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Where the top 10 recruits from Florida are signed

Wg0vf-nP_400x400by:Keegan Pope01/30/24

bykeeganpope

The state of Florida continues to put out top recruits year in and year out, ranking second only to Texas when it comes to blue-chip talent production. In the 2024 cycle, that’s no different with eight of the nation’s 32 five-star recruits coming from the Sunshine State.

But the talent isn’t all concentrated at the top, with dozens of coveted prospects stretch from the Panhandle to South Beach. With the conclusion of the 2024 class coming up and all major recruiting services locking in their rankings, On3 looks at who the top 10 recruits in Florida are and where they’ll begin their college football careers.

(Note: Out-of-state recruits who attend IMG Academy are not included.)

1. WR Jeremiah Smith – Ohio State

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 1
School: Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna
Scouting Summary: “Jeremiah Smith is one of the more talented and well-rounded receiver prospects in recent cycles. The highest-rated wide receiver prospect from Florida in well over a decade. A big, skilled receiver with fluidity and savvy for the position. Measured in at 6-foot-3 and around 200 pounds with a 32.5-inch arm prior to his senior season. Had a breakout junior season, catching 58 passes for 1,073 yards and 20 touchdowns while leading Chaminade-Madonna to a state title. A very polished route-runner at this stage with rare ability to change directions at his size. Smooth mover with technical refinement that allows for separation.

… Regularly stacks cornerbacks off the line. Pairs his route-running ability with advanced ball skills. Has strong hands and comes down with catches in traffic. A high-level ball tracker with the ability to locate the football over his shoulder. Capable of making fantastic one-handed grabs. Also flashes ability after the catch. Has the size to run through contact and a long stride to pull away in the open field. Also a strong track athlete winning state titles in the 110 meter and 400 meter hurdles as a junior. An extremely well-rounded prospect with a high floor and ceiling. Looks like a prototypical X wide receiver prospect with considerable traits and skills that point to an upside as a high draft pick.”

2. DL LJ McCray – Florida

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 10
School: Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland
Scouting Summary: “LJ McCray is a big-framed, athletic defensive lineman with pass rush ability. Has translatable physical attributes and athleticism at the position that point to a high developmental ceiling. Measured in at over 6-foot-6, 260 pounds prior to his senior season. Has outstanding length and a large frame. Arms check in at 34.75 inches, with hands measuring 10.5 inches. Lines up as a big defensive end on Friday nights. Shows upside as a pass rusher, using first-step quickness to get into the backfield. Has high-end closing speed for a player of his size. Plays with a very encouraging level of physicality. Bullies offensive linemen on contact and finishes plays with violence. Works to get off blocks with vigor. Also sees time as a tight end. Finished his senior season with 17.5 tackles for loss. Can continue honing his technical skill as he fills out and grows into his body.”

3. WR TJ Moore – Clemson

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 23
School: Tampa (Fla.) Catholic
Scouting Summary: “TJ Moore is savvy receiver with translatable technical skills and functional athleticism. Measured in at over 6-foot-2, 180 pounds as a junior. Showed improved athleticism as a junior, posting a 11.13 second mark in the 100 meters along with a 6-3 foot high jump. Turned in a strong junior campaign, catching 42 passes for 1,021 yards and 13 touchdowns. Averaged over 24 yards per catch. Technically advanced. A natural hands catcher who frames catches with good form. Has high end ball skills with the ability to come down with acrobatic grabs. Makes impressive one-handed catches. Easily tracks the ball over his shoulder. A bouncy and light footed mover. Drops his weight and uses lateral agility to break off defensive backs as a route-runner. Shows the ability to maximize yardage after the catch. May not have a truly overwhelming facet to his game but is skilled in about every facet. Younger for the cycle with an April birthday. Projects as a high floor outside receiver prospect.”

4. CB Zay Mincey – Alabama

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 24
School: Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland
Scouting Summary: “Zay Mincey is a tall, athletic and versatile defensive back with signs that point to a high developmental upside. Measured at over 6-foot-2.5 and around 180 pounds prior to his senior season. Has plus length with a wing-span over 6-foot-7. Primarily lines up at corner for his high school team. Shows good coverage instincts. Undercuts routes to make plays on the ball. Runs well in coverage and stays attached on vertical routes. Can flip his hips as a taller defensive back. Uses his length to disrupt receivers at the line of scrimmage and make plays on the ball. Can track and locate the football over his shoulder. A three-sport athlete. Backs up his athleticism in track and field with a 6-4 high jump and 43-foot triple jump. Also plays basketball for a team that made a deep playoff run. Needs to continue adding strength and can improve his tackling. While widely viewed as a safety, could feasibly play as a bump and run cornerback in certain schemes.”

5. DL Armondo Blount – Miami

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 28
School: Miami (Fla.) Central
Scouting Summary: “Armondo Blount is a versatile, athletic defensive lineman who is capable of creating disruption from any spot on the defensive front. Looks like one of the more physically-gifted defenders early on in the 2025 cycle. Measured in at close to 6-foot-3.5, 250 pounds. Has the size of a future defensive tackle but the athleticism and pass rush skills of a top EDGE prospect. Flashes a plus first-step and quick hands both on Friday nights and in camp settings. Turned in a dominant sophomore campaign at Miami Dillard, showing advanced pass rush skills as a stand up rusher. Lives in the backfield, using his athleticism, strong hands and instincts to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Also doubles as a top track and field athlete, with a personal best of 55-6 feet in the shot put. Remains to be seen where he’ll end up from a size perspective, adding to some ambiguity around his position long-term.”

6. WR Joshisa Trader – Miami

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 44
School: Miami (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna
Scouting Summary: “Joshisa Trader is savvy receiver with signs of a well-rounded skill set as he enters his junior season. Uses his natural shake and change of direction as a route-runner, where he is one of the more technically-advanced receivers early on in the 2024 cycle. Has shown the ability to break off defensive backs with his start-stop ability. A fluid, natural mover in the route and after-catch phases. Shows the ability to track the football downfield. Already has above average size at over 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds. Made big plays against big-time competition in South Florida on a consistent basis.”

7. CB Charles Lester III – Florida State

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 53
School: Venice (Fla.)
Scouting Summary: “Charles Lester III is a two-way standout as a receiver and cornerback. Measured at around 6-foot-1, 170 pounds prior to his senior season. Hip fluidity and ball skills stand out. Shows the ability to consistently and naturally catch the football away from his frame. Can flip his hips with ease in man coverage. Breaks on the ball quickly in zone coverage. Flashes a high quality short area quickness and excellent trigger to the football. A willing tackler with solid physicality and ability to play in the box. High level ball production as a junior, picking off five passes. Also makes plays at receiver, showing off his ball skills and change of direction. Lacks verified top end speed. Needs to improve his tacking and physicality as a run defender, tending to shy away from contact.”

8. LB Myles Graham – Florida

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 57
School: Gainesville (Fla.) F.W. Buchholz
Scouting Summary: “Myles Graham is a versatile linebacker who looks like a natural operator in space. Measured in at around 6-foot-1.5, 215 pounds as a junior. Has average length for the position. Has been a two-way player for much of his high school career, but projects as a linebacker at the next level. Transferred from Woodward Academy outside Atlanta to Buchholz High in Gainesville, Florida for his senior season. Looks like a pure off-ball backer. Has a solid all-around skill set for the position. Comfortable in space. Diagnoses and keys quickly. Takes on blocks and stacks and sheds when playing the run. Runs well and shows range in covering the flats. Has also worked as a pass rusher and blitzer off the edge. Shows his athleticism as a ball carrier on offense. Rushed for 418 yards and 18 touchdowns on just 44 carries as a senior – averaging 9.5 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown on every 2.5 totes. Son of former Florida and NFL running back Earnest Graham.”

9. EDGE Booker Pickett – Miami

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 82
School: Tampa (Fla.) Wharton
Scout’s Take: “I think Booker Pickett improved his stock and looked like one of the bigger risers coming out of the Under Armour (All-American game). He was unblockable, just with his speed and his ability to dip and bend. He’s a nuanced pass rusher, so I think he’s a guy Miami fans should be really excited about as well.” — Charles Power, On3 Director of Scouting and Rankings

10. SAF Zaquan Patterson – Miami

On3 Industry Ranking: No. 91
School: Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna
Scout’s Take: “I think he’s a physical presence at safety. He’s fairly polished as well. He’s probably at his best kind of moving toward the box and making plays as a tackler and run defender.” — Charles Power, On3 Director of Scouting and Rankings