerrard Randall.
Rumors swirled last week that Driskel may also reconsider his collegiate options.
While it is impossible to read the mind of a recruit, it is certainly evident that many of these young adults are reconsidering their interest in attending Florida or Miami. Look for South Florida and the Seminoles to hit the in-state talent very hard from now until signing day.
With a state of transition in Miami and Gainesville, opportunistic coaches around the country realize they have been given another chance with some of the most talented recruits of the 2011 class.