My wife often asks me about this recruiting business: "Is that it? Is the season over?"
She doesn't like the answers. The thought that the recruiting process ever being "over," while refreshing for sure, is wishful thinking.
National Signing Day 2012 hit last Wednesday, and while most people might think that means time to relax, take a vacation and wait for next year, that's not how it works.
In fact, the evaluation process for the 2013 class had started long ago and the three top programs in the state already have commitments for next year's National Signing Day – Feb. 6, if you are making Signing Day party plans.
Florida landed two 2013 commitments the day after Signing Day in Tallahassee Lincoln LB James Hearns (6-3, 230) and Jacksonville First Coast LB Daniel McMillian (6-3, 220). UF had previous pledges from Crescent City DT Caleb Brantley – no relation to the QB or coach -- and also one of the top running backs in the state in short-but-dominant Adam Lane (5-7, 207) of Winter Haven.
Miami also has four commitments in speedy Orlando Jones ATH Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield (5-10,165), Delray Beach Atlantic DT Keith Bryant (6-2, 292), South Plantation RB Alex Collins (5-1, 180), and South Fort Myers ATH Jayron Kearse (6-4, 195).
Not to be left out, Florida State has three 2013 commitments in top-notch athlete Sojourn Shelton (5-9, 155) of Plantation, DT Maquedius Bain (6-5, 286) of Fort Lauderdale University School and Prattville, Ala., High OL Austin Golson (6-6, 275), from the same high school as 2012 FSU signee DT Justin Shanks.
But there are 100s more prospects out there in the football hotbed state of Florida, many of whom will start garnering 4- and 5-star ratings as the recruiting services start doling them out. We here at the Sentinel don't put much into star ratings, although it does give a good gauge on what others think of certain prospects and gives recruiting services a basis for determining their team rankings.
We do however, provide our Florida Top 100 and we unveil that today as we kickoff our coverage of the 2013 recruiting season, which actually began for us last Saturday during the Top Recruits Now Combine at Orlando's Barnett Park.
The early honor as the top player in the state is going to likely become somewhat of a consensus as other state rankings are unveiled. Lake City Columbia offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil already has a 5-star rating by Rivals.com and we will be hard-pressed this year to find a more deserving prospect of the Football State's top rung.
Tunsil, out of the same high school as Florida State's athletic defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, is of a similar breed. Sure, he's 6-6, 275 pounds, but, like Jernigan, he has an athletic appearance. Tunsil has a wingspan of arms that you don't see often on an offensive lineman, which is a huge benefit to keeping defensive opponents from sneaking up under the pads and holding out of a referees sight.
He can move his feet, get up field with the best if he's needed in next-level run blocking and he'll stand his ground as a one-man, pass-protection fortress. He's very well rounded for a high school offensive lineman.
Tunsil has 11 offers so far, and of course Florida, Florida State and Miami are already ponied up.
Other players considered for the top spot early on were – ATH Vernon Hargreaves Jr. (5-10, 170) of Tampa Wharton, Georgia commit RB Derrick Henry (6-3, 220) of Yulee, RB Greg Bryant of Delray American Heritage (5-10, 200), S Leon McQuay III of Seffner Armwood, WR Richard Benjamin (6-1, 170) of Tampa Bay Tech, WR Jordan Cunningham 6-1, 185) of Fort Lauderdale University, WR Ahmad Fulwood (6-4, 190) of Jacksonville Bishop Kenny, Daytona Beach Mainland DE Quinton Powell (6-3, 220) and RB Kelvin Taylor (5-11, 200) of Belle Glade Glades Day, among others.
• Plantation American Heritage QB Tyler Cogswell (6-5, 220), one of the top pro-style quarterbacks in the state for the 2013 class, will be visiting Arkansas this weekend. So far he has an offer from Central Michigan.
• Winter Garden West Orange juniors CB Roman Tatum and WR Garrett Johnson were in Hollywood, Fla., this past weekend trying out for the South Florida Express traveling 7-on-7 all-star team. Both players have been selected to the much-ballyhooed squad of stars.
• Former Groveland South Lake LB Jordan Montgomery, who signed with South Carolina last year out of the 2011 class only to be told the Gamecocks had no room, signed this past week with Middle Tennessee after a half year at Fork Union (Va.) Military. Montgomery said he will play a hybrid saftey/linebacker for the Raiders.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Follow us on Twitter at <a href=” https://twitter.com/#!/OS_Recruiting”>@Os_Recruiting</a> and Facebook at <a href=” https://www.facebook.com/os.recruiting”>Orlando Sentinel Recruiting</a>.
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