The recruiting fair just took place this past weekend and many more area athletes will have the opportunity to play college football at the next level. Early and Late Signing Day made a ripple and the popularity of the new format will differ depending on who you ask. “Numbers don’t lie” right? You know the saying. But do they tell the whole story?

Both Early and Late Signing Days combined for 243 seniors signed a National Letter of Intent, agreed to a financial package or were granted a preferred walk-on opportunity at FBS, FCS, JUCO, D2, D3 and NAIA universities. Of the 243 athletes, 102 signed to an FBS or FCS school. 60 athletes signed to FBS schools.

Hillsborough County had the most D1 signees with 52, followed by Pinellas County claiming a still impressive 22 D1 signees; Polk -15, Manatee – 8, Pasco – 3, Hernando – 2.

Number of teams which play 11-man football by County
Hillsborough – 35
Pinellas – 26
Polk – 21
Pasco – 15
Manatee – 8 (Not including IMG. If we did…9 would be the count)
Hernando – 5

We did not include IMG because it’s a drastically different situation. Athletes come from all over the nation and attend that school. Not a traditionally Manatee County school with a district and homegrown athletes.

FBS and FCS schools can offer full athletic scholarships. D2 schools are equivalency scholarships, which mean the majority are partial scholarships. In some situations, a full scholarship can be provided. No D3 schools offer athletic scholarships. JUCO and NAIA can award full and partial scholarships.

Hillsborough – 31
Pinellas – 12
Polk – 7
Manatee – 5
Pasco – 3
Hernando – 2
Armwood sent seven kids to FBS schools including two to FSU and one to the National Champs, Alabama. Admiral Farragut and Plant signed four to FBS schools.

Hillsborough – 21
Pinellas – 10
Polk- 8
Manatee – 3
Pasco – 0
Hernando – 0
Durant on top at the FCS level with three signees.

Big 10 – 16
Mid American – 8
AAC – 7
American – 7
SEC – 6
Conference USA – 6
Sun Belt – 3
Big 12 – 2
Independent – 2
PAC 12 – 1

USF, Toledo, Indiana and FSU all did really well in our area. Each school signed four kids between the two signing days.

USF picked up a playmaker in Zion, and started to fill needs with both linemen (Waller and Jennings) and Jordan McCloud will develop at QB through the years.
Zion Roland
John Waller
Donovan Jennings
Jordan McCloud

Toledo always does well in the area and area kids thrive in Ohio.
Sam Baker
Caleb Sutherland
Jalynn Williams
Lavel Dumont

Indiana may have had the best class from the area grabbing the top two LBs, one of the top two QBs and our top rated DT.
James Miller
Micah McFadden
Michael Penix Jr.
Jonathan King

This may be the largest class FSU has had in our area. Traditionally the top kids from the area head to Gainesville. This season FSU grabbed a big four!
Warren Thompson
Malcolm Lamar
Isaiah Bolden
Chaz Neal