Florida Football Recruiting: Incoming Freshmen Gators Will Rely on Most in 2013

Stephen Sheehan@@StephenPSheehanCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2012

Freshmen Dante Fowler Jr. (6) and Antonio Morrison (12) were big playmakers for the Gators.
Freshmen Dante Fowler Jr. (6) and Antonio Morrison (12) were big playmakers for the Gators.Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Will Muschamp plays no favorites when it comes to the depth chart. 

Florida's no-nonsense head coach has made every player earn their spot, and in some cases, that's resulted in a changing of the guard. 

Besides getting the best out of the talent from the previous regime—see Omar Hunter, Josh Evans and James Wilson—the second-year coach has also done a fantastic job in the recruiting process. 

His first recruiting class in 2011 was mostly assembled by former coach Urban Meyer, but it's been Muschamp who's turned Kyle Christy, Jeff Driskel, Hunter Joyer and Loucheiz Purifoy into bona fide SEC stars. 

With an exodus of talent impending, the Gators will once again have to rely on several potential incoming freshmen if they hope to be in the hunt for a national title. 

No position has been under more scrutiny than Florida's wide receivers, but fear not Gators fans: Help is coming. 

While Gators fans have pulled out more hair than they can afford over underwhelming performers like Frankie Hammond Jr. and Andre Debose, the Gator Nation might just have something to cheer about if 4-star receiver Ahmad Fulwood comes to Gainesville. 

The 6'4", 189-pound Jacksonville native is Rivals.com's No. 15 receiver in the country.

Blessed with a tremendous frame, 4.47 wheels and strong hands, it's hard not to envision Fulwood catching deep bombs from Driskel in 2013. 

Adding a receiver with that type of size-speed combination would be huge for a Gators offense lacking a legitimate No. 1 receiver. 

Give offensive coordinator Brent Pease a new toy like Fulwood, and the possibilities are endless. 

No offensive player was more valuable to the Gators in 2012 than running back Mike Gillislee, but Florida's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2004 will be playing on Sundays next year, leaving behind a sizable hole in the Gators' backfield. 

Freshman Matt Jones displayed the finishing ability that you'd expect out of a back with a 6'2", 226-pound frame, but expect to see a bunch of Kelvin Taylor in 2013. 

The son of NFL and Gator great Fred Taylor, the Belle Glades (Fla.) recruit looks to be following in his father's footsteps in playing his college ball for the Gators. 

Like his dad, Taylor doesn't have elite speed (4.63 in the 40-yard dash), but combines a solid frame (5'11", 216 pounds) with nimble feet, excellent vision and versatility. 

Muschamp and Pease are on the same page in their offensive philosophy, and running the football should still be the team's priority even without Gillislee. 

Taylor—Rivals.com's No. 5 running back and No. 36 overall prospect—should see plenty of snaps in the Gators' backfield in 2013. 

While Florida has secured verbal commitments from a number of highly-touted defensive backs like Vernon Hargreaves III, the nation's No. 2 corner, and three of the top 12 safeties in the country, it'll be tough for those guys to crack Florida's deep secondary. 

If there's one defensive recruit who should see plenty of playing time in 2013, it has to be 4-star defensive tackle Darious Cummings

Based on this tweet, Cummings has big plans for next season.

We will win a national championship at UF in the next 2 years!

— Darious C Cummings (@D_Cummings45) November 29, 2012

The 6'3", 305-pounder isn't a traditional recruit. In fact, he once played for the enemy. 

Originally a 2010 commitment to Florida State, Cummings lasted just two years in Tallahassee before he went to play ball at East Mississippi Community College, according to Jason Platt of SB Nation.

With Omar Hunter graduating and juniors Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley possibly moving on to the NFL, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn could use Cummings' big body and power up front. 

Cummings already has a strong relationship with former EMCC and current Gators defensive tackle Damien Jacobs, which should help ease the transition. 

Jacobs earned good snaps as a freshman this season, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see Cummings in the defensive line rotation in 2013. 

Whether it is freshmen Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard wreaking havoc on defense or offensive tackle D.J. Humphries displaying future All-American ability, the Gators should get heavy contributions from the 2013 recruiting class. 


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