MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While much of the attention has been focused on the largest schools in the state of Florida on National Signing Day; Florida International University head coach Mario Cristobal has put together his biggest signing day class yet.
All total, Cristobal has already secured 26 commitments for his 2012 recruiting class. For Cristobal, it’s an especially sweet ending to his recruiting season just days after he was rumored to be leaving to take the head coaching job at Rutgers University.
Cristobal couldn’t come to terms with Rutgers and ended up returning to FIU for another season in South Florida.
According to Cristobal, 19 of the 26 recruits Florida International have already signed Wednesday were rated at least 3-star recruits. That is the highest number of highly rates recruits FIU has ever signed.
The large class was needed after the school graduates 25 seniors in 2012, so the large recruiting class is key for the future of the FIU football team.
It’s also a testament to how far Cristobal has brought FIU. When he took over the program, it was on NCAA probation and was routinely scheduled as an easy victory for bigger schools. Last season, FIU went on the road and beat a BCS team and came close to doing it again at home last year as well.
But FIU will have to replace one of its most legendary players, T.Y. Hilton. But, Cristobal isn’t worried about having to find playmakers.
“Deandre Jasper, you’re going to have fun watching him,” said Cristobal. “He’s explosive. One of the better playmakers in Florida. You’re going to see a very explosive team with many superb athletes ready to step in right away.”
Cristobal’s class included the following players:
Bryan Attaway, TE/DE, Camden County HS
Davison Colimon, LB, Suncoast HS
Joshua Glanton, LB, Haines City HS
Diegout Joseph, DE, Freedom HS
Trenton Saunders, OL, Benjamin School
Edens Sineace, OL, Palm Beach Central HS
Jeremy Smith, WR, Flanagan HS
Favian Upshaw, QB, Astronaut HS
Michael Wakefield, DE, Valdosta HS
EJ Hilliard, QB, Miami Northwestern HS
Lamarq Caldwell, RB, Tampa Bay Tech
Chris Ayers, K/P, South Broward HS
Denzel Conyers, LB, Boca Ciega HS
Jordan Davis, S, Alonso HS
Jeremiah McKinnon, CB, Southridge HS
Nick England, WR, Collins Hill HS
Adrian Jenkins, WR, Jefferson HS
Johnnie Durante, ATH, Dr. Krop HS
Jamie Willis, LB, Haines City HS
Marques Cheeks, DE, O. Perry Walker HS
Darrian Dyson, DE, Edna Karr HS
Raymond Jackson, ATH, O. Perry Walker HS
De’Andre Jasper, WR, Miami Jackson HS
Leonard Washington, DE, Edna Karr HS
Patrick Jean, LB, Treasure Coast HS
Leroy Owens, LB, Palatka HS