College Sports

Who recruited Florida’s blue-chip prospects the best? It wasn’t UF, FSU or Miami.

Coach Nick Saban talks after Alabama defeated Oklahoma to advance to the national championship game

Alabama coach Nick Saban says he would rather throw oranges than head-sets after their victory over Oklahoma Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
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Alabama coach Nick Saban says he would rather throw oranges than head-sets after their victory over Oklahoma Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The dust has settled on college football’s 2019 recruiting class following Wednesday’s National Signing Day.

Florida, along with California and Texas, is known as a high school football hotbed. But who exactly won the recruiting battle in the Sunshine State for 2019?

Hint: it wasn’t a program from the state.

Rather, Alabama edged Georgia in the recruiting battle for Florida, according to SB Nation.

The Crimson Tide signed 26 blue-chip prospects (either four- or five-star players), according to the 247 Sports’ composite rankings. That included four players from Florida and three of the state’s top six.

Alabama gets the nod with two of the top three and three of the top six. Georgia signed the best player in the state [and country], but IMG Academy defensive end Nolan Smith is actually from Georgia, contributing further to the Tide’s case for owning the Sunshine State,” SB Nation wrote.

Smith is rated as the consensus No. 1 player for the 2019 class and spent the past two seasons in Bradenton at IMG Academy, but is originally from Georgia.

Florida and Florida State didn’t rate, according to SB Nation’s recruiting map that was based off quality of recruits over quantity in the composite rankings, as the best recruiters of any particular state.

The University of Miami, however, won New York after securing two of the Empire State’s top four players. The Hurricanes didn’t sign that state’s top player, defensive end Adisa Isaac, who signed with Penn State.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
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