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USF, UF scorching in July recruiting. How much does it matter?

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

31

July

USF recruiting blew up this weekend, with Charlie Strong landing a ridiculous 11 oral commitments. The Bulls leapt from No. 71 in 247Sports' composite rankings to No. 42.

That comes not long after the Florida Gators made a strong push that bumped them toward the top 10. 

Surely both programs are destined for star-studded recruiting classes that will bring championships and trophies and glory!

Maybe.

But because it's a rainy Monday, I'll play Danny Downer for two reasons.

The first is our usual caveat when it comes to recruiting. Nothing is official until recruits sign letters of intent during their senior years. We use the phrase "non-binding" for a reason. They can (and often do) change.

The second is history. I wanted to know how much July recruiting rankings matter, so I went to the Wayback Machine to find out. I compared 247Sports' composite rankings from July 21, 2016 to the final ones to see what changed (or what didn't).

The top two teams in February were the same as they were in July, just flipped. Alabama passed Ohio State for No. 1, and Urban Meyer's Buckeyes were 2.

Seven of the top 10 classes in the summer remained in the top 10 on signing day. Georgia stayed at No. 3, with Michigan, Florida State, LSU and Oklahoma also keeping their top-10 status.

That, of course, means that three programs jumped into the top 10. Florida was one of them - even though the Gators were No. 27 in July. USC was 36th in July and fifth on signing day. That's a big boost.

Let's zoom out to the top 25. Sixteen of the top 25 programs in July stayed there in February. Poor Rutgers (18th in July) was not among them (43rd on signing day). UCF was 40th in the summer and 55th on signing day. USF is harder to figure out, because the Wayback Machine has some limitations.

What does this mean for the Gators and Bulls? They'd rather be in this position than not. There's a good chance the strong recruiting classes remain, especially with the new December signing period. But the old adage remains true: Nothing is official until players sign on the dotted line.

[Last modified: Monday, July 31, 2017 10:48am]

    

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