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Recruiting the Florida Panhandle: College Programs Missing top Talent

Why are college football programs missing out on top recruits in the Florida Panhandle?

PENSACOLA, Fla. - There have been numerous top players coming out of the Florida Panhandle over the years. For whatever the reason, however, it’s usually just the local programs that hit this region and few others come into the territory.

Former Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden made this area a priority and he should have. Tallahassee, where Florida State is located, is the eastern edge of the Panhandle. The Seminoles often signed several players from this area during each recruiting class that helped them become a college football dynasty.

The Gators are no different. Hall of Fame NFL running back Emmitt Smith played at Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia and was National High School Player of the Year by USA Today. He played three years for Florida before heading to the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. All told, Smith rushed for 18,355 yards and 164 rushing touchdowns, both all-time NFL records.

These great programs and players have taken advantage, but why do other programs fail miserably when recruiting in this region?

One can excuse Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Florida State. Traditionally speaking they do a pretty good job in this territory. Again, they are local to the Panhandle, however.

What about the Big 10? The ACC? Those programs, by and large, are chasing SEC schools like Alabama at key spots like cornerback. That talent gap is wide. Very wide.

There’s no reason for them to not recruit programs near cities like Pensacola and Mobile harder. Not all of those kids end up at Alabama, contrary to belief.

Here’s a look at several players that play with C3Elite7v7 in the greater Pensacola area, as well as a podcast defining their skills after watching them play earlier this spring and during a workout on Nov. 30, 2021. Hopefully more college coaches will take notice. They definitely should.

To contact any of the following players, a good resource would be C3 Elite Head Coach Dwayne Carter. Find him here: @C3Elite7v7

Here is the podcast and here are the players from the workout and their contact information:

Battle Alberson, Quarterback, C3Elite7v7 - Gulf Breeze High School 2024

Battle Alberson, Quarterback, Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High School - 2024 - @BattleAlberson3

Jaden Mikhael Tight End - C3Elite7v7 @jadenmikhael

Jaden Mikhael, Tight End, Niceville (Fla.) High School - 2023 - @jadenmikhael

Koby Howard Wide Receiver Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic @C3Elite7v7 - 2025 - @KobyHoward3

Koby Howard, Wide Receiver, Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic - 2025 - @KobyHoward3

Ja'Bril Rawls Cornerback Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic - 2024 - @C3Elite7v7

Ja'Bril Rawls, Cornerback, Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic - 2023 - @RawlsJabril

Terence Marshall Wide Receiver Navarre (Fla.) High School @C3Elite7v7 - 2024 - @Terenc306

Terence Marshall, Wide Receiver, Navarre (Fla.) High School - 2024 - @Terenc306

Tyrell Marshall Cornerback Navarre (Fla.) High School - 2024 - @C3Elite7v7 @TYRELLMARSHALL6

Tyrell Marshall Cornerback Navarre (Fla.) High School - 2024 - @TYRELLMARSHALL6

Turner McLaughlin, Linebacker H-Back @TurnerMcLaugh1 @C3Elite7v7 Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High School

Turner McLaughlin, Linebacker/H-Back, Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High School - @TurnerMcLaugh1 

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Zavier Hamilton, Linebacker, Navarre (Fla.) High School - 2024 - @C3Elite7v7 @ZavierHamilton1

Zavier Hamilton, Linebacker, Navarre (Fla.) High School - 2024 - @ZavierHamilton1

For UCF coverage and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. For more college football, 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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