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Four out-of-state programs that have done the best recruiting Florida

Lovasea Carroll
Lovasea Carroll (

Florida is the cornerstone of high school football talent and so many national powerhouses have targeted the state and done everything possible to convince elite players from there to join their program.

Some have had incredible success, others have struck out and all the while the in-state programs have done their best to try to keep players home.

When evaluating the last four recruiting classes of committed or signed players from the 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018 classes, Miami has had the most in-state success when it comes to top-20 players for the big three teams by landing 10. Florida is right there with nine and then Florida State has gotten eight.

Here’s a look at which out-of-state programs have done the best coming into Florida to get top 20 players over the last four cycles including 2021.

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Top-20 Florida signees/commitments: 9

Breakdown: The Bulldogs have won three-straight team recruiting titles and a lot of that is owed to the success Georgia has had with top-end recruits in Florida over the last four recruiting cycles. Five-stars Tyson Campbell and James Cook got pulled out of Florida along with five-star linebacker Nolan Smith, the top-rated prospect in Florida’s 2019 class. Wide receiver Tyrique Stevenson was another battleground prospect that picked the Bulldogs as he was just outside of five-star status.

In the 2020 class, Georgia landed four-star receiver Marcus Rosemy and four-star defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who could be one of the more underrated prospects coming out of the state last recruiting cycle. In 2021, the Bulldogs have already secured a commitment from four-star athlete Lovasea Carroll, who had previously been committed to South Carolina. Four-star RB Kenny McIntosh and four-star LB Rian Davis also picked Georgia.

Farrell’s take: You expected Alabama here, right? I did at least. This shows the recruiting muscle of Kirby Smart and his staff and some of these players could be key for a push to a national title run. Yes, some of them are transplants like Smith and Carroll but when they head off to IMG Academy it’s still hard to land them with so many other programs in pursuit. The defense will continue to be dominant with players like Smith and Campbell as well as Carter but the offense could be the most important focus. Rosemy should have a huge impact this season.



Top-20 Florida signees/commitments: 7

Breakdown: More high-end receivers are leaving the state of Florida in its 2021 class - and it remains a major problem for the in-state programs. On Friday, five-star Mario Williams committed to Oklahoma. Recently, high four-stars Jacorey Brooks and Agiye Hall picked the Crimson Tide as Alabama continues to flex its muscle in the state.

Alabama held off Florida and others for four-star DL Timothy Smith last recruiting cycle and then the Crimson Tide had tremendous success at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy in the 2019 class with five-star running back Trey Sanders and five-star OL Evan Neal, two future stars in Tuscaloosa, and they also got high four-star DB Jordan Battle from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas who had previously been committed to Ohio State. Also, don’t forget five-star DB Patrick Surtain came to Alabama in the 2018 class as the Crimson Tide have picked some of the state’s best in recent years.

Farrell’s take: I expected Alabama to lead the way here and there is little doubt that the Crimson Tide have had the most success with players like Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Derrick Henry, Jerry Jeudy and others in recent years. The raid continues on offense with Brooks and Hall in this class and Surtain is a massive get and leader on defense. And keep an eye on Timothy Smith down the line, I love this kid.



Top-20 Florida signees/commitments: 7

Breakdown: Clemson has proven it can go anywhere for anybody - and Florida is no exception. Four-star offensive lineman Marcus Tate is already committed to the Tigers in the 2021 class and in 2020, Clemson did tremendous damage in the state landing five-star running back Demarkcus Bowman along with high four-star defensive players Fred Davis and Demonte Capehart.

Four-star receiver Frank Ladson could be the next breakout star in Clemson’s offense and four-star OL Will Putnam were nice additions in the 2019 class. Former five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas could be one of the more devastating defensive players in college football this season and while he played at IMG, Thomas is originally from South Carolina and he grew up a fan of the Gamecocks but still picked Clemson.

Farrell’s take: C.J. Spiller, Sammy Watkins and others have come to Clemson from Florida to impact even before the national titles so this isn’t a stunner. But I did expect this number to be bigger for Clemson with the way the Tigers have been recruiting lately. Thomas skews the numbers a bit as a South Carolina prospect but as I said it’s not easy to recruit kids when they head off to IMG. Ladson will likely be the next star wide receiver from Florida following Watkins, Ray-Ray McCloud, Deon Cain and others.


Top-20 Florida signees/commitments: 5

Breakdown: In the 2018 recruiting class, Ohio State landed four top-20 players from the state of Florida and it looked like the Buckeyes would be able to enter that state, land any player it wanted and nobody was going to stop big, bad Ohio State.

Whether it’s been a change in recruiting philosophy or just a lack of success by the Buckeyes, Ohio State didn’t score any of the top-20 players in the state of Florida in either the 2019 or 2020 classes. Ohio State is back with a commitment from five-star defensive end Tunmise Adeleye from IMG so maybe the Buckeyes are clawing back in there but the numbers have been limited in recent years.

Farrell’s take: This is a very impressive number considering how hard it is to recruit elite Florida players up north to play in the cold. Urban Meyer set the stage with the Bosa brothers and others and Ryan Day continues the tradition with IMG transplant Adeleye. This number will remain steady under Day.

Notes: The other programs to land commits or signed players from the top-20 players in the state of Florida over the last four recruiting cycles are Oklahoma (3), Auburn (2), LSU (2), Penn State (2), Tennessee (2) and then Georgia Tech, Michigan, Ole Miss, Notre Dame and Texas A&M all with one.