Does Alabama, Florida or Clemson Have Edge for Elite 5-Star WR Ermon Lane?

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIApril 1, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Five-star wide receiver Ermon Lane is the No. 1 wideout in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and his interest list features a few programs that are worthy of his talent.

Naturally, Lane possesses a ton of offers. While he's not yet ready to start talking about a decision, a few teams have separated themselves from the rest in the early part of his recruitment, according to a report from

“I haven’t narrowed it down yet. I’m going to take some more visits and see where everything is at.”

While he has not whittled down his list, he did name three schools standing out early in Alabama, Florida and Clemson. The Crimson Tide and the Tigers are both on a tentative list of places he would like to visit the rest of the spring and on into the summer.

Florida recently hosted Lane, per the report, and Lane also mentioned LSU and Ole Miss as two other schools that he's interested in visiting. 

There's still time for Lane's recruitment to change, and he hasn't named an official leader yet, but it is worth noting that those three big-time programs are standing out for him. 

Alabama is a given considering its recent national championship runs and Nick Saban's prestige as a head coach and recruiter, so look for the Crimson Tide to remain a big option for 2014's No. 1 receiver. Clemson, while nowhere near Alabama's or Florida's level, is another interesting choice considering Dabo Swinney's ability as a recruiter, and the potential Lane could have playing in the Tigers offense.

Then there's Florida, which is one of the few programs that I consider worthy to be in the national championship conversation with Alabama. Will Muschamp has done an excellent job recruiting, and the Gators' defense projects to be elite in the next few seasons. 

As good as the defense will be, the Gators will really need to bring in some depth at wide receiver. Having a legitimate star-power, deep-threat wideout is something that Florida's offense can really use. 

Lane has the potential to be that type of receiver for Florida, so he could fill that need and more. That's not a need that Alabama has considering the Crimson Tide's depth, so if it were to hypothetically come down to Florida and Alabama, I would give the Gators the edge.

There's also the fact that as of right now, Florida is recruiting him the hardest, per

Lane came away from the trip feeling Florida is the school pushing the hardest for his pledge.

“Right now, since I went to Florida yesterday, Florida is recruiting me the hardest, then Florida State,” he stated.

When you break everything down, at least from my perspective, it seems as if Florida may have a slight unofficial edge in this recruiting race. 

Mind you, there's still a long time to go, and Lane's other visits could shake things up. Still, the Gators are one of his early leaders, and they have a ton to offer the 5-star wide receiver.

When you consider the strong push Florida is making, Muschamp's abilities as a recruiter, Florida's need for a top-notch wide receiver and the fact that Lane can stay in-state and play for a championship contender—it's hard not to like Florida in the early goings of this recruiting race.

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