What does Mark Richt joining Miami Hurricanes mean for Tampa Bay recruiting?
Although Miami still hasn't announced the hiring, former Georgia coach Mark Richt will be the Hurricanes' next head coach. It will take years before we find out whether Richt's personality can mesh with The U's swagger, or whether he can bring UM back to national prominence, or whether he can compete against Florida and Florida State as the state's top program.
So here's one thing that's worth watching in the short term: How does Richt recruit Tampa Bay?
UM has historically recruited this area pretty well. DL Anthony Chickillo (Alonso), LB Tyriq McCord (Jefferson) and DB Rayshawn Jenkins (Admiral Farragut) are some of the recent local ‘Canes in a list that dates back to former Hernando star Jerome Brown.
Richt has experience locally, too. His Tampa recruiting coups at Georgia included Plant stars Aaron Murray and Orson Charles and Jefferson LB Ramik Wilson.
There is, of course, still talent here. Tampa Bay boasts five recruits who are four- or five-star talents, according to Rivals. That list includes uncommitted Tampa Catholic WR Nate Craig-Myers and Pasco DB Jayvaughn Myers, a former Gators commit who reopened his recruitment earlier this week. Five other locals are on Rivals' list of the state's top 100 prospects.
None of those recruits in this year's class are committed to UF or FSU.
I don't want to make too much of that final point. Signing day is two months from today, so a lot can (and will) change. Many of the area's top talents have defected to IMG Academy and aren't included in my list.
Nonetheless, Richt and his new school both have recruiting ties to the area. Don't be surprised if that continues in the coming weeks - possibly at the expense of the Gators and Seminoles.