College Football

Why Florida Is Most Talented State in 2015 College Football Recruiting Class

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMay 22, 2014

Why Florida Is Most Talented State in 2015 College Football Recruiting Class

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    Credit: 247Sports

    California, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Alabama and Virginia are all terrific states for college football recruiting. However, there's a good reason the most talented state for 2015 is Florida.

    The Sunshine State is a must-see for any program looking to get top talent. Florida annually produces exceptional players in all shapes and sizes, plus it's a state that is known to put out athletic, fast and quick players.

    Florida is home to an exceptional amount of 5-star recruits, plus two other prominent recruiting sites have recruits from the Sunshine State ranked No. 1 on their respective boards. Also, Florida is the native land of several of the nation's best recruits at key positions.

Florida Has 17 Recruits in the Top 100 of the 247Sports Composite Rankings

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Perhaps the best rankings site for recruits is the 247Sports Composite Rankings. It's a board based on fairness, as it takes into account where a recruit is ranked by all of the leading recruiting websites.

    Out of the first 100 prospects, 17 of them hail from Florida. That is a remarkable number, as Florida represents nearly 20 percent of the top portion of the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Florida Is Home to the Nation's Best Receiver

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    Credit: 247Sports

    With so many college football teams running the spread offense, the receiver position has become more important. College coaches are looking for dynamic playmakers on the perimeter with speed, size and great ball skills.

    According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, the best receiver in the country for 2015 is 5-star prospect George Campbell, who is from Florida. He stars for East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, where his 6'3", 184-pound frame races all over the field with terrific speed. 

    Florida is among Campbell's top schools, per 247Sports.

Florida Is Home to the No. 1 Overall Recruit in the Scout 300

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Among the top recruiting sites in the industry is Scout.com, which features the popular Scout 300

    Many great recruits work hard to be ranked on the board, but the No. 1 slot is annually reserved for a recruit who has a chance to be special. This year, that recruit is Florida native Martez Ivey.

    The Apopka native is a 5-star offensive tackle who is 6'6" and 270 pounds. Ivey, who is also the top offensive lineman in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, is capable of playing in the NFL one day. He's another elite recruit who calls the Sunshine State home.

It Has Excellent Depth in the 2015 Class

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Switching focus back to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, saying Florida is represented well is an understatement. 

    A grand total of 216 players from the state are featured in the rankings, which shows you the terrific depth it has. Recruits such as 4-star linebacker Jeffery Holland, 4-star receiver Calvin Ridley, 4-star cornerback Tyrek Cole, 4-star running back Jordan Scarlett and 4-star athlete Shawn Burgess-Becker are not even ranked among the top eight players in Florida.

    However, all of the above-mentioned prospects are still regarded as national recruits who are among the best in America.

Florida Is Home to the Two Best Strong-Side Defensive Ends in the Country

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    Credit: 247Sports

    After quarterback, defensive end is arguably the next most important position on a football team. Getting an edge-defender who can rush the passer and set the edge is tough for college coaches.

    Well, Florida has two prospects who are equally dominant versus the run and pass in 5-star defensive ends CeCe Jefferson and Byron Cowart. Jefferson is the country's No. 4 recruit in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, while Cowart is No. 15.

    Jefferson is the No. 1 strong-side defensive end, while Cowart is right behind him at No. 2. Speaking of Cowart...

Florida Is Also Home to the No. 1 Recruit in the Rivals250

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Another widely respected recruiting board is the Rivals250, which is a creation of leading recruiting website Rivals.com. The No. 1 player on the board is 5-star defensive end Byron Cowart.

    At 6'4" and 250 pounds, Cowart is a powerful defensive end who has the strength and toughness to set the edge and anchor versus the run. He also has the first-step quickness to squeeze the pocket in a hurry as a pass-rusher.

    Do not be surprised if Cowart eventually develops into an elite defensive tackle in college.

    Cowart told A.J. Jacobson of Ducks Sports Authority (subscription required) on May 12, "A lot of out of state colleges didn't even approach me at first because they thought my mom would never let me out of the State of Florida."

The Nation's Best Cornerback and Safety Are from Florida

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The Sunshine State knows how to produce defensive backs—NFL legend Deion Sanders is a native of Florida.

    This year, the state has the best cornerback and safety in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. At cornerback is 5-star prospect Kevin Toliver II, who is committed to LSU. At 6'2" and 185 pounds, the Jacksonville cover man has the size, speed and athleticism coaches dream of.

    At safety is 5-star recruit Derwin James, who hails from Haines City. The 6'2", 201-pound Florida State pledge has great vision, awareness, athletic ability and instincts.

America's Top Dual-Threat Quarterback Resides in Florida

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Pro-style quarterbacks still get a lot of attention, but many coaches are looking for passers who also have the mobility and running ability to make plays with their legs.

    Dual-threat quarterbacks are in high demand on the recruiting trail, which is a claim 5-star prospect Torrance Gibson likely agrees with. Gibson is the top dual-threat field general in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and he has schools such as Auburn, Tennessee, Ohio State and LSU hot after him, says 247Sports.

    The lefty is a 6'4", 200-pounder who can deal as a passer, but he also is capable of turning into a running back in a flash.

Florida Has Eight 5-Star Recruits

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    Credit: 247Sports

    According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, there are 34 players in the 2015 class who deserve to be considered 5-star recruits.

    Texas and California have six 5-star recruits each, while the lovely state of Georgia checks in with five. All three of those states should be proud of their number of 5-star prospects, but Florida has them all beat.

    The Sunshine State boasts eight 5-star recruits in the 2015 class. It's obvious how talented this state is from top to bottom, folks.

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.
    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

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