Muschamp's Class An Odd Mix

If Will Muschamp's first recruiting class was a performance in "American Idol" I suspect Randy Jackson's reaction would be something like this: "Dude, it was just aww-ITE for me (sorry if I misspelled his made up word). There were some good parts but it really didn't come together at all. You can do better."

Will Muschamp did accomplish a great deal in his first six weeks on the job. Most importantly he showed integrity by living up to the scholarship offers that were out there from Urban Meyer and the preceding class. He held most of the early commitments together and put together a class that adds talent to the Florida roster and addresses some needs for 2011 and beyond.

The first thing that jumps out at me is the fact that six of Florida's 18 newcomers are defensive backs. Assuming Jabari Gorman and Chris Johnson are safeties that means four of the signees will play corner. It's not often you find a team that signs a third of its class for the secondary.

Florida's class is glaringly weak in the trenches where the Gators added just two linemen on each side of the ball and one linebacker. Normally you would want a minimum of 10 players in those three areas.

Otherwise the class worked out pretty well. The Gators added significant talent at quarterback, fullback (a newly important spot), tight end and wide receiver. There's also reason to hope/believe that Kyle Christy will step into the rather large empty shoes left behind by Chas Henry. The class certainly has growth potential with John Jenkins, Jacoby Brissett and perhaps Curt Maggitt still out there. Adding a DT and LB in particular would significantly improve the balance in this year's class.


None of this should be viewed as criticism of Muschamp or his staff. Transitional classes are always a great challenge and the end results are arely good. I've seen four of them prior to this one and have a feeling this might turn out to be the best of the four, though time will tell.

The Gators were able to keep the vast majority of its verbal commitments on hand, headlined by QB Jeff Driskel, WR JaJuan Story and the aforementioned defensive back collection. Muschamp got/kept the Gators in the mix for a number of top prospects, but couldn't close the deal in most cases. In many ways the keys guys in evaluating this class will be the guys who Muschamp and company added to the mix --- Jabari Gorman, Marcus Roberson and Tevin Westbrook.

Florida looks to be about five scholarships light for the 2011 season, but as Muschamp pointed out in his news conference, the Gators had a small (10-11) senior class so going light this time around will allow the Gators to sign a full class next year when the staff is entrenched and traditionally positioned for a big year on the recruiting trail.

For now, know that Muschamp has his priorities in order and made the right calls in honoring previous offers and refusing to go further down the list of prospects in order to add to the class for appearances sake. He doesn't need much immediate help from this group. In fact all he really needs is for this 18-member class to be better than Urban Meyer's 2005 group, Ron Zook's class of 2002 or Steve Spurrier's 1990 signees.

We'll examine those possibilities in a day or two.

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