The 2017 college football season has been kind to Butch Davis — yes, THAT Butch Davis. On the field, the Florida International Golden Panthers produced an 8-4 record and that performance was good enough to net the program a berth in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl against Temple on Dec. 21.
With that said, Davis and his staff are not resting on their laurels, as FIU is putting together a strong recruiting class for 2018 that may have peaked on the early Signing Day. Earlier in December, the Golden Panthers picked up a stunning commitment from four-star defensive tackle Tayland Humphrey and, on Wednesday, FIU added another four-star to complement him in the form of defensive tackle Teair Tart.
Many high-end Power 5 programs would kill to add two defensive tackle prospects of this caliber in the same class and 247Sports ranks both Humphrey and Tart as top 10 players nationally from the junior college ranks and as the No. 2 and No. 3 defensive tackles from that talent pool. Tart specifically lands as the No. 5 JuCo player in the country and the 6’3, 290-pound defensive lineman from Philadelphia (via East Mississippi Community College in Scooba) projects as a terror at the next level.
To put things into more perspective: both Tart and Humphrey had heavy interest from Alabama. Humphrey specifically picked FIU over Alabama, Oklahoma State, and Louisville.
FIU may not replicate an 8-win season in 2018, simply because that is a tall order given the recent history of that program. Still, Butch Davis and company are killing it on the recruiting trail and that could aid in setting the team up for long-term success.