The Florida Gators' 2015 recruiting class has gotten off to a rocky start, but there were plenty of possible future players representing at this year’s edition of The Opening.
Many of the nation’s top recruits gathered over the week to show exactly why they are ranked as highly as they are.
Unlike other schools, Florida didn’t receive a commitment from anybody during these practices, but several top targets solidified their rankings, which should make the coaching staff push that much harder for their services.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the recent event.
More Reasons to Love George Campbell
George Campbell is a must-get player for Florida this year. He's not just an elite athlete; he’s arguably the top player at wide receiver, a position the Gators need to address in the worst way.
Well, Campbell did just about everything to show that the hype is real, including running the 40-yard-dash in 4.36 seconds. According to Student Sports, that was the fifth-fastest time of any player who participated in the event.
Josh Newberg of 247Sports provides proof of the run:
George Campbell 40 at Nike SPARQ https://t.co/JjQv1VSOZ1— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) July 8, 2014
Yeah. That’s what a 6’3” guy running abnormally fast looks like.
There were some minor concerns with Campbell, such as the fact that he still has a hard time catching the ball cleanly. He drops passes at times, and his receptions look a little awkward. But that’s nothing we didn’t already know.
And if whatever college signs George Campbell can get him to consistently catch it, watch out. #Monster— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) July 10, 2014
Campbell’s raw talent and elite skill set were on full display this week.
Martez Ivey Also Held His Own
While Martez Ivey’s slow 40 time of 5.27 seconds may worry some Florida fans, it shouldn’t be that much of an issue. Ivey doesn’t play slowly on the field, and he is actually one of the more athletic offensive linemen in this class.
If you’re able to overlook that number, you’ll realize that Ivey had a solid practice. Ivey was often lined up against some of the best defensive players in the country, and he didn’t lose many of those battles.
Here’s Ivey against 5-star recruit Josh Sweat:
Josh Sweat and Martez Ivey going head to head. Nothing sounds more like football than when the pads are bac... https://t.co/Z8UGshQHHr— The Opening (@TheOpening2014) July 10, 2014
The last play showed that Ivey is still a bit raw and clearly needs to improve his technique. He also could bulk up his smaller frame. However, his upside is tremendous, and he played well enough to be named the Offensive Line MVP of The Opening.
The Florida coaching staff has to be thrilled with some of its top targets performing at the highest level.
Running back Ray-Ray McCloud III is going to make his announcement on July 28, and he already knows which school it’s going to be, according to 247Sports (subscription required).
"I think I know where my heart wants to go," McCloud said. "I'm still going to take my time with it, (but) just from Day 1 when I talked to those coaches and went to that campus it just felt right to me."
McCloud has visited Florida numerous times, and Florida is the last school he spoke to, according to the report.
"I talked to coach Muschamp two nights ago," he said. "He was just asking how I was doing [at The Opening], because he knew I got sick and stuff, was throwing up the day I got here. Just a catching up thing."
In probably the most interesting story of the event, defensive lineman Byron Cowart named Oregon and Florida his top two schools. While there was talk about Cowart and CeCe Jefferson teaming up, they’re trying to add another player to the package deal, according to 247Sports (subscription required).
"We're trying to get Martez (Ivey)," Cowart said. "I would love to play with him. We're just trying to get those guys in a package. It's not more 'come to this school,' because we don't know where we're going to go yet, but it's more just talking it over."
Of course, all three players are high on Florida's list, and Florida is considered a favorite to land them. While things could certainly change overnight, landing those three players would easily give Florida a top-10 class.