Recruiting By The Numbers

Last week, we looked at some of the numbers regarding Urban Meyer's first full recruiting classes at Florida. Now, we'll compare Meyer's first three classes with former Gator coach Ron Zook's three classes at Florida to see what stories the numbers tell.

Recruiting By The Numbers - Part I

The first thing that jumps right out is Ron Zook's success within the state of Florida. Not to say that Urban Meyer hasn't had success in Florida, but Zook's recruiting efforts clearly kept more in-state kids. It's not a huge margin, but it's significant. Zook recruited 73 players to Florida and 48 of them came from the Sunshine State compared to Meyer's 45 recruits from Florida. Statistically, Zook out recruited Meyer 66 percent to 60 percent.

Looking deeper into the numbers, we find that Zook performed far better than Meyer in Orlando and South Florida. In the "City Beautiful", Zook brought in 11 players doubling up Meyer's five. Some players of note from the Orlando area under Zook's regime include Reggie Nelson and Joe Cohen from Melbourne and Eric Wilbur and Brandon Siler from Winter Park and Orlando, respectively. None of Meyer's Orlando recruits have had a chance to shine yet, but Lorenzo Edwards and Jaye Howard are hoping to show their stuff this fall.

The other obvious advantage for Zook over Meyer is in Southeast Florida, specifically Miami. Zook brought in 16 kids form South Florida compared to Meyer's ten. Zook brought in seven players from the city of Miami alone.

Where Meyer has had the advantage in Florida is in Tampa. The Tampa Bay area has been Meyer's crown jewel with him landing 24 percent of his Florida kids from the area. Zook brought in just 13 percent of his Florida kids from Tampa.

Nationally, Meyer dominates outside of the Southeast. Both coaches had about the same level of success grabbing kids from SEC states, but outside of the SEC, Meyer has landed nearly a quarter of all his recruits, where Zook only landed 16 percent of his players from outside of the Southeast, and most of those kids were junior college transfers. In three years, Meyer has landed 17 kids compared to Zook's 12.

To further make the argument that Meyer's recruiting has gone more national over his first three seasons, look at the average distance the recruits have come from. In Meyer's first class, the average recruit played his high school football 280 miles from The Swamp. That number jumped in 2007 with the average recruit coming 461 miles to play football in Gainesville. This year's recruiting class saw kids come an average 519 miles from home. That's an increase of 85 percent from Meyer's first season to his third.

Although, with six of seven commitments from the class of 2009 coming from Florida and the other coming from nearby Valdosta, Ga., it looks like that trend may change.

Next, we'll compare Meyer's three classes with the last three classes at Florida State and Miami.

Questions or comments? Contact's Chris Chmielenski

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