10 2014 Elite Recruits Florida Is Still After

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IOctober 16, 2013

10 2014 Elite Recruits Florida Is Still After

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    Florida is in the middle of assembling another great recruiting class. They have the No. 12 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings and would have an impressive group if they stopped today.

    However, head coach Will Muschamp has a staff of great recruiters, and they are going after several additional elite prospects. Florida always has a talented roster, and the Gators certainly are adding to it with their 2014 recruiting efforts.

    A pair of defensive ends are among Florida's top targets, while a pair of Louisiana recruits are also wanted in Gainesville. Two elite cornerbacks and an in-state prospect are on this list as well.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Gerald Willis, DL

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    Gerald Willis is a 5-star defensive tackle prospect who is from New Orleans. He is 6'3", 275 pounds and would be an interesting fit in the Gators' hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense.

    Willis has a great surge at the snap, can work his way through creases and makes a lot of plays in the offensive backfield. He can play strong-side defensive end or defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme. He will be in Gainesville according to Chad Simmons of Scout.com (subscription required), yet LSU and Texas A&M could be ahead. 

David Sharpe, OT

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    Although he is raw and has a lot of growing to do as a player, David Sharpe is still considered a 5-star recruit on 247Sports' own board.

    He is from Jacksonville, so he can be considered a local prospect for the Gators.

    Sharpe, who is 6'6" and 288 pounds, has incredible athleticism for a player of his size. He moves well, has great agility, quick feet and bends naturally at the knees. Sharpe has so much natural athletic ability that he could develop into an elite left tackle in college. He just needs more reps, technique refinement and seasoning.

    Georgia and Clemson are Florida's main competitors, says 247Sports


Clifton Garrett, LB

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    Florida has the ability to recruit nationally, and that is evident by its pursuit of Clifton Garrett, a 5-star linebacker from Illinois.

    At 6'2" and nearly 230 pounds, Garrett's physical style of play would be a great fit with the Gators. He has explosive short-area quickness, is tough as nails at the point of attack and possesses solid instincts. Garrett finds the football in a flash and has improved his ability to play in space. He would be a great inside 'backer for the Gators but also has some ability to play on the flanks.

    Florida is in the mix, but it appears to be behind LSU, per 247Sports

Jalen Tabor, CB

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    The Gators will need to replace Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson soon, so pairing another talented cornerback with freshman stud Vernon Hargreaves III will be a recruiting objective.

    Although Florida has a few talented cornerback commitments, none are better than 5-star prospect Jalen Tabor. At 6'1" and 182 pounds, the Washington D.C. native is great in press-man coverage. He can hold his own on the boundary, has solid speed and great ball skills. Tabor also is not afraid to peel off the perimeter to support the run. 

    He will sign with Florida or Maryland, according to 247Sports

Raekwon McMillan, LB

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    At 6'2" and 242 pounds, Raekwon McMillan would be a perfect fit as an inside linebacker in Florida's defense. He has the size, strength and talent to contribute on first and second down as a true freshman.

    McMillan, who is from Georgia, has great ball-location skills in the box. He fires into alleys, plays stout at the point of attack and sheds with power. The Peach State prospect also has good athleticism, range and can be effective when blitzing.

    The Gators have some ground to make up, as Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson are ahead, with Georgia also factoring into the race, via 247Sports

Jamal Adams, S

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    Jamal Adams is a 5-star defensive back who can play free safety, strong safety and even cornerback in a pinch. The Texan can also play outside linebacker, rover and flashes the skills to help as a nickel cornerback, if asked.

    Adams, who is 6'0" and 199 pounds, has wonderful speed, explosiveness and instincts. He sees the entire field, has great awareness and bursts to the ball to make plays. Adams can patrol with range on the third level to undercut passing lanes and also is willing to support the run.

    He is expected to sign with Florida over Texas, per the experts at 247Sports

Adoree' Jackson, CB/ATH

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    An accomplished sprinter and long jumper on the track and field circuit, 5-star prospect Adoree' Jackson could play football in the fall and sprint in the spring in college.

    He stands nearly 5'10", weighs 182 pounds and has rare athletic ability. As a cornerback, Jackson needs to refine his technique but has natural instincts, outstanding quickness and the strength to cover bigger receivers. He is lethal with the ball in his hands and likely will get serious consideration as a receiver or running back.

    Florida is on his radar, according to 247Sports

Speedy Noil, WR/ATH

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    The Gators would be wise to continue their pursuit of 5-star recruit Speedy Noil. He's a dynamic talent who has the potential to be a true difference maker on offense.

    Noil is 5'10.5", 176 pounds and can practically fly with the ball. He has spent most of his career playing quarterback, but receiver is likely his college destination. Noil has exceptional explosiveness, easily dodges defenders and has great long speed. He'll need to learn how to properly run routes, but his athleticism and quickness lead one to believe he could run a full route tree.

    The Louisiana native has Florida in the mix, along with LSU, Texas A&M and a few others, says 247Sports

Lorenzo Carter, DE

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    Lorenzo Carter is a 5-star defensive end from Georgia who could play stand-up outside linebacker in college. At 6'5" and 232 pounds, he has great athleticism and solid strength.

    Carter has a quick first step and will overrun a play or two on his way to the quarterback. However, he has the agility and range to still make stops on his side. Carter can convert speed to power as a rusher, has a great surge to finish on the passer and will be lethal when he adds to his arsenal.

    Florida, Georgia and Alabama are his main favorites, according to 247Sports

Da'Shawn Hand, DE

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    At 6'4" and 254 pounds, Da'Shawn Hand is a powerful 5-star defensive end who gets the job done with strength. The Virginia native has above-average quickness at the snap but is an athletic defender who plays stout at the point of attack.

    Hand can play strong-side defensive end in a 4-3, rush-linebacker in a 3-4 and also could be on track to grow into a 5-technique defensive lineman. He uses his hands well, can set the edge versus running plays and will be ready to play as a true freshman.

    He will visit Florida on November 8th, says 247Sports. However, many experts at 247Sports expect Hand to sign with Michigan. 

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Use the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map to locate and track the elite prospects Florida is after. This is a mobile-ready tool that is a unique way for recruiting fans to get information on top prospects!

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.