Football: Which colleges did the best job recruiting Florida players in the class of 2023?

Jon Santucci
Palm Beach Post

Want talented football players? Come to Florida.

It’s certainly not a new phenomenon, but every early signing period and National Signing Day serves as a reminder of how eager the nation’s top college football programs are to land players from Florida.

Here’s a look at the FBS programs that did the best job recruiting the state in the class of 2023.

More:Santucci: Takeaways and favorite signings from National Signing Day

Florida schools


Eau Gallie football player Robert Stafford and his parents Robert Stafford and Tywanna Mack flash the “U” sign after he signed his college letters of intent in a ceremony Wednesday, December 21, 2022. Stafford will be playing for Miami. Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 12

2022 In-state ranking: 3

The Hurricanes first full recruiting cycle under Mario Cristobal resulted in a top 10 class and signatures from several linemen and skill position players who will get an opportunity to play early. IMG offensive tackle Francis Mauigoa, Miami Central defensive lineman Rueben Bain, IMG edge rusher Jayden Wayne and IMG tight end Riley Williams headline the class.


Bartram Trail grad and Florida signee Sharif Denson warms up ahead of the Under Armour Next All-America Game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 14

2022 In-state ranking: 4

The Gators first recruiting class under new coach Billy Napier ended up with some of the top talent in Central and Northeast Florida signing with Florida. The list includes Boone wide receiver Aidan Mizell, Osceola cornerback Ja’Keem Jackson, Olympia defensive lineman Kamran James, Orange Park guard Roderick Kearney and Bartram Trail cornerback Sharif Denson.

Florida State

Vero Beach High School's Vandrevius Jacobs  escapes the grip of a South Fork defender as the Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians take on the South Fork Bulldogs on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, at Billy Livings Field at the Citrus Bow in Vero Beach. Vero Beach won 54-6.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 9

2022 In-state ranking: 2

The Seminoles not only landed some impressive talent in Clearwater Central Academy offensive tackle Lucas Simmons, Stranahan wide receiver Hykeek Williams and Vero Beach receiver Vandrevius Jacobs, but they also finished well. Florida State picked up St. Thomas Aquinas safety Conrad Hussey, Chaminade-Madonna athlete Edwin Joseph and Key West offensive tackle Andre Otto in the early signing period.


John Walker (55) of Osceola pursue Rockledge QB Traven Green during their game Friday, September 23, 2022. Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 6

2022 In-state ranking: 1

This was another solid in-state class for Gus Malzahn and his staff. Osceola defensive lineman John Walker is on the short list — with Daunte Culpepper — for the best recruit in program history. Getting Lake Brantley linebacker Andrew Harris, Lake Mary cornerback Braden Marshall and Apopka edge rusher Kaven Call to stay home was impressive.


Seminole High School Seminoles’ Luke Rucker throws a pass at the Florida High School 7v7 Association state championship in The Villages on Friday, June 24, 2022. [PAUL RYAN / CORRESPONDENT]

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 0

2022 In-state ranking: 5

The Owls signed 12 players from Florida and landed a pair of highly recruited offensive linemen in IMG interior lineman Jordan Church and Evans tackle Chrisdasson Saint-Jean. Tom Herman’s first class also includes St. Thomas Aquinas running back Gemari Sands and Xavier Terrell and Gulliver Prep safety Antonio Smith.


USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 0

2022 In-state ranking: 7

South Florida had the smallest number of in-state signees with just six. New head coach Alex Golesh’s first class includes offensive linemen James Jenkins (Carrollwood Day), Nikola Milovac (Clearwater Academy International) and Timothy Lawrence (Fleming Island) and IMG cornerback Jarvis Lee.


Dwyer’s Kyle McNeal (7) makes catch in front of Jensen Beach’s Jamari Marshall (3) in the first half on Friday, September 1, 2022 in Palm Beach Gardens.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 0

2022 In-state ranking: 6

The Panthers class likely will be most remembered for being able to get Miami Central quarterback Keyone Jenkins, a former Auburn commit, to stay home during the early signing period. FIU signed 13 total players from Florida, including Miami Norland safety Jamari Holman and Miami Northwestern edge Toddrick Brewton.

Power 5

(Not including Florida schools)

ACC: Pittsburgh

Lakeland High School defensive back Shadarian Harrison (14) celebrates after recovering a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown against Winter Haven High School during the second quarter at Bryant Stadium in Lakeland Friday night. September 9, 2022.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 0

The Panthers signed seven Florida players, thanks in large part to the efforts of defensive line coach — and South Florida native — Charlie Partridge. Pitt’s signing class from Florida includes Lakeland cornerback Shadarian Harrison, Tampa Bay Tech edge rusher Antonio Camon and Lakewood athlete Montravious Lloyd.

Best ACC team recruiting Florida in 2022: Syracuse

Big 12: Oklahoma

Munroe senior Makari Vickers (8) rushes upfield in the Suburban 1 Region 1 semifinal between Munroe and St. John Paul II on Nov. 18, 2022, at Gene Cox Stadium. The Bobcats won 21-19.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 4

Brett Venables and his staff have made Florida a priority and the Sooners once again did a strong job in the state. The haul includes Munroe safety Makari Vickers, Osceola defensive lineman Derrick LeBlanc and Tampa Catholic linebacker Lewis Carter, Rickards wide receiver Keyon Brown and Union County defensive lineman Markus Strong.

Best Big-12 team recruiting Florida in 2022: Oklahoma

Big Ten: Ohio State

Cedric Hawkins of Cocoa is one of Brevard County’s players to watch this football season. Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 4

The Buckeyes didn’t sign the largest amount of Florida signees in the Big Ten – Rutgers led all teams with six – but the four players they did sign have the potential to make a major impact. Plantation-American Heritage’s Brandon Inniss and IMG’s Carnell Tate are the top two receivers in the state on the USA Today Florida Network top 100. Brian Hartline, now the Buckeyes offensive coordinator, deserves a lot of credit for Ohio State’s success.

Best Big Ten team recruiting Florida in 2022: Indiana

Pac-12: Colorado

Cormani McClain (7) of Lakeland breaks up a pass intended for Kenyon Sears (1) of Venice in first half of the Class 4S state championship game at DRV PNK Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 1

Deion Sanders didn’t wait long to make an impact in Florida. Flipping Lakeland cornerback Cormani McClain from Miami was huge and sends a loud message. But he wasn’t the only one. Colorado signed two exciting playmakers in Ocoee’s Asaad Waseem and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Isaiah Hardge. Both profile as slot receivers.

Best Pac-12 team recruiting Florida in 2022: Oregon State

SEC: Georgia

Venice High defensive end Damon Wilson adjusts his cap after he announced he would attend the University of Georgia.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 8

No out of state program was able to get the quantity or quality of players that the defending national champions were able to secure. The Bulldogs loaded up on front seven talent, including Venice edge rusher Damon Wilson, Westside defensive tackle Jordan Hall, Lincoln linebacker Raylen Wilson, Jesuit linebacker Troy Bowles.

Best SEC team recruiting Florida in 2022: Georgia

Group of 5

AAC: Temple

Joquez Smith (24) of Jesuit scores a touchdown during first quarter of the Class 6A state championship game against Pine Forest at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL  Dec. 17, 2021.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 0

The Owls signed six Florida athletes, including Jesuit running back Joquez Smith, Miami-Booker T. Washington athlete Xavier Irvin and Homestead slot receiver Richard Dandridge.

Best AAC team recruiting Florida in 2022: Cincinnati


Palm Bay High defensive end Daniel Harris signed with UAB

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 1

Trent Dilfer’s first class includes Palm Bay edge rusher Daniel Harris, who was a top-50 national recruit before suffering a serious knee injury before his junior year, and Lakeland defensive tackle Guerlens Milfort.

Best C-USA team recruiting Florida in 2022: Marshall

MAC: Central Michigan

Palm Beach Central wide receiver Javorian Wimberly (7) runs the ball down the field by being chased by Pahokee's Torian Henley (20) during the football game between Pahokee and host Palm Beach Central on Friday, September 16, 2022, in Wellington, FL. Final score, Pahokee, 34, Palm Beach Central, 14.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 0

The Chippewas dipped into Florida for four players: Wide receivers Shatavious Hogan (Miami Jackson) and Javorian Wiberly (Palm Beach Central), Columbia athlete Tyler Jefferson and Miami Central safety Mark-Allen Gay.

Best MAC team recruiting Florida in 2022: Toledo

Mountain West: Boise State

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 0

Very few players left Florida for the Mountain West Conference during this cycle. St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Jackson Grier signed with the Broncos during the early signing period.

Best Mountain West team recruiting Florida in 2022: Air Force

Sun Belt: Coastal Carolina

Cocoa quarterback Blake Boda announced his commitment to Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

USA Today Florida Network top 100 signees: 1

The Chanticleers didn’t sign the largest number of Florida athletes (Arkansas State and Georgia Southern each signed six), but the three players headed to Coastal Carolina can have a big impact. Miami Norland all-American running back Ja’Vin Simpkins, Cocoa quarterback Blake Boda and Niceville offensive tackle Joseph Hanson made for a nice National Signing Day haul.

Best Sun Belt team recruiting Florida in 2022: Coastal Carolina