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College football coaches love South Florida

The best thing about spring, at least for me, is to talk with and meet the college coaches that roam the sidelines for practices or at games to get a look at some of the top-flight athletes we have here in South Florida.

From the Palm Beaches to Key West, hundreds of college coaches take advantage of the impressive month-long spring football we have here and feast on athletes that are simply unmatched anywhere else in the country.

Having the pleasure to talk with many coaches throughout the course of a year, it's always nice to catch up in person and talk about some of the rising stars of the gridiron here in our football hotbed.

Some schools spend the entire month of May somewhere in our area – from talking with coaches and academic people during the day – to watching spring workouts in the afternoon, which truly measure what the athlete is all about on the football field.

While I have been to some 40 schools already in this area and more out of the area and into Georgia this spring, running into college coaches from UCF, USF, Georgia, Florida, FSU and Miami has become common place. But there are so many other schools that don't get the publicity that actually use this spring to fill out their rosters.

Western Michigan and Central Michigan have more players from the state of Florida than any school outside the state. Auburn, Clemson, Wake Forest, Rutgers and Louisville are loaded with our products as well.

This is the time of year when seeing coaches from Mississippi St., Michigan St., Iowa St., Indiana, Northern Illinois and Wisconsin, Louisiana Monroe, Oregon St. and others talking about the athletes as if they actually lived here year round. You can rattle off some 20 elite players and every college coach knows how fast they run, their parents name and phone number. That's where recruiting has come to.

While many believe the talent level is down in our area from last year, without the marquee players from Northwestern and Booker T. Washington, keep in mind that when the dust settles in February, there will be the same amazing 200-plus football players signing D1A scholarships from this region, which is an amazing number of quality football talent. North and South Dakota haven't had that many combined in the past 14 years, but then again, we don't churn out top-flight ice hockey players, either.

If you've been out to games and have watched some rising 2010, 2011 and 2012 standouts, drop us a line. I know the coaches who cover this area would love to hear about the future stars as well.