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Monday, July 4, 2022

Five significant South Florida recruits Mario Cristobal has signed

Mario Cristobal is officially going to be the next head coach at Miami. It’s a homecoming of sorts for the South Florida native and former Canes star offensive lineman. Cristobal has made a name for himself as an ace recruiter that specializes in recruiting the Sunshine State. Take a look at the most significant players new Miami head coach Mario Cristobal has recruited from Florida.

Cristobal, Alabama‘s offensive line coach at the time, reeled in Leatherwood’s commitment before he even played his junior season and held off late pushes from Michigan and Florida State. Leatherwood went on to have a great career for the Crimson Tide. He was a unanimous All-American, won the Outland Trophy in 2020 and was drafted No. 17 overall by the Raiders in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Ridley was a major addition for the Crimson Tide and Cristobal led the charge on his recruitment. The receiver out of Florida committed to Alabama during the spring of his junior season but there were plenty of teams that tried to flip him along the way, most notably Florida State. The Noles got an official visit but Ridley stuck with the Crimson Tide and the rest is history. He had 224 receptions for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns during his Alabama career and was drafted with the 26th overall pick by Atlanta.

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Cristobal led the charge to get Jeudy’s commitment in the summer before his senior season. Jeudy picked Alabama over Florida, Florida State, Miami and Tennessee and became a star in Tuscaloosa. Over his final two seasons at Alabama, Jeudy had nearly 2,500 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. Denver picked Jeudy with the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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The expertise Cristobal brings to the table recruiting talent out of Florida shined in Wright’s recruitment. After committing to Florida State in June before his senior season, Alabama flipped the Rivals250 defensive back in December. In 13 games this season, Wright has 26 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one sack, one QB hurry, and three pass breakups.

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Dorlus wasn’t a heralded recruit when he signed with Oregon in the 2019 class but he’s turned out to be a solid player for the Ducks. Originally a Virginia Tech commitment, Dorlus was a frequent visitor at Florida and ended up decommitting in early December of his senior year. The Gators seemed like the favorite heading into the Early Signing Period but Cristobal and the Ducks pulled off the upset. After making 12 tackles in just a handful of games last season, Dorlus has 25 this year in 13 games. He also made two and half sacks, four QB hurries, and broke up two passes this year.

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