Inside the numbers: Trends in the Southeast
With the 2017 recruiting cycle in full swing, trends and statistics that could effect the next few seasons of college football have started to emerge. Below is a look inside the numbers that may help define the current recruiting cycle in the Southeast region.
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4 - Rivals100 prospects committed to Florida State
Florida State’s hot recruiting start is all about the players it has landed, sure, but the company it’s keeping by landing them is certainly worth noting. FSU currently has more Rivals100 prospects in the fold than national title game participants Alabama (3) and Clemson (3). The only other school with four members of the list pledged at the time being is Ohio State, which has won 12 or more games in each of the last four seasons.
Point is, the Seminoles’ stronghold on recruiting in the Sunshine State doesn’t seem to fading despite an unexpected turnaround at Florida and a change of guard at Miami. FSU could be setting up for a special season on the recruiting trail. Rivals100 members Ja'len Parks (DT), D.J. Matthews (WR), Vandarius Cowan (LB) and Cyrus Fagan (DB) are likely just the start. The Seminoles landed six Rivals100 players last cycle and are on pace to eclipse that number this time around.
14 – Class of 2017 prospects rated four stars or higher in the state of Alabama
This year’s crop of talent in the state of Alabama may lack the elite-level prospects of last year’s class, but the depth at work could be historic. A year ago, Alabama was home to three five-star prospects and 11 total players that carried a four-star or higher ranking.
This year’s number seems unlikely to stay at 14 as a number of Yellowhammer State players will entered the camp season with a chance to add a fourth star. The depth at work in this class will benefit a number of regional schools, but the in-state programs may reap the largest rewards. The previous state record for four-star players in a class is 16, which took place in during the 2008 recruiting cycle. It’s a record that could fall before the current cycle is finished.
0 -- Quarterbacks currently committed to Alabama
When Alabama lost a commitment from four-star quarterback Jake Fromm, who ended up pledging his services to Georgia, things on the Tide’s quarterback recruiting board got thrown into a bit of disarray. The Crimson Tide somewhat recently offered Rivals250 quarterbacks Bailey Hockman and Jake Bentley. Alabama is among the favorites to land Hockman, but Saban and company are also in play for a number of other options.
It’s not exactly time to panic in Tuscaloosa, as the defending national champion Crimson Tide certainly have the power to flip a committed player or land any number of top available options. Still, the fact that the Tide coaches informed Bentley that they plan to take two quarterbacks in the 2017 class makes the situation an interesting one to monitor.
64 – percent of players currently committed to Miami from South Florida high schools
When Mark Richt got the job at Miami, some more vocal Miami supporters wondered aloud about his ability to recruit his backyard. One of such people was Hurricanes booster and former 2 Live Crew member Luther Campbell, who took to twitter to voice his concerns about the lack of a proven Miami-area recruiter on the Hurricanes’ new staff.
It’s early in the Richt era, and the new Miami head coach has plenty left to prove in South Florida, but there seems to be serious attention being paid to the area around the school’s Coral Gables campus. Nine of Miami’s 14 current commits in the 2017 class are from either Ft. Lauderdale or Miami high schools. All but one are from the state of Florida. Richt will be judged by his performance on the field, but it’s not as though he and his staff are ignoring the talent-rich area in which they now coach.
69 – Georgia Tech’s final 2016 recruiting ranking
The ranking was Georgia Tech’s second lowest finish since 2004. The Yellow Jackets have never been a recruiting powerhouse, but a major conference program located in a recruiting hotbed should expect better, especially when you consider the fact that Tech played for an ACC title and won the Orange Bowl in 2013.
Georgia Tech's lowest ever recruiting finish was 85th, which took place in 2013. The program’s high-water recruiting mark was an 18th place finish in 2007. Its 3-9 finish a year ago was, at least partly, the product of 2013’s recruiting decline. Getting things turned around on the recruiting trail is a must if the Yellow Jackets are to bounce back from their sharp on-field decline a year ago.