Power Ranking the Top 10 Recruits from Florida for 2014
Florida is such a talent-rich state annually in college football recruiting that a program can fill most its class up with Sunshine State prospects and still build top 25 teams for the future. The state is home to some of the greatest players to play the game and every year Florida churns out not just good talent, but exceptional talent.
This 2014 recruiting cycle likely is not to be any different from the norm and Florida is home many of the best recruits in the country. It's always tough to rank players in this state because there's really not much of a drop off through the rankings.
Yet, this read will do just that and rank the top 10 recruits in Florida in the 2014 class. Remember, this state is such a great state for talent that many of these recruits aren't just state- or regional-level prospects, but rather they're being recruited nationally.
Here's the top recruits from Florida for 2014.
10. Mason Cole, OG
Cole is a rough and rugged OG prospect who plays in the trenches at 6'4", 285 pounds. He shows solid snap quickness, good physicality at the point of attack and plays tough.
He could get some looks to snap at center and Cole has the versatility to play either RG or LG. He's got some foot quickness to him and his strength can be impressive.
Cole is headed to Michigan.
9. D.J. Gillins, QB
Florida will put out some solid QB prospects from time to time and Gillins is one of the best the state has to offer in 2014.
He's a tall 6'3" signal-caller who weighs 190 pounds. Gillins has dual-threat abilities, as he can beat a defense as a passer and as a runner. Gillins' arm strength allows to power balls downfield to targets and his good speed must be accounted for.
He's committed to Texas Tech.
8. Dillon Bates, LB
If you're a fan of classic linebackers then you'll love Bates, as the 6'3" 'backer weighs 218 pounds and is the son of former Cowboys' DB Bill Bates.
The younger Bates has good instincts, locates the ball quickly and has great quickness in pursuit to the football. He has the strength, power and tackling force of a thumper, as Bates is a big-time hitter.
He's got over 30 offers from many powerhouse programs.
7. Travonte Valentine, DT
At 6'4" and nearly 300 pounds, Valentine has imposing size and bulk. He could get up to the 315-320 pound range in college very easily.
Valentine can come off the ball hard, work into a blocker's body and press himself clean with strength to make stops vs. the run. He also flashes gap-penetrating ability and short area quickness.
He was committed to Florida, but has backed off that pledge. Keep an eye on schools like FSU, Oklahoma and Tennessee with this one.
6. Khairi Clark, DT
The first thing that jumps at you about Clark is his size. This is a really large guy who stands about 6'2" and weighs over 320 pounds.
At that size, you'd imagine Clark wold be just some DT who eats up space, clogs gaps and leans on offensive linemen, but he does more than that.
Clark has good snap quickness, plays with a powerful base and can slip blocks pretty well for such a wide player. Miami could be tough to beat.
5. Ermon Lane, WR
Lane is the top WR prospect in the state and maybe the country for 2014. He's between 6'2" and 6'3" and weighs almost 200 pounds.
He shows good release quickness, solid deep speed and is above average in coming out of his breaks with quickness. Lane has strong hands and his ball skills include the ability to catch in crowds.
Alabama, Florida, Miami and Florida State are his core four, says 247Sports.
4. Joseph Yearby, RB
Yearby is one half of what is perhaps the best duo of RBs in the country. He's 5'9", 191 pounds and has good speed, quickness, elusiveness and deceptive strength.
Yearby can slash through run alleys, elude defenders in tight space and has good speed to skate upfield. He can help out as a receiver out of the backfield and has good instincts.
He's going to Miami.
3. Dalvin Cook, RB
The other half of the duo I mentioned Yearby was apart of is Cook, a 5'11", 192-pounder that shares carries with Yearby.
From the Miami area, Cook has good elusiveness and is an inch or two taller than Yearby is. Cook has the ability to be a bell-cow back, but he may be used to a two-back system.
With his good speed, vision, awareness and ability to elude tacklers, Cook should be a hit at Clemson.
2. KC McDermott, OT
McDermott is an OT prospect that is a wanted man not only because he's 6'6" and 285 pounds, but because he's also very technically sound.
He plays with a good base, has a natural knee bend to his frame and is rock solid fundamentally. He hits his mark on his punches as a pass-blocker, stays patient and has good movement skills for a big man.
McDermott stays balance, has a little power to his game and executes his assignments well. Notre Dame and Miami could be the last two standing before he decides.
1. Sony Michel, RB
Some may grade Michel higher than Leonard Fournette, as Michel is that good and has been playing against good Florida high school competition since a young age.
Today, he's a 5'11" RB prospect who weighs 205 pounds and is close to being a complete back. Michel can run power and strength or use his speed and quickness to make defenses look bad. He can break tackles and has good hands in the passing game.
Georgia and Notre Dame, along with the three Florida schools figure to be the major players for Michel.
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, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.