2014 Florida Top 10
1) *Sony Michel
2) Kain Daub
3) *Chad Thomas
4) *Joseph Yearby
5) *Ermon Lane
6) *K.C. McDermott
7) *Dalvin Cook
8) *Khairi Clark
9) Bo Scarborough
10) *Quinton Flowers
*from south Florida
Headlining the Florida Top 100 is none other than Sony Michael (Plantation American Heritage). This five-star prospect is currently the nation's No. 2 overall running back prospect. Michel has been a dominant running back in Florida since he burst on the gridiron scene as an 8th grader.
Checking in at No. 3 is defensive end Chad Thomas (Miami Booker T. Washington). Thomas has always been considered a fringe five-star talent. He has great size, speed and athleticism. But he showed power and strength at The Opening in July and earned that fifth star.
Yearby and Cook
The amazing Joseph Yearby comes in at No. 4. Yearby is a special talent and he shares time with the No. 7 ranked recruit in the state in Dalvin Cook. How lucky is Miami Central to have these two carry the load?
The state's top receiver is also from Dade County, as Ermon Lane stars for Homestead. Lane is now a five-star and the No. 4 ranked wideout in the nation and the No. 5 ranked player in Florida.
K.C. McDermott (Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach Central) is the Sunshine State's top ranked offensive tackle and he's No. 6 overall in the 100 while Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna) is No. 8 and the top ranked defensive tackle.
We don't have an athlete category with our Scout.com rankings but if we did Quinton Flowers (Miami Jackson) would be our likely No. 1 recruit there. For now, we project him as a wide receiver and he comes in at No. 10.
The top rated recruit from the Sunshine State not from south Florida is the country's top rated inside linebacker prospect, five-star Kain Daub (Jacksonville Sandalwood).
Florida 100 by area
1) South Florida 37
2) Tampa Bay 25
3) Central Florida 11
4) Jacksonville 10
5) Southwest Florida 9
6) Panhandle 8
There's a new addition to the Florida 2014 Top 100 in running back Bo Scarbrough. The University of Alabama commitment transferred in from Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. Scarbrough released a statement last week regarding his new home and new head coach, Chris Weinke.
"Coach Weinke is a great coach and IMG Academy offers me everything I could ever need to get ready for college and focus on football and academics equally," Scarbrough said. "The facilities, the school programs - it's just a great fit for me to finish my high school career."
Scarbrough is a monster. He's a four-star running back that's 6-foot-2, 232-pounds that could ultimately end up playing another position. He will remind many of last year's big back in the state, Derrick Henry (Yulee, Fla.), who signed with the Crimson Tide.
Scarbrough, a four-star recruit, is currently ranked as the No. 10 running back in the nation and the No. 9 ranked prospect in the state."Bo is an exceptional, big athlete. He can run, he catches the ball like a wide receiver, and he is very versatile," said Chad Simmons, national recruiting analyst. "He has the potential to play on either side of the ball on the next level. He wants to play running back, but he could so get looks as an H-Back or outside linebacker."
It's absolutely amazing how quickly things changed in recruiting, specifically in regards to the acceleration of the process itself. So many recruits now make their decisions so early. This is the exact opposite of what used to happen, especially when you talk about the prospects from the Sunshine State. It was the players from Florida that usually waited to make their college decisions in December, January or even the first week of February of their senior years.
Just look at this list. 67 of the top 100 have made their commitments, including nine of the top 10 and 16 out of the top 20. For an old-timer like me this is astounding. Roughly half (34) have committed to one of the big three (Florida, FSU or Miami) while USF has six and UCF has one. 20 BCS programs (some winners below) have commitments from at least one member of this '14 Top 100 from Florida. Even Ball State joined the commitment party.
So many players have already made their decisions. So who's left?
Nine of the top ten recruits have committed. The irony is that that one uncommitted prospect was committed for a very short spell. I am referring to Quinton Flowers, who gave USF a huge pledge before backing out of it. He remains undecided but you can rest assured that the Bulls are a major player for Flowers at this point.
Other uncommitted prospects inside the top 25 are offensive tackle David Sharpe (Jacksonville Providence), defensive end Keyon Brown (Wakulla, Fla./Hardee), defensive tackle Anthony Moten (Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas), and wide receiver Travis Rudolph.
Tight end Ravian Pierce (Plantation, Fla.), cornerback Kendall Sawyer (Lehigh Acres, Fla./East Lee County), and wide receivers Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar), and Johnnie Dixon (West Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) are the only remaining uncommitted four-star prospects.
So who's winning the war within the state? That's a tough call, as the Seminoles, Gators and Hurricanes have all gotten their share. But if I had to go with one at this time I would give the edge to Al Golden and Miami.
The ‘Canes have knocked it out of the part in the trenches, landing the state's top two offensive tackles in K.C. McDermott and Trevor Darling (Miami Central) as well as Reilly Gibbons (St. Petersburg, Fla./Catholic). On the other side of the ball they have committed the top defensive end in the state in Chad Thomas and the No. 3 ranked defensive tackle in Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic).
Ten of Miami's pledges are all ranked in the top 50 in the state.
Florida is putting together a very good class under Will Muschamp. The Gators got a huge boost last week with the addition of wide receiver Ermon Lane. He has become arguably their most important recruit because of Florida's lack of wide receivers, specifically a true No. 1 guy.
Of course the Gators love to pound the rock first and foremost and they committed the No. 3 ranked back in the state in Dalvin Cook. Florida has also put together an outstanding secondary led by Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County), Chris Lammons (Plantation, Fla.) and J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla.). Of course you can't forget about the man in the middle in defensive tackle Khairi Clark.
Seminoles strong as usual
Aside from the University of Alabama you can make a strong case that no one has recruited as well of late as Jimbo Fisher and Florida State. Once again their 2014 class is strong. This FSU group is led by the nation's top linebacker, Kain Daub. Defensive tackle DeMarcus Christmas (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee), cornerback/athlete Treon Harris (Miami Booker T. Washington), safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) and JoJo Robinson (Miami Northwestern) are all top 30 prospects in the state.
Remember, it's still August and a lot can happen between now and National Signing Day regarding these three recruiting powers. They can pluck prospects from each other, away from others and close with a flurry when it matters most late in the process.
One of the big risers among the top end '14 prospects is Bradenton Manatee defensive tackle DeMarcus Christmas. This Florida State commitment had a great off-season and remarkable spring. He came in lighter and stronger and put on a show against Tallahassee Lincoln in their spring game. He dominated the Trojan front, showing outstanding quickness, strength and athleticism.
Christmas, now 6-foot-4, 280-pounds, climbed up the Florida charts and now sits at No. 12 overall in the state. If he continues his stellar play there's no question he could finish as the top rated defensive tackle and make a further move into the top ten.
Currently, Khairi Clark is the top-rated defensive tackle while Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic) is just behind Christmas. This trio is ranked in the top 17 overall in the state.
Dawgs have a big bite
You know it doesn't make FSU, Florida or Miami happy that Georgia comes south to the Sunshine State to pull kids. It's not just ordinary recruits but elite prospects.
You get the point.
So what did Bulldog head coach Mark Richt do for an encore with this 2014 class? He pulled the coup of coups landing the state's No. 1 prospect in running back Sony Michel. Georgia came out of nowhere to beat his longtime leader and childhood favorite Miami. This is a stunner.
They didn't stop there as the Dawgs have also committed a pair of highly regarded four-star recruits in safety Kendall Gant (Lakeland, Fla./Lake Gibson) and offensive guard Isaiah Wynn (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood). They are both ranked inside the top 25 in the state.
What's up with the Wildcats and Cardinals? These two basketball playing powers have staked a big time claim in the Sunshine State. While they only have four of the top 100 prospects from Florida committed to their respective schools they have a grand total of 15 collectively. Louisville has 10 while Kentucky has five.
Wide receiver Isaiah Ford (Jacksonville Trinity Christian) and safety Michael Johnson (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic) are committed to the Cardinals and linebacker Nico Firios (Longwood, Fla./Lynman) and defensive end Denzel Ware (Crestview, Fla.) are committed to the ‘Cats. These are all members of the Florida 100.
That's a nice haul by the Cards and ‘Cats.
Notre Dame has committed two from Ft. Lauderdale in Richard Yeargin (University School) and Corey Holmes (St. Thomas Aquinas). Yeargin is the state's top outside linebacker prospect that looks like an ideal fit in the Irish defensive scheme while Holmes is a smooth operator with big play speed at wide receiver.
How often does the University of Texas pull recruits from Florida? It doesn't happen very often. But the Longhorns did land Tampa Plant standout middle linebacker Andrew Beck. Beck is the No. 76 ranked player in the Florida Top 100.
James Franklin and Vanderbilt continue to make the state of Florida a huge priority in recruiting. The Commodores once again went to Seffner Armwood and landed defensive back Kyle Gibson. He can play anywhere in the secondary and brings a lot of versatility to Nashville. Also committed to Vandy, for now, is offensive guard Jesse Burkett (Jacksonville Bartram Trail). He recently received his dream offer from Stanford.
Penn State, Nebraska and Auburn all came to Florida to get their quarterbacks of the future. Michael O'Connor (Bradenton, Fla./IMG) committed to the Nittany Lions. He will be the first ever signal caller for IMG in their inaugural season under coach Chris Weinke. The Cornhuskers added a perfect quarterback piece in Zack Darlington (Apopka, Fla.). He has a lot of similarities in playing style to Johnny Manziel. Then you have the Tigers, who landed the Elite 11 MVP, Sean White (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./University School).
It's not often you see Indiana beat the Gators on a recruit from their backyard but that's exactly what they did earlier this summer for offensive tackle Delroy Baker. He's 30 minutes from Gainesville and stars for Ocala West Port. Baker is the No. 95 ranked player in the Florida Top 100.
Even Ball State got in the mix when they received a pledge from one of the top prospects from the southwest coast of Florida, Roy Denson (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida Baker). He's a cornerback that checks in at No. 68 overall.