RCS Miami survey: Prospects weigh in on out-of-state programs
HIAHLEAH, Fla. – Programs from around the country have always made it a priority to go into the Sunshine State and try to take top talent from the in-state schools. But with the state's three Power Five programs having their share of issues on the field in recent years, and nearly every team in the state going through coaching changes in the past four years, prospects from Florida have been even more ripe for the picking.
At Sunday’s Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas in Miami, we asked some of the participants to weigh in and give their opinions on the situation.
Why do you think so many high-profile guys are looking out of state?
“I guess it’s because most of the teams out of state are winning. Look at Alabama, Clemson and even South Carolina right now. Those teams are winning. It’s about winning first.” – Rivals250 running back Jaylen Knighton
“I think sometimes people just see other opportunities outside of the state and see it as a way to flourish.” – Rivals250 offensive lineman Marcus Dumervil
“I just think people don’t want to be right here where they grew up anymore. People want to see new places.” – Rivals250 tackle Jovens Janvier
“Sometimes, the schools in-state don’t recruit us hard. Sometimes, the Florida schools worry more about five-stars from Texas or California or wherever before us.” -- Rivals250 wide receiver Bryce Gowdy
“We are in this new generation where people outside of Florida think they made football and they think they are better in their city. Now we are spreading out just to let them know, the talent comes from all over. We have speed, strength, whatever you want. The best athletes come from Florida.” – Rivals250 defensive end/linebacker Devon Betty
“I’m familiar with one of the top players, Gemon Eaford, who was a four-star and went to Oregon this past year. That’s a pretty far trip from Florida and his family but I think the reason why he did it and why other guys do it is because they want to get out of state and experience new talent and new competition. Different people, different cultures and a different type of atmosphere.” – Two-star athlete Charles Bryant
“Some people have been here forever and want a different vibe.” – 2020 defensive back Keion Smith
“They want to experience other cities and different environments.” – Rivals250 wide receiver Aydin Henningham
“They’re so used to this atmosphere that they’re ready for something new.” – Three-star wide receiver Xavier Restrepo
“It’s probably to get a different experience and get away from home.” – 2021 wide receiver Kamonte Grimes
Which out-of-state school does the best job of recruiting Florida?
“That’s a tough question. I would say Clemson, but they don’t really offer kids like that. They aren’t recruiting everyone. That’s actually a tough one. Can I skip?” – Knighton
“I would definitely have to say Georgia. It’s not too far away from Florida, you have the same amount of talent, speed, everything you want.” – Bryant
“For the top guys, I would have to say Alabama, Georgia. For the others, Kentucky, they do a great job of coming down here and recruiting guys.” – Smith
“Alabama. Nick Saban does a great job coming down here and recruiting the top guys.” – Betty
“LSU. The atmosphere there fits us. I don’t know what it is. It just does.” – Janvier
“Alabama and Georgia for sure. Those are the first two that I think of.” – Gowdy
“Kentucky gets all the guys down here.” – Restrepo
“Alabama or Clemson. They get guys from all over the place down here.” – Grimes
What do the Florida schools need to do to keep more players in the state?
“It’s winning. You see how Florida State went down? It’s taking some time for them to come back up. Then UM went down this last season.” – Knighton
“I mean, obviously recruit us harder. I think that’s more important than anything else.” – Dumervil
“They have to do a lot, I guess. I think it’s just them recruiting us harder and them winning. It’s both factors.” – Janvier
“Recruit us harder. We’d all love to stay home, but I know people that are good and say ‘Man, I wish I had a Miami offer or a Florida offer.’ Sometimes, they want to slow play us, and we don’t like that.” – Gowdy
“Nothing. At the end of the day it’s up to the kid to go out and decide what he wants to do. Keep recruiting and you will get the guys you need.” – Devon Betty
“I think honestly they need to change the culture around a little bit. From the way they do things at practice to everything.” – Bryant
“I think schools down here should recruit harder. I only have an offer from FIU right now and I feel like I should have more offers from the schools in the state.” – Smith
“Better communication. Show more interest in the kids” – Henningham
“Keep in contact, show love, and win.” – Restrepo
“They just need to recruit the high schools in the state.” – Grimes