Florida Gators Football: Summer Grades for 2015 Recruiting Class
As we enter the summer, college football recruiting is about to heat up more than ever. Kids are taking more visits, trimming their lists and some are even committing this early in the process.
Right now, the Florida Gators have seven early commitments, putting them in decent company. However, those recruits are really nothing compared to the truckload of uncommitted talent that’s out there just waiting to find the right school.
Florida will have its say with several quality players before it’s all said and done.
So, let’s take a look at the committed recruits and the possible players who may commit later on and see how Florida stacks up at each position at this very moment.
Quarterback is one of those positions that you can never stockpile enough talent. Injuries, guys who don’t pan out and transfers happen. A successful team needs several reliable quarterbacks. Realistically, Florida would be fine if it didn’t land a quarterback in this year’s class with the depth already on the roster; however, a commitment wouldn’t hurt either.
It looks like it's going to come down to the wire between Florida and Florida State with Francois, while the Gators are kind of playing second fiddle with a handful of Pac-12 schools when it comes to Jones. It wouldn't surprise me at all if both committed elsewhere after Will Grier and Treon Harris committed last year.
Florida likely has the quarterback of the future on its team already. That's going to scare away many talented signal-callers who want to play as soon as possible.
Florida missed out on Dexter Williams, who recently committed to Miami. Now, the Gators have to be focused on the versatile McCloud. He's unofficially visited the Gators many times already and has the program very much on his list. Florida State is still in the running, but the coaching staff has to be feeling good with where they're at. However, the same thing could have been said about Williams as well.
Patrick seems a lot closer to the Seminoles at this point in his recruiting process than the Gators, while the 247Sports staff sees Simmons committing to Notre Dame.
Florida could use another running back considering three of the seven on the roster are upperclassmen. And unless something crazy happens, it looks like McCloud will be that guy to add depth to the position. Still, Williams snubbing Florida for an in-state rival still stings a bit.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
It’s nice to see Florida going all-in on offensive playmakers, as three of the seven early commitments are wide receivers or tight ends. Payton knows what to do with the ball in his hands, Knight is a solid blocker and Farrier has great hands.
While all three players shouldn’t be overlooked, it’s no secret that Campbell is the real receiver the Gators need to snatch up. Campbell is arguably the best receiver in the 2015 class and thinks very highly of Florida considering he’s visited the school many times already. Campbell, who is expected to commit during the Under Armour Game, has many folks thinking he’s going to commit to the Gators.
If that’s the case, Florida gets the best possible grade. Until then, we’ll settle for a solid passing grade for now.
Commitments: Tyler Jordan
As is the case mostly every season, Florida needs to hit the ground running for offensive linemen, especially now that there’s a new offensive coordinator and system in place. Florida needs strength and athleticism on the front line more than ever.
Jordan is a player with great upside who gets off the ball quickly and uses his hands well. He can be a real steal in this class once he improves his footwork and fills out his 6’4” frame.
Florida will need more offensive linemen to jump on board, but none more than Ivey. He’s easily the best offensive lineman in this year’s class and has the potential to be an elite player. His size, quickness and strength make him the complete package and the most important player in this year’s class for the Gators.
Florida has many offensive linemen interested, including Ivey. Once some of these guys commit, this position could have the best grade of any.
Florida has had a great tradition of producing quality defensive linemen, and that doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. While the Gators haven’t landed any yet, both Jefferson and Cowart are strongly considering making their way to Gainesville.
Cowart is a physical strong-side defensive end who has visited Florida twice since March. It would be a big surprise if he doesn’t commit to his home school. Jefferson is another instate recruit who is one of the top players in this year’s class regardless of position. He’s also visited the program numerous times and appears to have Florida at the top of his list.
If the Gators can land both of those players, their defensive line will be a thing of beauty. Right now, it looks like that’s a real possibility.
Florida has a very young and inexperienced group of linebackers and could use a boost in talent as well. The four key linebackers the Gators are targeting all have the program high on their list.
Holland is one of the top outside linebackers in this class and is a player who could contribute right away. Holland told 247Sports last month that Auburn is the front-runner, but Florida is still hot on the trail. Florida was included in Thomas' top five schools, Smith said that Florida is making a strong push for his services, and Coney is a Florida kid who unofficially visited the university in March.
It's quite possible that all four linebackers could become Gators when it's all said and done. But as long as Holland commits, Florida would have hit the home run at this position.
Not sure any school has done a better job than Florida at recruiting the secondary the last couple of seasons. And that still didn’t stop the Gators from getting three early commitments from two corners and a safety.
Lewis can play either side of the ball, but he’s likely going to play cornerback for the Gators. His size and ability to make plays in the box is intriguing. Williams is another big player at 6’2”, who has terrific instincts and is a sure tackler. Julius has great ball skills and can fill many different roles along the defense with his playmaking ability.
None of those players are real household names, but they fill a purpose and can get the job done at a high level.
Florida has extended offers to McFadden, Johnson and Ali, but Johnson is the only one who has shown real interest at the moment.