Periodically, we ask our football and basketball recruiting analysts to answer some questions that don't pertain to specific prospects. Instead, the questions will be about broader recruiting issues.
Today, our football recruiting experts talk about their Shangri-La when it comes to recruiting.
TODAY'S QUESTION: You can only recruit one area of the country. Actually, you can recruit within a 60-mile radius of just one city. What is that city and why?
Miami would get my vote except for one position – quarterback. And quarterback clearly is the most important position. So, to me, you can't pick Miami. I mean, who's the best quarterback from Miami in the past 10 years?
That realistically leaves Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta and southern California. I'd pick the latter and plop down right in the middle of Orange County, some place like Tustin.
You'd get virtually all of the L.A. city and suburban kids and a couple of key schools from the San Diego area, such as the Oceanside schools and Carlsbad.
I would take the Los Angeles metro area, with East Texas a close second. The reason I'd say L.A. is because of the great amount of diversity the city has to offer.
As with Florida, there definitely is plenty of skill-position speed. And you always can find talented receivers, defensive backs and linebackers in L.A. And don't even get me started on the quarterbacks.
The quarterback talent always is there in abundance in California. Because of seven-on-seven ball in Los Angeles, quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, defensive backs and linebackers are skilled in the passing game, which makes the transition to the next level easier. Plus, the city can produce talent on the line on both sides of the ball.
There's always plenty of big boys who can be found all over the city, whether it's in Orange County, the Inland Empire or the Valley.
Without a doubt, it would be Fort Lauderdale because within a 60-mile radius, you have Miami, West Palm Beach, Belle Glade and Pahokee. The area is filled with speed, speed and more speed. Add to that football is king – and for many kids, their only way to go to college.
This area is not only rich in football talent but also densely populated, with about 200 high school schools in this 60-mile radius. Other things that help are the weather and that there is spring football.
Plus, the high schools usually finish the school year with a spring game or a jamboree. This allows college recruiters the opportunity to get another evaluation.
For me, it's Miami because Dade and Broward counties and beyond are where the speed is – and speed kills. Look at Miami's roster when it was winning national titles. Look at Randy Shannon's class this year, when he focused on south Florida.
Areas such as Los Angeles and parts of Texas certainly produce a great deal of talent and the Tidewater area of Virginia has produced as many superstars as any area outside of Florida, California or Texas.
But give me Miami and a 60-mile radius and I'll be in national-title contention almost every season.
It would be Miami. I have been covering recruiting for 16 years and Dade (Miami), Broward (Ft. Lauderdale) and Palm Beach counties have so much talent and consistently produce guys with great athleticism and speed every single year.
This area is always deep and plentiful. There is quantity and quality. I always have thought Miami had the recruiting advantage over every other college program because of what's in its backyard.
Note: If you have recruiting questions of this type regarding football or basketball, send them to college sports editor Mike Huguenin at firstname.lastname@example.org.