Florida Football Recruiting: Gators' 2013 National Signing Day Preview
National signing day is upon us.
The Florida Gators coaching staff got to work early this recruiting cycle and tomorrow their hard work will pay off as the Gators will sign one of the most talented recruiting classes in the nation.
More important than the individual player rankings, or the overall class ranking, the Gators have used this recruiting class to fill crucial needs in 2013 and beyond. Florida has added much needed depth at linebacker and offensive line. The Gators have five wide receivers committed and all of those commits could find playing time early in their careers.
Tomorrow high school athletes across the country will sign their name to a piece of paper, tying them to a university for the next four years of their life. Let's take a look at which recruits will be heading to Gainesville and if the Gators will have any surprise commitments.
All recruit rankings are from 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
The Early Enrollees
Florida had seven players enroll early this recruiting cycle. These seven players are already on campus, working out with the team and getting a head start on the playbook.
Taylor is a Florida legacy (son of Gator great, Fred Taylor) and will compete with Matt Jones for the starting running back job.
Anzalone was set to enroll at Notre Dame before switching his commitment at the last minute. He is a very athletic outside linebacker but has the frame to add size and move inside during his career.
McMillian is an athletic, physically impressive prospect. Like Anzalone, McMillian could end up developing into an inside linebacker during his time in Gainesville.
Demarcus Robinson is the most dynamic playmaker the Gators will add this recruiting class. He is a big, fast, physical receiver who will contend for playing time early on in his career.
Rolin suffered an ACL tear during his senior season. Despite the injury, he is a big kid with a bright future at Florida.
Cummings gives the Gators another big body at defensive tackle. He will be in the rotation and should see plenty of playing time in 2013.
Ivie has the frame to add additional size and a move to defensive tackle could be in his future.
These players have pledged their commitment to the University of Florida and are all expected to sign their letter of intent on national signing day. Verbal commitments are non-binding until a player signs their national letter of intent.
Hargreaves is the most college-ready player in the class. He will contend for a starting spot right away. Even if he doesn't find a spot in the starting lineup, Gator fans can expect to see plenty of Hargreaves in 2013.
Harris is a hard-hitting safety who will have a chance to start as a freshman. Without both Matt Elam and Josh Evans, the Gators have a big hole to fill at safety and Harris believes he can fill it.
At 6'4", Fulwood is already one of the biggest receivers the Gators have on their roster. Fulwood will be given a chance to earn playing time as a freshman and he is talented enough to get on the field early.
Caleb Brantley is one of the most impressive interior linemen in the recruiting class. Losing Sharrif Floyd is a big loss for the Gators but Brantley should help fill that void in 2013.
Neal is a talented safety prospect who is good in coverage and can also play up at the line of scrimmage much like Matt Elam did during his career.
Sherit suffered an ACL injury late in his senior season. Sherit would benefit from a redshirt season in 2013 to ensure he is fully recovered from the injury.
Bailey is an interesting prospect. He played quarterback for his high school team out of necessity but will compete for playing time at wide receiver and as a return man on special teams. Due to his experience at quarterback, Bailey could be an option to take over Trey Burton's wildcat duties when Burton graduates.
Washington is an interesting player for the Gators. Washington will play nickel and safety as a freshman but could see a move to cornerback in the future.
In my opinion, Riles commitment has gone under the radar. While he may not be ready to start right away, Riles is a very fast, physical defensive end who knows how to get to the quarterback.
Johnson is a very physical player who will give the Gators much needed depth along the offensive line.
Lane bounced back from an injury that cost him most of his junior season to rush for 1,264 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. Lane is built like Ray Rice (5'8" 216) and gives the Gators great depth at running back.
Davis is a very fast outside linebacker but he will need to add more size before he can crack the starting lineup.
Dillard fills a huge need for the Gators at center. Florida doesn't really have a solid backup behind starting center, Jon Harrison. Dillard should be able to fill in as No. 2 on the depth chart as a freshman.
Thompson is a hometown kid (he attended Gainesville high school) and he comes in at a huge position of need for the Gators. Thompson is a long shot to play much on offense but he will be used on special teams.
Like Thompson, Hawkins fills a need for the Gators but will most likely spend most of his freshman season on special teams.
Jackson can play at either guard position and adds much needed depth to the offensive line.
Trenton Brown is an absolute mountain of a man. At 6'8" 350 pounds, he will give the Gators depth at both tackle positions.
Staver is a big pocket passer who will compete with Tyler Murphy and Skyler Morninhweg for the backup job at quarterback.
OL Tyler Moore, 4-star (2011)
Tyler Moore is a JUCO transfer who was formerly enrolled at Nebraska. Moore started five games as a freshman for the Cornhuskers and will compete for a starting spot at both tackle positions.
Undecided Players to Keep an Eye on
Most of Will Muschamp's job recruiting is already done. Florida's only has a few players left on their recruiting board and with the new reports coming out Tuesday that Jalen Ramsey will commit to FSU the board is getting smaller.
Last year, Florida was in the race for eight recruits who were making their decision on national signing day. They swung and missed on all eight recruits but were able to flip Dante Fowler.
The difference between last year and this year is that Florida has already wrapped up an extremely impressive class. Any additional recruits would just be icing on the cake.
Florida arrived on the scene late but were instantly moved into Clark's top three once they offered him a scholarship. Clark is a talented playmaker who could instantly give the Gators an offensive weapon.
Clark will choose between Clemson, Florida and Ohio State at 9 a.m. ET.
Bostwick would fill a huge need for the Gators. He is a perfect fit for the five technique in the Gators 3-4 front and would not only give the Gators more depth on the defensive line but could compete for playing time as a freshman.
Bostwick will choose between Florida, Miami and Alabama at 8 a.m. ET.
Reed is a former teammate of Damien Jacobs and Darious Cummings at East Mississippi Community College. Reed decommitted from Ole Miss after visiting Alabama the past two weekends.
Reed will choose between Florida and Alabama at 9 a.m ET.
Bower has been an Auburn commit since June but both Florida and LSU are still in the mix. Bower is an excellent run stopper and has a frame that could add more size later in his career.
Bower will choose between Auburn, Florida and LSU at 9:30 a.m ET.
Think there will also be two surprises for the Florida class tomorrow. #Gators— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) February 6, 2013
2013 Mock Class
Here is my 2013 mock recruiting class for the Florida Gators. This is how I think the class will look like at the end of the day.
DB Vernon Hargreaves III
RB Kelvin Taylor
LB Daniel McMillian
DL Caleb Brantley
WR Demarcus Robinson
DB Keanu Neal
DB Marcell Harris
WR Alvin Bailey
LB Matt Rolin
LB Alex Anzalone
DB Ahmad Fulwood
DB Nick Washington
RB Adam Lane
WR Marqui Hawkins
QB Max Staver
DL Jordan Sherit
DL Antonio Riles
OL Trenton Brown
OL Tyler Moore
OL Rod Johnson
OL Cameron Dillard
DL Darious Cummings
OL Octavious Jackson
LB Jarrad Davis
DL Joey Ivie
WR Chris Thompson
DL Jay-nard Bostwick
DL Tashawn Bower
DL Jarran Reed
WR James Clark
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