The country’s most fertile recruiting ground, the state of Florida serves as an important territory for a number of schools in the Southeast and beyond. Important battles play out regularly inside the borders of the Sunshine State, and a number of schools annually have must-get recruits in the area today, Rivals.com lays out the must-get Florida prospects for five teams inside the state and beyond.
MIAMI – Must-get prospect: Khris Bogle
WHY MISSING OUT WOULD STING: Bogle has been high on Miami for some time. Not too long ago it was nearly impossible to picture the four-star defensive lineman going anywhere else. He once publicly named Miami as his leader, but has seemed to back off of that statement as his high school career has progressed. Still, the Hurricanes are seen as the leader. Bogle’s stock is rising after an impressive offseason, and he will likely be ranked as one of the nation’s best defensive end’s after the next update. The Hurricanes have done an incredible job locking down South Florida’s top talent recently, and seeing Bogle slip away to a rival or watching him leave the state would be less than pleasant. The Hurricanes have a few defensive ends in the fold as things stand, but they lack the star power of Bogle.
WHO COULD STEAL HIM: The fact that Florida State is the biggest threat to steal Bogle makes Bogle even more of a must-get for the Hurricanes
FLORIDA STATE – Must-get prospect: Brendan Gant
WHY MISSING OUT WOULD STING: The Seminoles recently missed out on Florida-based wide receiver John Dunmore, who was once seen as a heavy FSU lean. In fact, the sting of that situation is just now wearing off. A Rivals100 defensive back that was once viewed as a sure thing, Gant presents a similar situation. Florida State’s staff is just hoping his story yields a different ending. A one-tome Alabama commit, Gant backed away from his pledge to the Tide following an April visit to FSU, leading some to believe a commitment to FSU was only a matter of time. Such an event hasn’t taken place yet, however, as the four-star defensive back continues to take other trips.
WHO COULD STEAL HIM: Gant recently visited Ohio State and continues to suggest that the Crimson Tide remain in the running. Ohio State may look like the biggest threat as of now, but this will likely come down to official visits.
FLORIDA – Must-get prospect: Trey Sanders
WHY MISSING OUT WOULD STING: Florida has become the trendy pick for Sanders in recent weeks. And when you add in the fact that the nation’s top running back has a brother at the school, things seem to be coming together for Dan Mullen and his staff. If things go the other way, however, disappointment will be rampant. UF is still looking for a marquee recruiting win in its home state this cycle, as both FSU and Miami have gotten off to much hotter starts. As things stand now, Florida’s top-rated in-state commitment is offensive tackle Wardrick Wilson, who ranks outside the Rivals250. Landing Sanders, a five-star prospect, would help make a statement about UF’s ability to compete in the Sunshine State. Whiffing on him at this juncture would say, well, something much different.
WHO COULD STEAL HIM: Sanders is a former Alabama commit and says that the Crimson Tide are still very much in the hunt to land his letter of intent. That alone should scare Florida fans to some extent. Schools such as Texas, Georgia and Florida State are also involved.
GEORGIA – Must-get prospect: Rian Davis
WHY MISSING OUT WOULD STING: Davis is a heavy Georgia lean. And while missing out on his commitment wouldn’t ruin the Bulldogs’ class, it would take some mismanagement down the stretch to do so. Davis was recently seen wearing a Georgia shirt on a visit to Florida State and isn’t particularly shy about naming the Bulldogs as his front-runner. This isn’t a must-get in that Davis choosing another school would cripple Kirby Smart’s 2019 class. Instead, it’s a must-get in the way that messing this up now would be a calamity.
WHO COULD STEAL HIM: Davis is originally from Texas, and has some interest in the Longhorns. That much is clear. Louisville also poses some semblance of threat, but everyone is running solidly behind the Bulldogs at this juncture.
TEXAS – Must-get prospect: Noah Cain
WHY MISSING OUT WOULD STING: Despite playing at Florida’s IMG Academy, Cain is a Texas product who lived a solid chunk of his life in the Lone Star State. He also seems to be a slam dunk for Texas, which has led his recruitment for some time.
Missing on Cain wouldn’t be a crippling blow, as the Longhorns will have a shot to land 2020 five-star Zachary Evans next cycle. But UT would still like a marquee back in this class. Should Tom Herman fail to land five-star Trey Sanders, which seems likely, Cain becomes an important target. It shouldn’t be too difficult to lure the IMG Academy star back to Texas, so failing to do so would be less than ideal.
WHO COULD STEAL HIM: A journeyman of sorts, Cain is originally from Louisiana, and LSU remains a threat here, as are Oklahoma and Penn State. Still, the Tigers remain the main adversary for Texas in this battle.