football Edit

Ask Farrell: Can Noles, Canes turn tables with in-state stars?

The state of Florida rankings could be a good snapshot of what’s going on with at least two of the three big in-state programs and the problem of trying to keep elite talent home.

Elias Ricks is the top prospect in Florida, a five-star cornerback who transferred from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, and he remains committed to LSU. That might not be the best example, since he’s only lived in Florida for a few months, but others remain an issue.

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

Elias Ricks
Elias Ricks

Five-star running back Demarkcus Bowman is from Lakeland, Fla., but he committed to Clemson over Florida and others. Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian five-star cornerback Fred Davis also picked the Tigers over in-state powers.

Miami and Florida State have a single commitment among the top-10 players in the state. Clemson has three with the addition of IMG four-star defensive lineman Demonte Capehart.

Florida actually has the lowest-ranked recruiting class of the three as the Gators are currently No. 16 in the country. The Hurricanes are ninth and the Seminoles are sitting at eighth. Recruiting has been admirable, but getting the elite to stay home has been problematic.

But at least the Gators are performing well on the field, as opposed to Florida State and Miami.

Dan Mullen
Dan Mullen (© Kim Klement, USA TODAY SPORTS)


We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell whether FSU coach Willie Taggart and Miami coach Manny Diaz can turn things around with the best in-state recruits or is this the new reality with top prospects in the state of Florida?

“The team with the best chance to take a step forward is Florida, but Dan Mullen isn’t known as a dynamic recruiter, so we’ll see. Miami and Florida State will always attract talent, but the seasons they’re having will hurt them and Taggart will soon be on a very hot seat if he’s not already. With none of the big three in Florida being overly consistent on the field, it’s the perfect time for schools to raid the state. But watch out for the Gators. If they keep playing well and winning, they will rise up the list.”