Win on the field. Win off the field.
In the state of Florida, that means National Signing Day 2015 yielded another victory for the Florida State Seminoles, a lone loss away from the 2014 title game and national champions in 2013.
FSU landed another top-three signing class, while UF soared from a ranking below 100 last month to as high as No. 20 by ESPN with two five-star surprises Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes picked up three nice additions to their previously committed athletes and settled in with rankings in the mid-20s.
“Another great year for Florida State,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who had the Seminoles ranked No.3 nationally behind No.1 Alabama and No.2 Southern Cal.
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Lemming ranked UM No.22 and Florida “no higher than 30th.”
“Florida State is a popular flavor, and they just loaded up on a lot of top-notch players,” he said.
In Coral Gables, the Hurricanes excelled with six offensive linemen and flipped a pair of three-star South Floridians. The Canes landed Miami Killian cornerback Sheldrick Redwine and Miami Booker T. Washington linebacker James King from former commitments at Louisville (Redwine) and King (FAU).
“For All Those Who Said I “Might As Well Quit Football” This For Yall,’’ tweeted Redwine, shown in a photograph throwing up the U.
The Canes also beat out Auburn to sign a badly needed defensive tackle, 6-3, 310-pound Kendrick Norton of Jacksonville, rated three stars by Rivals and Scout and four by ESPN and 247Sports.com.
Late Tuesday night, Norton tweeted a photo of two Auburn caps and one with “Miami Hurricanes’’ on it, but the underdog prevailed.
“A big-time player and outstanding catch at the end,’’ Lemming said of Norton.
The Hurricanes did appear to possibly lose one commit, three-star receiver Terrell Chatman of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Chatman did not sign with UM as of Wednesday evening, and as of the late afternoon was seemingly wavering between Arizona State and TCU, according to a report by The Times-Picayune.
Over at FIU, no position or side of the ball dominated the 2015 class of 22 recruits, 21 of whom are from Florida and nine of whom are from Miami-Dade County.
But the most eye-catching players are on offense — All-State quarterbacks Maurice Alexander from Booker T. Washington and Lakeland Christian’s Christian Alexander, as well as Miami Central’s all-purpose standout Anthony Jones.
FIU coach Ron Turner called all three “special’’ when talking about their potential.
“Christian’s a five-year starter [in high school],’’ Turner said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a five-year starter.’’
Booker T’s Ocie Rose flipped to FAU, but the Panthers signed another three-star defensive back in Kenyatta Anderson.
Up in Tallahassee, quarterback great Jameis Winston moved out but plenty of nationally touted talent is moving in.
The Seminoles signed four five-star players, including Plantation American Heritage cornerback Tarvarus McFadden and Orlando Timber Creek running back Jacques Patrick.
“I think it was a great class,’’ Jimbo Fisher told ESPN. “We went all the way across the board and hit every position. … We got some really significant guys on both sides of the ball that we think can make an impact pretty early in their careers.’’
The Gators, with new coach Jim McElwain, had only eight verbal commitments as recently as last week. But they finished with a flourish, landing the nation’s No.1 offensive tackle in Martez Ivey and No.2 defensive end CeCe Jefferson to bolster their class in a huge way.
The Gators signed six prospects from South Florida, highlighted by four-star tailbacks Jordan Scarlett of St. Thomas Aquinas and Jordan Cronkrite of Westminster Christian. Both were once pledged to UM. They beat out Miami for four-star Miami Booker T. wideout Antonio Callaway.
Miami Herald sportswriters David Neal, Manny Navarro and Jesse Simonton contributed to this report.