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Florida Spotlight: Programs that should make noise

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Kenny McIntosh
Kenny McIntosh (Nick Lucero/

RELATED: Midwest programs that should make some noise

As we head down the final stretch to December’s early Signing Period, takes a look at five schools set to make noise in Florida when prospects begin signing letters of intent. While the state’s three major programs will definitely make some waves, schools from outside the state’s borders will also shape Signing Day in Sunshine State.


Florida remains involved with uncommitted four-star prospects Kaiier Elam and Nay’quan Wright. The Gators are likely to add at least one of the two and are also tied to Lakeland High school standouts Keon Zipperer and Lloyd Summerall and will need to beat out Miami to land either.

Florida’s improvement under Dan Mullen’s leadership has suddenly made UF a team to watch down the stretch, as the Gators have the momentum it takes to pull off a last-second surprise or two. The Gators highest profile target is five-star running back Trey Sanders, for whom Mullen will need to find a way to beat out Alabama. Florida is gaining momentum with Miami commit Michael Tarquin, who recently visited Gainesville. Virginia Tech defensive line commit Brandon Dorlus could well flip to the Gators before all is said and done.


The in-state powers will always make lists such as this, as they are perennially in the mix for the state’s top prospects. Still, one of the Seminoles’ top priorities is keeping five-star Akeem Dent, the program’s highest-rated commit. Dent says he remains solidly committed to FSU but will take other visits down the stretch.

Four-star guard William Putnam is a priority target for Florida State and seems to be high on FSU despite its on-field struggles. Linemen Deyavie Hammond and Tyler Smith, both four-star prospects, are also considering Willie Taggart’s program.

Whatever happens in Tallahassee between now and the end of the cycle, it will certainly make noise, as Taggart’s rough debut season has increased the national spotlight on his 2019 recruiting class.


Georgia has already had some success in Florida this cycle, as the Bulldogs hold a commitment from Orlando-based linebacker Rian Davis, a four-star prospect. UGA has also zeroed in on running back Kenny McIntosh and defensive back Tyrique Stevenson. Stevenson, who recently visited Athens, is thought to favor UGA and will announce his choice on Signing Day. Miami and Auburn also remain in the mix. UGA’s pursuit of McIntosh is relatively new, on the other hand, as the Bulldogs only turned up the heat on the South Florida product when they lost a commitment from five-star running back John Emery. That said, Georgia has positioned itself well with McIntosh in a relatively short period of time.


Miami’s 2019 class isn’t quite as impressive as its previous one, but the program is still alive for plenty of the state’s impact players. Uncommitted four-star prospects Kenny McIntosh and Mark-Antony Richards, both of whom have family ties to the school, continue to consider UM.

Five-star Evan Neal is also a possibility for Miami, but the Hurricanes will need to beat out Alabama to land his pledge. Mark Richt’s program is also locked in a recruiting battle with Georgia when it comes to Rivals100 defensive back Tyrique Stevenson, who will announce his decision on Signing Day.

Four-star defensive end Khris Bogle is also strongly considering UM. Not to mention, UM is in the midst of attempting to flip Quashon Fuller from rival FSU. Tight end Keon Zipperer and Lloyd Summerall have also become priority targets in recent months.

The Hurricanes will likely make a lot of noise down the stretch, even if they land half of the -state prospects with whom they are currently involved.


Even if Pitt doesn’t get another commitment from Florida between now and Signing Day, it’s impact on the region will be noted. The Panthers aren’t grabbing the top players from the state, but they are becoming a thorn in the side of teams that like to recruit the second and third tier.

Pitt holds six commitments from Florida-based players, including ones from high three-star defensive back Khadry Jackson and running back Vincent Davis, who is in the midst of a strong senior season. The Panthers also remain in the running for four-star tailback Daniel Carter, who seems extremely high on the program.