Quinton Powell Decommits: Where Do Florida Gators Turn After Losing 4-Star OLB?

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIDecember 11, 2012

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators have lost the commitment of 4-star outside linebacker Quinton Powell, from Daytona Beach, Fla.

Derek Tyson of ESPN.com reports on the decommitment:

Just one day removed from landing three verbal commitments, the Florida Gators lost a linebacker commit on Monday night. ESPN 150 linebacker Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) has reopened his recruitment after officially visiting Florida this past weekend.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker is still considering USC, Miami (Fla) and Oregon. He is planning to take official visits to all three schools.

As Tyson pointed out, this comes right after a very productive recruiting weekend for the Gators. Florida was able to secure the commitments of 4-star linebacker Matt Rolin, 4-star offensive tackle Trenton Brown and 3-star offensive tackle Roderick Johnson. In sports and specifically in college football recruiting, though, you win some and you lose some, and there's no doubting that the decommitment of Powell is a big loss for Florida.

He's ranked as the 13th overall outside linebacker in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, so he's obviously a talented recruit. He's 6'2'', 194 pounds and runs a 4.50 40 (247Sports), so he projects to be an effective edge player at the college level, especially if he bulks up a bit.

Losing his commitment hurts Florida's recruiting, but the Gators can definitely bounce back. Where do they turn from here?

The good news is that Muschamp's 2013 class is still extremely impressive, so while Powell's decommitment is significant, Florida does have a lot to fall back on. His class is ranked third overall by Rivals.com and features 23 recruits. Of those 23 verbal commitments, 12 of them are defensive players, and that includes 5-star defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III, who has the potential to be a star corner for the Gators.

At the linebacker position, the Gators have commitments from 4-star inside linebackers Daniel McMillian and James Hearns, plus the aforementioned outside linebacker Rolin, so they can afford to focus on other positions, even after losing a big-time linebacker.

With all that in mind, Florida's main target right now has to be 5-star running back Alex Collins.

Collins is the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and he's got Florida in his top three, along with Florida State and Miami (247Sports).

Even though the Gators already have a commitment from another 5-star back in Kelvin Taylor, you can never have enough talent in the backfield in today's football landscape, and having two capable running backs has become more of a necessity than it is a luxury.

Collins checks in at 5'11'', 204 pounds and runs a 4.45 40, according to 247sports, so he has the potential to be more than a capable back at the college level.

He would be a big recruiting win for the Gators, especially since they could land him over the two other major programs in the state, so Muschamp and his staff should really focus on his recruitment from here on out.

The other player they'll really want to focus on is 4-star defensive end Elijah Daniel, who is a former Clemson commitment. Daniel's top three consists of Florida, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, and he'll be a great pickup for the program that does end up bringing him into the fold. He's 6'4'' and 250 pounds, so he has good size, but he also runs a 4.70 40, according to 247Sports, so he has the speed to be very effective as a defensive end.

This is not to say that Florida can't try to bring Powell back into the fold, but the point here is that the Gators can afford to move on from the linebacker position in an effort to land some more talent.

There's no doubting that both Taylor and Daniel are talented recruits, and Florida is in good position to land one of them, if not both.

Powell's decommitment is definitely a notable recruiting loss for Florida, but Muschamp and his staff can more than make up for it with two notable recruiting wins.


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