The Prospector: It just got more difficult recruiting Florida with Urban Meyer at Ohio State

Meyer could create a mass exodus of state prospects if he has the success he’s had in the past.

In his five years at UF, Meyer's recruiting classes finished no lower than 15th overall, according to rankings by That was Myers’ first season. After that, in order, he had the No. 2, No. 1 and No. 3 classes in the nation until hitting a bump in 2009 where the Gators dropped all the way to No. 11.

But the resurgence in 2010, Meyers’ last UF class that brought in Ronald Powell, Sharif Floyd, Matt Elam, Dominique Easley  -- only one of those is from Florida -- among the 27 signed last year, just to give an example of the kind of recruiting class Meyer is capable of bringing in.

You gotta wonder about that 2010 class. There were a lot of players of those signed who fought the establishment. Perhaps the proper homework had not been done like in the past. Meyer had lost key assistants back then like Dan Mullen (Mississippi State head coach) and Charlie Strong (Louisville head coach) and even Steve Addazio, interim coach during Meyers’ leave of absence after the 2009 season, was leaving to become Temple’s head coach. Dan McCarney, too, was on his way to be head coach at North Texas.

Maybe those, along with other coaching departures,  were as tell-tale as the recruiting failures that things were not all hunky-dory in Gatorland.

Of those 27 signings in 2010, seven -- since publication of this column two more have said they will transfer in Josh Shaw and Lynden Trail to make it nine -- have left the program and one, Neiron Ball is no longer on the roster after he was diagnosed with a serious brain-related medical condition, arteriovenous malformation (AVM),  in February.

Time will tell, of course, what kind of impact Meyer will have on the Florida and Florida State and Miami recruiting classes.

It’s no longer going to be a Florida, Florida State, Miami, Alabama, SEC battle for the top in-state prospects.

Ohio State now becomes a big player.

Things just got more difficult for Jimbo and Coach ’Champ.

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at


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