Posted: 4:10 pm Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Inside Look — Other Florida Colleges 

By Post Staff

After the 2007 season, one thing is abundantly clear about Florida Atlantic, South Florida, Central Florida and even Florida International:

There’s a lot more to Florida college football than Miami, Florida and Florida State.

“You can’t sit here and call them the Big Three anymore. Now it’s like the Big Five or Six,” said scout.com’s Jamie Newberg. “It’s kind of ironic that FAU is the only team in the state that won a bowl game.”


While Miami, FSU and Florida combined for a 21-17 record in 2007, USF, UCF and FAU went 27-13, with UCF and FAU winning their conference championships and USF spending a brief period at the top of the national polls.

And while it’s tougher to grade the draft classes of those schools, they continue to stockpile talent that may be ignored by the bigger schools.

“There are 430 kids from Florida alone who will sign Division I scholarships,” longtime recruiting guru Larry Blustein said. “So there are plenty of athletes out there.

FAU, which won the New Orleans Bowl, is heavy on Florida recruits. The one Palm Beach recruit is Royal Palm Beach offensive tackle Randy Richards, and the Owls also signed Davie-University’s Michael Barasch, who rushed for over 2,000 yards this year and broke all of Tyrone Moss’ Broward County records.

Most importantly, FAU will be signing the recruit with the best name of 2008: Bushnell-South Sumter LB Yourhighness Morgan.

South Florida didn’t stray far from Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, and signed Palm Beach Gardens OL Justin Green and Palm Beach Central OT Danous Estenor.

UCF received 19 oral commitments, including one from Glades Central offensive lineman Jarien Moreland. Of those 19, 11 were from out of state players.

Florida International and coach Mario Cristobal signed mostly the leftover players from Miami, Orlando and the rest of the state.

The smaller schools held out hope that someone like Booker T. Washington DB Brandon Harris or Glades Central LB Russell Lewis would chose them over a traditional powerhouse, but overall they should be happy with their final haul.

“The bottom line is USF and UCF filled needs with some really talented players,” Newberg said.