For the third consecutive year, Florida State has pulled the top recruiting class of all the FBS programs in Florida. What makes this year different, is that the Seminoles did this while leaving little room for doubt entering National Signing Day, entering the day with the No. 3 class and finishing with the No. 2 class according to the 247Sports composite team rankings.
What makes this victory even sweeter is that the Seminoles thrived down the stretch while rivals Florida and Miami both limped to the finish line. While FSU had a productive National Signing Day, UF fell from the No. 6 class in 247's composite entering Wednesday to No. 10 by day's end while UM suffered a similar dropoff.
For some perspective, you simply have to look at the blue-chip(4 and 5* recruit) percentages of the 2016 recruiting classes for each of the top-tier Florida programs. FSU finished with a 72% blue-chip percentage in a recruiting class which contained two specialists, who are never rated as blue-chip prospects. If the specialists are removed, the percentage shoots up to 78.3%.
Meanwhile, Florida's blue-chip percentage is a meager 37.5%, with only 9 of their 24 commits ranked at four stars or better. Miami finished with the worst-ranked recruiting class of the Florida trifecta, ending the process ranked the No. 20 class, per the composite. However, UM's blue-chip percentage is notably better than UF's, coming in at 58.8%. Miami's class is ranked so low due to the 26 decommitments that the Hurricanes suffered from members of the 2016 recruiting class, giving the Hurricanes a smaller class size.
Another measurable aspect of a recruiting class is the recruiter rankings, compiled also by 247Sports. On the 2016 class edition of these rankings, Florida State is one of only three schools with two recruiters in the top ten, recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster at No. 6 and offensive line coach Rick Trickett at No. 9. In addition to those two, FSU has two more recruiters, Odell Haggins at No. 20 and Charles Kelly at No. 36, before any recruiters from Miami or Florida appear on the list. UM's first recruiter on the list is running backs coach Hurlie Brown, who checks in at No. 40. To find the first UF coach on the list, you have to go all the way down to No. 85 where offensive coordinator for the Gators, Doug Nussmeier, sits.
A third way in which you can compare the classes of these three programs is how well they each did in bringing in in-state recruits. Of the top 20 recruits from the 2016 class in the state of Florida who are actually from Florida (removing OOS transfers to IMG), eight committed to schools outside of Florida. Florida State signed six, while the Gators and Hurricanes just grabbed three each.
The best news of all for Florida State is that with these promising recruiting trends and the continuing success that the Seminoles are seeing on the field, it's hard to see this success on the trail going anywhere in the near future. After all, Florida State did this in a year when they were competing with in-state rivals who had a coach just entering his second season, Jim McElwain at UF, and a new coach named just over the past few months, Mark Richt at Miami. If the Seminoles are able to handily outrecruit a pair of teams who were under the positive boost of a new head coach, it seems they may be hard to dethrone in the near future.