Florida is one of the best programs in the country for a number of reasons, but in-state recruiting is the single cornerstone that ties all of it together.
This program has continued its dominance in the SEC East under Will Muschamp, and this year it is looking for championships. For this program to continue its rise, the coaching staff has to seal off the state and pull in as much Florida talent as possible.
This is a talented year for the state as usual, and the Gators are looking good with a number of the top athletes in the sunshine state. Here are the five that Florida has to pull to Gainesville.
The loss of Mike Gillislee will be a big gap to fill this season for the Gators, and heading into the 2014 recruiting cycle they will be looking to add another star back to the roster.
Sony Michel is a consensus 5-star, and is the No. 11 player (via 247Sports) in the country for 2014. He is high on Georgia and Notre Dame, but Florida will make a solid push for the states No. 1 talent before signing day.
Kelvin Taylor is an incoming freshman at tailback for the Gators, but there will be a lot of departing talent by the time that Michel is ready to hit the field.
This is the one recruit that Florida needs to pull in the 2014 class.
The Gators are losing a host of playmakers at receiver during the 2014 turnover, but the positive news is that Florida is packed with top talent at the position.
Ermon Lane is the country’s best at the position, and is rated as the No. 30 overall recruit. Lane is a consensus 5-star (via 247Sports).
At this point, Lane is listening to all three major Florida schools, and Alabama is also trying to make a push. It could go in any direction as recruiting always does, but Florida should be in the picture on signing day.
Big, fast and athletic linemen are tough to find, but they seem to always live in abundance in the south.
The Gators have found an in-state player that fits those traits in Travonte Valentine. He is a consensus 4-star, and the No. 4 defensive tackle (via 247Sports) in the 2014 class.
This is a big need for the Florida program heading into the 2014 recruiting cycle, and landing a star like Valentine would be a huge swing for this class.
Muschamp has built a strong defense in the past few seasons, and Valentine would be a solid addition to a nasty Gators front four.
The loss of Jon Bostic was big this year, but the Gators have a lot of options on the roster to help. Heading into 2014, they will be looking to add at least one more star to the linebacker corps to help shore up a lighter group.
Kain Daub would be an excellent addition to the Gators' lineup, but at this point, he appears to be a long way from taking a hard look at the Florida program.
Daub is a consensus 5-star and lists Florida State and Alabama as his two schools of interest (via 247Sports).
Will Muschamp and his staff have a long way to go before they secure a signature from this top linebacker, but the effort will not be lost until signing day. Expect Florida to enter the picture before the end of the fall.
Treon Harris is the No. 10 athlete and the No. 113 overall recruit (via 247Sports) in the country for the 2014 class. He is a multi-talented star who will serve the Gators program in a number of capacities should he land in Gainesville.
He is currently playing quarterback in high school, but he has the talent to play another position once he makes it to the collegiate level.
The needs at receiver are obvious, and Harris would be a great addition to this class to help fill that gap for the Gators.