Florida A&M University, Central Florida and Bethune-Cookman College made the most of the first day of the national-letter-of-intent signing period. Although FAMU coaches hadn't finished signing all their prospects, they did add two Tampa Bay area offensive linemen - Lakewood's Ed Dixon (6-4, 260) and Northeast's Ben Gainer (6-5, 220) both signed letters on Wednesday.
FAMU coach Ken Riley said Dixon and Gainer will contribute next season.
"Right now, I think we've got some good linemen," Riley said, "but they'll help us. That's an area where we can always improve.
They're some good players and will be an asset to the program."
Among the Rattlers' top recruits from outside the state are defensive back Rod Holmes (6-1, 195) from Detroit-Martin Luther King.
Of the 22 student-athletes UCF signed on Wednesday, 20 were from Florida high schools. UCF recruited three players from Tampa Bay: Tarpon Springs' Mike Gruttadauria, Springstead's Mark Trudell and Pasco's Brian Crutcher.
Gruttadauria, a 6-3, 217-pound tight end, was a Times All-Pinellas
second-team selection. Trudell (6-4, 255) was a Class 4A all-state offensive lineman. Crutcher - who played defensive back, quarterback and wide receiver last season for the Pirates - was signed as a wide receiver.
Both Trudell and Crutcher were Times first-team All-North Suncoast
selections and were named to the All-Suncoast squads.
"We feel they're all good players, among top choices in their position," said Charlie Hoffman, UCF's defensive coordinator and chief recruiter. "They weren't heavily recruited by Division I schools and we felt like we got a little buried treasure. We got off with highway robbery."
In their first season competing in Division I-AA, the Knights were 7-3. UCF defeated Eastern Kentucky and Liberty while those teams were ranked in the I-AA poll.
"We feel like it's a really strong class," Hoffman said. "At 90 percent of the positions, we got our top choice. But, you never know how they'll turn out."
Among B-CC's top signees were Anthony Hines (6-5, 300), an offensive lineman from Daytona Beach-Seabreeze High School.
FLORIDA A&M SIGNEES Ed Dixon DE 6-4240Lakewood
Marcus Durant OL 6-3248Plant City
David Farquhar OL 6-5270Indianapolis
Ben Gainer DL 6-5220Northeast
Tory Kirby LB 6-3230Atlanta
Wayne Lawrence HB 5-10185Cocoa.
Ernest Marshall DL 6-4260Atlanta
Tarvis Mobley OG 6-2270Fernandina Bch
Kenneth Riley DB 5-11 170 Florida A&M H.S. Antonio Ross QB 5-11170William Raines
Leon Skillens OL 6-2275Tulsa
Eric Smith WR 5-11180Vero Beach
Greg Williams DE 6-6240Madison
Matt Williams RB 5-10175Lincoln
UCF SIGNEES Charles Anderson FB 5-11 205 Miami
Kevin Bennett TE 6-3 220 Jacksonville
Chris Cade DL 6-4 220 Belle Glade
Brian Crutcher WR 5-10 165 Dade City
Chip Goforth L 6-0 193 Augusta, S.C.
Vernon Goodwin OT 6-4 270 Taft JC
Mike GruttadauriaTE 6-3 217 Tarpon Springs
Clay Hair QB 6-2 185 Winter Park
Darrin Hinshaw QB 6-1 174 Port Charlotte
Robt. Howington C 6-2 220 Seminole
Greg Jefferson DL 6-4 230 Bartow
David Long L 6-0 235 Jacksonville
Keith McCarthy DL 6-1 209 Augusta, S.C.
Matt Parris FS 6-0 159 Vero Beach
Brian Permenter CB 5-11 158 Miami
Rudy Puig DL 6-0 226 Miami
David Rhodes WR 6-1 196 Mulberry
Ryon Roberts OT 6-4 260 Winter Park
Terrance Scott L 5-11 212 Pompano Beach
Terry Simmons CB 6-0 157 Jacksonville
Mark Trudell OT 6-4 260 Spring Hill
Darius White FS 5-11 165 Belle Glade
B-CC SIGNEES Anthony Hines OL 6-5 300 Daytona
Vidal Mills DB 6-0 190 Tampa
Dwayne Bennett DT 6-3 265 Miami
John Shaw C 6-1 275 Miami
Luke Ancrum LB 6-2 220 Sebring
Leotis McNeil DB 6-1 180 Sebring
OTHER AREA SIGNEES Chris Bogue OL Tarpon SpringsWest Point
Holton Buggs RB King Texas Southern
Tom Carter DB Lakewood Notre Dame
Kirby Dardar RB Jefferson Syracuse
Tom Demarest LB Leto Murray State
Solomon Gardner OL TB Vo-Tech Ball State
Greg Godsey OL Jesuit Air Force
Robert Harris DE Hernando E. Kentucky
Bob Heckathorne LB Leto Army
Malawi Hills DB TB Vo-Tech Ball State
Shaun Jackson WR Citrus Minnesota
Fred Johnson DL Chamberlain Morehead State
Terry Jones WR Dixie Hollins Dodge City
Tony Jones WR Plant Syracuse
Don Meredith OL Land O'Lakes North Carolina
Greg Parks OL King Texas Southern
Marvin Robinson DB Hillsborough Notre Dame
Ricky Roth OL Seminole NE Louisiana St. Donald Seay WR Gibbs Morningside (Iowa) Brian Singleton OL Pasco Albany St.
Billy Swain WR Lakewood S. Illinois
Carlos Timmons LB Hernando E. Kentucky
Matt Valone OL Clearwater Delta State
Lester Weaver DB Hillsborough Youngstown St.
Abraham William LB Plant City Albany State