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The State of Florida Recruiting Report

This is the inaugural edition of the State of Florida Recruiting Report, highlighting the recruiting progress for Florida, Florida State, Miami and UCF.

TAMPA - Four primary programs in Florida, and four schools to discuss college football recruiting. That’s The State of Florida Football Recruiting Report and what it stands for.

This is a report that will tell it like it is regarding Florida, Florida State, Miami and UCF. There’s an overview of prospects committed, as well as some projections based on how the teams are trending at any one given time.

It’s the same with the podcast version of the report which goes into much greater depth and expands on topics like how Florida State starting the season 0-4 will likely impact its recruiting class, as well as the new seven scholarships that the NCAA will be allowing to replace transfers that leave a program. Additionally, his report will be a mainstay at Inside The Knights.

Look for this report to start happening with more frequency as the month of October approaches. National Signing Day will be Dec. 15, and it’s usually two months prior to that recruiting truly begins to pick up again. Here’s the podcast with the traditional version first, followed by the YouTube version:

For now, here’s an overview of the four primary programs the state of Florida has to offer, going in alphabetical order.

Florida Gators - 14 Commitments

Strengths: Big-time linebacker commitment with Shemar James. He’s a player that could play from day one on special teams, and likely be a player that earns some linebacker playing time during his first year in Gainesville.

There’s plenty of size in the class, and quarterback Nick Evers is one of the best in the country. Watch out for cornerback Julian Humphrey from Houston (Texas) Clear Lake as well.

Weaknesses/Needs: Need at least one playmaker at defensive tackle; it’s the SEC so that’s always a need to match what Georgia does at the very least. Also need a true playmaker in the class. Could that be wide receiver Evan Stewart out of the Dallas area? He’s definitely looking at the Gators among several national programs.

Florida State - 18 Commitments

Strengths: Massive offensive line class that will allow FSU to be a power football team. The latest commitment, Jalen Farmer, will be headed to Tallahassee to play interior offensive line. He’s likely 330 pounds or bigger, but he can really move his feet. Farmer represents the style of player that the Seminoles coaching staff wants to bring in.

Of course there’s Travis Hunter. He’s the elite wide receiver/cornerback from Collins Hill High School just east of Atlanta. He’s a day one starter barring something unforeseen. Special talent.

Travis Hunter Collins Hill

Travis Hunter, WR/CB, Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill

Weaknesses/Needs: Need a true game changer at cornerback in addition to Hunter. He’s likely to play both ways, so even if Hunter plays cornerback the Seminoles need another top-notch cornerback to go with him. Also need a pass rusher, running back, and possibly one more offensive tackle.

Miami - Nine Commitments

Strengths: The Hurricanes have one of the nation’s best defensive back classes. Each of the four defensive back recruits could be a prime player for any recruiting class. At quarterback, Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes County will be sending Jacurri Brown to Coral Gables. He’s the epitome of a dual-threat signal caller. Big arm, big frame, and a big upside for Brown.

Weaknesses/Needs: What they do not have is balance to go along with the defensive backs, nor does Miami possess a single commitment from the greater Miami area. Further, only two of the nine commitments hail from the state of Florida.

That’s almost unfathomable.

The needs are many, beginning with offensive line recruiting. Balance at each of the other positions after that would be best. Some of these positions need to be filled with local prospects, too. Too much local talent to ignore.

UCF - 12 Commitments

Strengths: This class features nine of the 12 players committed coming from Florida high schools, including talented defensive end Keahnist Thompson from Lakeland High School. That’s a good trend for long-term stability. 

Keahnist Thompson, Defensive End, Lakeland (Fla.) High School

From that core group of players, the Knights are going with speed over everything else, especially at linebacker with Kam Moore and TJ Bullard being 205 pounds and 185 pounds respectively. Those are the types of defensive players that UCF wants to sign, and that goal has been accomplished.

Overall, it’s a balanced class. The one particular note here would be Head Coach Gus Malzahn getting a quarterback that fits his desired style of offense with Thomas Castellanos from Waycross (Ga.) Ware County.

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Weaknesses/Needs: There’s no defensive tackle commitment to date, and there needs to be at least two cornerbacks brought in that can play early. Nikai Martinez should be one of those cornerbacks, but he’s out with a knee injury right now.

Otherwise, the Knights need to be patient and recruit the transfer portal well just like with last season as it definitely helped the UCF 2021 roster by going to the portal for help.

For UCF insights, college football news, and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. It will be found on iTunes and Spotify. For more UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as my YouTube Channel and Instagram page. Like and Subscribe!

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