Sorry to tease you and then leave you hanging from Saturday and Part 1 of our "Location,Location, Location" feature but it had to be done. There was simply too much research and too much information for just one feature.
So lets jump right back into it shall we? Now, where did we leave off? Oh yeah, the #2 ranked USC Trojans and their six five-star verbal commitments for 2013. Where did all that talent come from anyway? Lets take a deeper look at Lane Kiffin and his 2013 class...
In fact 10 of the Trojans 16 verbal commitments are from CA and three of their five star recruits are from The Golden State. One more five star player is from the West Coast (Washington) that the Trojans stole from the Ducks, Beavers and Huskies. The other two are from IL and MD.
Miami realistically did not have a legitimate shot at any of those USC verbal commits except maybe the Maryland recruit but if the Terps, Hokies or Cavaliers could not land him in their own back yards then why would Miami be expected to? Oh and by the way, USC does not have a single recruit from Florida.
Now lets look at the two texas schools in the top 10: The Aggies and the Longhorns. For those of you who follow recruiting you know that CA, TX and FL have the highest number of highly ranked recruits each year. So then it should come as no surprise that the Texas teams are loading up on Lone Star State talent.
Texas A&M is ranked #3 by Scout with a total of 22 players already verbally committed to the Aggies. Now guess how many of those are from Texas? No, really go ahead and guess, I'll wait. OK, times up!
TAMU has a whopping 22 of their 25 current commits that hail from the great State of Texas. The other three? Right from the heart of SEC and LSU country in Louisiana. TAMU also has no players from Florida.
Texas comes in at #8 on the Scout top 10 list and currently has 14 total recruits verbally committed to the Longhorns for 2013. An amazing 13 of their 14 recruits are from Texas and the other one is a three-star player from CA. Texas therefore also has zero players from the State of Florida.
Then we have the #6 ranked LSU with head coach Les Miles leading the way. The Tigers also are in a fertile recruiting area and as a result have 12 of their 20 verbal commits from Louisiana. LSU has just one player from Florida, three-star Kennard Swanson from the heart of Gator Country in Lakeland.
Next lets take a peak at SEC powerhouses #9 Auburn and #10 Alabama. Both teams are currently listed with 17 verbal commits respectively for 2013.
Auburn has 7 players from Alabama and 5 from the State of Georgia that they must have stolen from Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt with the other 5 scattered from around the Country. Auburn has just one player from Florida, three-star player Lemond Johnson from Cooper City in Broward County.
Alabama under Nick Saban, which also has more of a National recruiting footprint much like Notre Dame, has 5 players from their home State and a scattering of players from all over the Country. The Crimson Tide has just one player from Florida, Darius Page a three-star player from Pensacola, which as many of you may know is located in Flori-Bama.
So as you can now see, recruiting really comes down to location, location, location. The simple trick is to keep the best players in your designated geographic recruiting area home. Last year Miami's Al Golden did just that in an effort to stop the poaching of South Florida talent (primarily by FSU and UF) and to rebuild the famous UM recruiting wall from I-4 South.
If Golden is able to win more games than expected in 2012 and is able to maintain the integrity of that wall there is no reason to doubt that Miami will soon return to it's rightful place among the Nation's elite college football teams over the next few years.