College Football Recruiting: 4-Star CB Nick Waisome Commits To Florida
Florida came up short in the biggest recruiting sweepstakes on Wednesday when James Wilder Jr. committed to FSU, but they where able to quickly cover their losses with the addition of 4-star cornerback Nick Waisome.
Waisome is ranked as the No. 8 cornerback on Scout and the No. 11 cornerback on Rivals. He becomes the most high-profile defensive back of the Gators' 2011 recruiting class and while he's not of the same caliber of WIlder, he's still one of the top players in the nation.
"It [the recruiting process] has been an eye-opening experience," said Waisome during his commitment annoncement. "I never thought I would be in this position. I have come a long way. Making a decision on [national] TV is pretty big. I am pleased to be in this position."
Waisome's announcement was broadcast on ESPNU and the young man looked confident and proud of his decision.
"It's a great program with some great coaches," he said. "That is where I want to spend the next four years of my life."
Here's the breakdown of the situation in Gainesville.
What Waisome Brings To The Table: Scouting Report and Highlights
Waisome is a notch behind the truly elite options, such as Doran Grant and Leroy Scott, but he's being pursued just as heavily, and for good reason.
Lockdown corners are a very rare breed, and Waisome has the potential to be one. His man-to-man coverage skills are really impressive, as are his anticipation and instincts.
He has the body-type of a sprinter and the the speed to match. Waisome moves extremely well on the field, and his change of direction skills are right up there with the best of the 2011 class.
At 5'10" and 170 lbs, he's definitely undersized and struggles in run-support, but there are issues with bigger, physical receivers as well; it may be a good idea for Waisome to redshirt and put some meat on his bones.
Florida's 2011 Recruiting Class
Five-Star Commitments: 1
Four-Star Commitments: 7
Three-Star Commitments: 5
Florida's been picking up steam lately, bringing in eight new recruits over the last couple months to triple the size of their class through May. That was enough to bring them from a program behind the game to a fringe top-10 class.
With five-star quarterback Jeff Driskel headlining the group and very promising defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan just a notch behind him, the Gators might not be having their usual recruiting year, but they're still up there with the top tier.
Missing out on James Wilder was a tough blow, but Waisome is a great consolation prize and there's still plenty of talent out there to try and bring aboard.
Where Does Waisome Fit In?
Janoris Jenkins will be taking over as the top cornerback for Florida now that Joe Haden is with the Cleveland Browns. The junior will be joined by senior Moses Jenkins with a couple of sophomores in Adrian Bushell and Jeremy Brown backing them up.
Depending on how well Jenkins plays in 2010, the Gators might be out both starting corners after the season, leaving Bushell and Brown, who will both be juniors, as the expected starters in 2011.
Considering the Gators brought in three 4-star cornerbacks in their No. 2 ranked recruiting class for 2010, there will be quite a bit of competition for backup time.
Waisome is a talented player, but one thing Florida isn't short on is talented defensive backs, and we're not even including the safeties on the roster.
He won't even be given a chance to compete for a starting spot until 2013 and is somewhat undersized as is; that spells a redshirt year on the horizon for Waisome.
In the meantime, the Florida native should be a good recruiter for this team and that's something that can't be discounted.
Up Next For The Gators: Tim Jernigan and Tony Steward
Tim Jernigan and Tony Steward, two of the top prospects from the state of Florida, remain uncommitted and both include the Gators among their top choices.
At 6'2", 275 lbs, Jernigan is an athletic big man who moves extremely well for his size and can get into the backfield in a hurry. He's a disruptive force who recorded 131 tackles including 27 for loss as a junior and commands a constant double-team.
He has all the tools to become an elite college defensive lineman. He's strong, stays low to the ground, drives with his legs, and has a relentless motor. On top of that, he has a solid array of power and finesse moves to shed blocks and penetrate the line of scrimmage.
At 6'2" and 225 lbs, Steward is one of the most physically imposing prospects in the country.
The kid is built like a body builder, with hardly an ounce of fat. He's incredibly strong and is one of the most athletic prospects in the country at any position, let alone linebacker.
Based on the way he's built, and his natural ability to sniff out the football, Steward is likely to make a big impact as a freshman.
So while the Gators might have missed on one prospect on Wednesday, the Waisome commitment might have drawn them one step closer to two more.