FSU, UF, USF and UCF had a good Signing Day

Every major college football team in the state got some star players on National Signing Day
Every major college football team in the state got some star players on National Signing Day

Yesterday was National Signing Day, when high school kids from all over the United States tell the world where they will be playing college football this fall. All of the major media outlets gave Alabama the top spot in the rankings of getting the most sought after players in the country.

Statewide it should a surprise to no one that the defending national champion’s the Florida State University Seminoles had a great day. They brought in a Top Five class and they went for size and speed with head coach Jimbo Fisher, very pleased with the players he got.

Fisher bragged Wednesday about the mammoth frames, long bodies and versatile athletes from a class that, according to Florida State’s math, didn’t include a single player under 6 feet tall. Of course, Fisher just as easily could have been talking about the sheer numbers that, in addition to ample quality, bring much-needed quantity to the defending national champs.   

The University of Florida Gators came in with a Top Ten ranked class to the surprise of many. Despite coming off the school’s first losing season since 1979 — and with Muschamp on the proverbial hot seat — the Gators put together a class of 24 that is ranked No. 6 in the nation by ESPN and No. 8 by Rivals.

The Gators’ class appears strong at quarterback, on both lines of scrimmage and in the secondary, led by five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor, the jewel of the class.

The big news Wednesday was UF’s ability to flip two Florida State commitments — Harris and wide receiver C.J. Worton. Harris gives the Gators a second quarterback to go along with highly rated Will Grier, who is already enrolled at UF.

Next on the list was the University of Miami Hurricanes who also had a Top Ten class. Coach Al Golden sat around the fax machine on National Signing Day as the Hurricanes reeled in their best signing class in Golden’s four years in Coral Gables.

Among the big fish UM reeled in: Miami Booker T. Washington five-star defensive end Chad Thomas and pass rushing teammate Demetrius Jackson; California All-American quarterback Brad Kaaya; three All-American offensive linemen; and a quartet of talented defensive tackles led by 6-4, 287-pound defensive tackle Anthony Moten from nearby Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

In Orlando the Knights of Central Florida want to build on their first ever BCS Bowl win over Baylor.  UCF lost just seven scholarship seniors from last year’s team, but did have underclassmen quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson depart early for the NFL draft.Nine of the new recruits are on the defensive side of the ball. Nine players come from Georgia, with seven hailing from Florida. Among those seven was Armwood High defensive back Kyle Gibson, who was given a four-star rating by Rivals.com, which also ranked him as the No. 16 cornerback in the nation. He chose UCF over offers Florida State, Louisville and Michigan.The Bulls of the University of South Florida had a good day yesterday. Coach Willie Taggart had a tough year last year with the Bulls not making it to a bowl game but he is known as a top notch recruiter.  According to a consensus of analysts, USF had the highest-ranked recruiting class in the American Athletic Conference, while finishing in the top 45 nationally.

For Taggart is all about keeping the local talent home and he did just that landing a large number of local players from the Tampa Bay area.

Jesuit defensive end/linebacker Vincent Jackson, making his announcement in Arlington, Texas, where he will participate in Friday’s International Bowl, selected USF over Virginia and Missouri.

Immokalee running back D’Ernest Johnson picked USF, joining his high school teammate, four-star recruit Jimmy Bayes. Sickles linebacker/defensive end Josh Black, who considered Marshall, stayed home to play for the Bulls.

Meanwhile, Niceville wide receiver Tyre McCants, who reportedly got late offers from Georgia and Florida State, kept his word and stayed with USF.

The Bulls also attracted Sarasota Booker running back Marlon Mack, Fort Myers Dunbar wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson, DeLand offensive tackle Ben Knox and Sarasota defensive end Eric Mayes, each of whom achieved a four-star ranking from one of the major recruiting services.

Mack had committed to Louisville.