MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When the 2012 NFL Draft commences on Thursday night, it’s possible viewers may see something that hasn’t happened since 1980.
It’s expected that none of the major college football teams in Florida including: Florida, Florida State, Miami, University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International, and the University of South Florida, will have a player selected in the first-round of the draft.
Florida has long been the most sought after state for college coaches looking to recruit the best talent in the nation. But the big schools in Florida have recruited well in recent years, but failed to develop star talent at the NFL level.
Of all the schools in Florida, the FSU Seminoles probably will be the closest putting together first round talent next season, but this year’s talent out of every school is weak.
The two players who have a chance of getting into the first round are a former Florida Gator, who transferred to the University of North Alabama, and a Miami Hurricane running back.
Janoris Jenkins, who was dismissed from Florida for repeated team violations, could sneak into the first round if a team is convinced he’s put his troubled past behind him. Jenkins is a former All-SEC cornerback, but he has four children by three different mothers and combined with his past drug use, could push him into Round 2.
Miami Hurricanes running back Lamar Miller was a possible first-round pick early in the draft process. But, running backs have been massively devalued in the current NFL. The only sure-fire running back to be selected in the first round will be Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who could go as early as fourth overall.
The challenge for the Florida schools isn’t going to be recruiting, as UF, UM, and FSU all routinely have some of the best recruiting classes in the country. The challenge will be to finally coach the recruits up to the next level.
If the big Florida schools can’t carry through with that, then many of the nation’s most talented players will have to wait until the second round to hear their names called for years to come.