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UPDATED: 2021 Class Edition - Recruiting: How Have the Miami Hurricanes Done in South Florida?

A look at Miami’s Resurgent Cycle and What It Means for National Recruiting and Miami’s Future

Hey Canes Faithful! Unless you have been living in Alaska, Miami has been SCORCHING hot on the recruiting trail, headlined by last nights explosive commitment by the top player in South Florida, COMPOSITE Five Star, James Williams. the physical, 6’5, 225 specimen features amazing football IQ to go with a size and talent made in a laboratory. The best part is his position flexibility, which will allow his freakish frame and abilities to translate to multiple locations on the defense. (“I’m sure Rivals would agree,” he writes with shade.)

Back to Business.

The Sunshine State hosts THE most fertile recruiting grounds in the COUNTRY.

Over the last Five recruiting cycles, the state of Florida ranks Number One as the best producer of college talent. Behind Florida are the usually suspects, California, Texas and Georgia.

Top Producing States since 2015

State Total 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
State Total 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Florida 249 50 47 42 65 45
Texas 238 47 52 47 44 48
California 220 44 45 35 48 48
Georgia 173 34 26 33 40 40
Louisiana 73 13 21 12 12 15

Its no surprise that these four monster hotbeds of talent hold the top spots with Florida as the lead car. The disparity however between Number Four, Georgia, and Number Five, Louisiana, shows just how much more talent Florida produces than everyone else.

Get more granular and you’ll see the dominance of South Florida. A 2018 ESPN article charting the Top 100 recruits from the past 10 years broke down the top talent producing counties. The top county was the Los Angeles County. However, Texas and Florida make up the majority of the list. Texas was represented with three, while Florida placed a whopping SIX counties, making up 50% of the list.

The Top Two Florida Counties?

Broward and Dade. The 954 and the 305.

Broward was Second, producing THIRTY EIGHT top 100 talents from 2008-2018. Miami-Dade wasn’t too far behind at Sixth with 23.

I highlight all this just to state and prove what we ALREADY know, South Florida is the deepest, richest area in the country for college football talent.

Now the second, seemingly obvious question is, how much of that Talent has Miami gotten?

The Answer?

More than everyone else. But, not nearly enough.

Since 2015, Miami has secured 27* (26 without Issiah Walker) signees from South Florida athletes, nearly double the next teams. Those teams? Surely another obvious answer. Florida with 15 commitments, Florida State with 12, and good Ole’ Alabama with 11. For some arguments that is enough to start and stop a debate that Miami has done well enough to corner the talent in South Florida. As mentioned its nearly double UF. It IS more than double FSU and Alabama. Sheesh, its literally double any two team combination of those teams you can create.

2021 South Florida Top 25

SoFL RK Recruit Position College State Rank
SoFL RK Recruit Position College State Rank
1 James Williams ATH UM 1
2 Terrence Lewis OLB Ten 2
3 Jacory Brooks WR ALA 5
4 Leonard Taylor DT UM Top 2 6
5 Jason Marshall CB UM Top 3 7
6 Dallas Turner WDE ALA 10
7 Corey Collier S UM Top 5 14
8 Tyreak Sapp DT UM Top 5 16
9 Marcus Tate OG CLEM 17
10 Romello Brinson WR UM 20
11 Laurence Seymore OG UM 23
12 Troy Stellato WR CLEM 24
13 Jacolby George WR UM 25
14 Bralon Brown WR Ole Miss 26
15 Jabari Ishmael WDE UM 30
16 Thad Franklin RB UM 33
17 Savion Collins DT UM 36
18 Markevious Brown CB UM Top 3 42
19 Yukleith Brown ATH UM 47
20 Jaydon Hood WR MICH 48
21 Kam Kinchens OG ORE 49
22 Michael McLaughlin OT UM 50
23 Brashard Smith WR 54
24 Chamon Metayer ATH 57
25 Amari Daniels APB UM Top 5 59

But its not always the quantity of what you have. Its almost assuredly the quality. The 2021 class, has BOTH. With 9 commitments in South Florida’s top 25, (expanded from the orginal columns 20 count) including the number one player, Miami is finally flexing its muscle on its home turf.

Speaking of the top player from South Florida, this will be the first year, since 2012, that Miami can secure the TOP player from South Florida. That season Al Golden (Yes THAT Al Golden) was able to get the best offensive and the best defensive talents in Duke Johnson and Tracy Howard.

A second look at the list tells us that the quantity and the quality hold an excellent chance of going up in the very near future, as Miami is in the top 5 for SIX more top players from the region, including the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth ranked players, Leonard Taylor, Jason Marshall and Corey Collier out of Miami Palmetto and Tyreak Sapp out of St Thomas Aquinas (Yes, I know hes “Committed”, but if your girl says she’s still seeing 5 guys including you, shes not your girl, Sorry Not Sorry). Even Players like Terrence Lewis are still in play, showing major interest in everything occurring in the Canes Recruiting World.

As it stands now this current group of nine would be Miami’s largest pull from the top 25 group in South Florida since the Northwestern group in 2009. Adding another 5-7 from the list would be an unprecedented haul by ANY school. Better, still if things continue as they are, UF and FSU will be shut out in the region for the first time since the NINETIES. THATS SERIOUS WORK FOLKS.


Overall Miami has gotten 26 of the top 120 players from South Florida since 2015. Thats 22% from the Cream of the Crop.

A deeper look shows that Miami is still getting 20% of the top 60, snagging 12 in the same time frame, and 5 (20%) of the top 30.

The tipping point issues Miami is facing in recruiting are:

  • Miami didn’t get the program changing talent in the top 3 players during 2015-2020 from South Florida.No Jerry Juedy’s, no Partrick Surtain II’s, no Tyrique Stevenson’s. And the list goes on and on.
  • Miami’s recruiting WAS LARGELY dependent on winning. Following an 8 win or less season, occurring 4 times, Miami has only secured 7 of the top EIGHTY South Florida Recruits, for a paultry .09% commit rate.
  • But when Miami Wins? Following 9 win or more seasons, Miami has cleaned UP, snagging FIFTEEN of 40 possible South Florida recruits, a staggering 38% clip.
  • A consistent Miami team that could stay above 9 wins would quickly eclipse 60%, possible 70% blue chip ratios in 2-3 years and start cracking those Top 3 player lists each year.
  • The 2021 Class is built DIFFERENT. With the onset of Covid-19 creating clarity behind the Put on For The Crib Menatality, Miami is seeing its best cycle in decades.

In the 5 year study, I originally focused on highlighting how winning was the backbone of recruiting for our Miami Hurricanes. This updated version presents a slight retraction. Relationships have taken the top spot, at least in securing commitments. The introduction of Canes Legend Ed Reed and local gurus Stephen Field, David ‘Pop’ Cooney, also Canes Legend Demarcus ‘DVD’ Van Dyke and new Offensive Analyst Telly Lockette has rejuvenated the recruiting efforts and reinforced the truth that relationships and community loyalty can be your best tools when the right people are using them.

There is plenty more to come in the coming weeks of the 2021 Savages recruiting cycle. Buckle folks, and grab your Popcorn.

Go Canes