Florida Football Recruiting: Are Gators on Verge of Having Best Defense in SEC?

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIINovember 30, 2012

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 10: Defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd #73 of the Florida Gators tackles running back Alonzo Harris #46 of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns November 10, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida won 27 - 20. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Florida Gators had one of the best regular season defenses in the country this season, only giving up 12.9 points per game. That defense that will only get better with the addition of Will Muschamp's 2013 recruiting class.

Frankly, we could be looking at Florida having the best defense in the SEC for the next few years, and by the conferences' very nature, that would mean Florida would have the best defense in the country.

The only two teams better defensively than Florida in 2012 have been Alabama and Notre Dame, with 9.3 and 10.3 points per game allowed, respectively. There's a very good chance we could see those two square off in the BCS national championship.

Florida has the opportunity to be better than both of those defenses in 2013 and beyond.

That's good news for the future of the Gators' program.

A lot of the Gators' success will hinge on the talent that they are bringing in through this current class.

The Gators currently have the No. 2 ranked overall class in the nation according to Rivals, and it's a class that features 13 4-star commits and one 5-star commitment.

Out of the 13 4-star commitments, 11 of them are defensive recruits. That's 11 highly ranked defensive players that will be added to an already talented squad next season.

Some of the highlights from that group are defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (6'3'', 304 lbs), safety Marcell Harris (Rivals' No. 5 ranked safety), defensive end Jordan Sherit (Rivals' No. 5 weak-side defensive end) and inside linebacker Daniel McMillian, who's the No. 4 player at his position according to Rivals.com

In those four players alone, Florida will be adding a big defensive tackle, a top four linebacker and a top five safety and defensive end. That's not even to mention their 5-star recruit Vernon Hargreaves III, who is Rivals' No. 2 ranked cornerback and their No. 1 ranked player from Florida.

In Hargreaves III alone, the Gators are getting a recruit that can come into the program and make a contribution right away.

But he's just one part of their 2013 class.

Defensively, it's arguably one of the best classes in the nation, and many of the recruits project to contribute very quickly for the Gators. The Gators already have one of the best defenses in the country, let alone the SEC, and with the way Muschamp has recruited, this is a trend that's only going to continue.

Adding these recruits to a defense that is already laden with upperclassmen talent will be a scary thought for other SEC offensive coordinators and quarterbacks.

With Alabama's 2013 class featuring a ton of offense, Auburn rebuilding (despite a good defensive class) and Georgia's class looking good but not great, it's not hard to see that the Gators are on the verge of having the best defense in the SEC.

Not only is Florida set to reload their defense, but it's actually going to get better.

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