Will Muschamp looks to finish strong with his first recruiting class in Gainesville.
The door on the 2011 recruiting class is slowly closing and Will Muschamp is working hard to finish strong. Currently, Muschamp has been able to hold together the class Urban Meyer and staff put together, however, there are still a few openings that remain in a class that will ultimately define it.
Jeff Driskel has enrolled at the University of Florida along with A.C. Leonard, Mike Blakely and a host of others. Driskel has received plenty of attention and rightfully so; he is the National Player of the year. However, before we get too far ahead of ourselves with the Driskel love, we should remember that Johnny Brantley also came to Gainesville with plenty of awards and national attention.
The Gators current class has quite a few openings in it and with the players who are still on the board, Will Muschamp can make or break this class based on the push he makes going into the next few weeks.
With a lot of talent remaining uncommitted, below is a list of players who will help Muschamp’s first class in Gainesville one of the top classes in the country.
Curtis Grant – Grant is the best linebacker on the board. With great speed and size, he is a prototypical SEC linebacker. The current linebacker situation at Florida is not terrible. Jelani Jenkins and Jon Bostic are going to be terrific; however, the depth at the position is a weakness. There is some talent on the roster; however, it’s likely there will be quite a bit of shuffling in the roster to provide the needed depth. Grant is certain to provide immediate impact at linebacker. Muschamp has suggested Grant is his main concern and is recruiting him as a top priority. With Grant scheduled to visit Gainesville this weekend, GatorNation may know something soon.
Stephone Anthony – Anthony is built much like Grant and could be just as good. As mentioned above, the talent and depth is needed at linebacker. Landing one would be great, but grabbing both Anthony and Grant would immediately provide depth and talent at the linebacker position, and immediately make it a team strength.
Jeoffrey Pagan – Pagan is listed as a 272 pound defensive end, which suggests he could easily bulk up enough to play on the interior line, if needed. He is also quick and could provide a strong rush from the outside if he does stay at end. Pagan took Florida off his list at one point, but with the current staff coming together, he has listed them back in the top five. The idea of playing for Dan Quinn, who has a lot of NFL experience, is intriguing to Pagan, so if Quinn could play a role in his recruitment it could prove vital.
Lamar Dawson – The chances of landing three of these linebackers listed might be slim, but it has not persuaded Florida from staying away from them. Dawson is a fast linebacker and Florida is ultimately competing with Charlie Strong at Louisville for his services. He could still end up in Lexington, since he is only 30 minutes down the road from the University of Kentucky, but Dawson is use to competing for Championships at Boyle County. If he wants to play around other terrific talent, Gainesville may be his best fit.
Marcus Roberson – Roberson has terrific height for a corner and would add some height to a short secondary. Roberson would probably not make an immediate impact, but with Janoris Jenkins coming back, he would not necessarily need to. The Gators currently have a great list of defensive backs on the roster that have shown promise. With the addition of Roberson, the Gators can continue to rotate players in and out and gain the needed experience.
Ray Drew – Drew is probably the least likely on this list to actually become a Gator. He has tremendous size and talent and would be a great asset to the Gators, however, he is leaning towards Auburn, and Georgia is still planning on making a push. Still, if Drew does reconsider the Gators, he could be playing around a very talented front, which would allow him to excel.
Sammy Watkins – Watkins was committed to Clemson, but has recently been swayed towards Gainesville, perhaps by his brother Jaylen. If you watched the second half of the Outback Bowl, you saw his brother Jaylen Watkins play plenty in the secondary. The idea of the two of them playing together could persuade Sammy to Gainesville. Sammy has good size for a receiver and could be a nice target in a pro-style offense.
Muschamp does not have to land all of these players to finish strong, but there is a good chance he and his current staff could land four or five of them. If that happens, do not be surprised if the Gators finish with a top five recruiting class once again.