Gators in on 67 of Scout 300

The Florida Gators are looking for a few good men. All indications are that come signing day they are going to get more than their fair share of the nation's best players. Florida is receiving interest from more than 20 percent of the nation's top 300 players according to Scout.com recruiting analysts. Here is a breakdown of that list.

The Florida Gators must go heavy recruiting along the lines of scrimmage this year and that is where you will find the bulk of the 67 prospects from the Scout.com 300 list that are looking at the Gators. Still, the prospects are spread around by position and regionally across this great land of ours.

Starting at quarterback, the Gators assigned two a year ago, but the numbers still say they would like to get one in the class of 2011. There are two offers out right now to two of the top three quarterbacks in the country according to Scout. Gunner Kiel (No. 17 overall) of Columbus (IN) and Zeke Pike (No. 25) of Ft. Mitchell (KY) are two gunslingers that have and will visit Florida and giving the Gators a good hard look.

The Gators are looking for at least two running backs in the 2011 class. Matt Jones (No. 56) of Seffner (FL) and Mike Davis (No. 242) of Stone Mt. (GA) are already committed to the Gators and bring two four-star talents to the fold. The top rated running back in the land was just on campus in Gainesville this past weekend and Keith Marshall (No. 5) of Raleigh (NC) is one you can't let get away if you have a chance to get him.

The top talent at wide receiver that is looking at Florida seems to be coming from out of state according to this first look at the Scout 300. Dorial Beckham-Green (No. 2) of Springfield (MO) is on everyone's wish list with his height and speed freakishness. Shaq Roland (No. 18) of Lexington (SC), Jordan Payton (No. 60) of Westlake Village (CA), and Jaquay Williams (No. 125) of Franklin (GA) are three prospects that the Gators are really recruiting hard at the position.

The state of Florida will always have big time skill talent at receiver and Florida already has one commitment from the Scout 300 in Latroy Pittman (No. 281) of Citra (FL). Chris Black (No. 66) of Jacksonville (FL) is a big timer from north Florida. Avery Johnson (No. 76) of Pompano Beach (FL), Ricardo Louis (No. 147) of Miami Beach (FL), and Angelo Jean-Louis (No. 232) of Wellington (FL) are three top prospects from south Florida. Central Florida has two great ones in Marvin Bracy (No. 93) of Orlando (FL) and D'Vario Montgomery (No. 248) of Winter Park (FL).

The Gators are looking for an in-line tight end to play at the line of scrimmage and be both a blocker and receiver. Four good ones that are looking at Florida are represented in the Scout 300. Kent Taylor (No. 70) of Land O'Lakes (FL), Ricky Parks (No. 81) of Hogansville (GA). Colin Thompson (No. 92) of Warminster (PA), and Sean Price (No. 255) of Citra (FL) is a quarter that we will definitely keep our eyes on.

Maybe the most impressive group in many years at a position is the list of top talent along the offensive line. The Gators only signed two offensive linemen in 2011, so getting five is a must in 2012. Andrus Peat (No. 3) of Tempe (AZ), D.J. Humphries (No. 27) of Charlotte (NC), Vadal Alexander (No. 77) of Buford (GA), and Blake Bars (No. 292) of Nashville (TN) are a great foursome of out of state linemen looking at Florida.

However, the in-state crop of offensive linemen that Florida has a chance with is probably the best in decades and maybe ever along the offensive line. Florida commitment Jessamen Dunker (No. 29) of Boynton Beach (FL) is joined by John Theus (No. 4) of Jacksonville (FL), Avery Young (No. 13) of Palm Beach Gardens (FL), Evan Goodman (No. 141) of Lakeland (FL), Patrick Miller (No. 184) of Palm Beach Gardens (FL), and Ty Darlington (No. 202) Apopka (FL). That is as dominant of a group as you will see anywhere in the trenches.

Florida signed all of two defensive linemen in 2011 and taking six in 2012 is not out of the question. Three defensive tackles are on the agenda and the Gators are off to a good start with commitments from Jafar Mann of Stone Mt. (GA) who will be on the list somewhere down the road and Omari Phillips (No. 190) of Venice (FL) who is also unheralded in his own right.

The Gators are likely to look out of state for their last commitment at DT. There are quite a few great ones that are possibilities at this time. Jarron Jones (No. 12) of Rochester (NY), Eddie Goldman (No. 14) of Washington DC, Jonathan Taylor (No. 73) of Millen (GA), Justin Shanks (No. 97) of Prattville (AL), and Vincent Valentine (No. 98) of Edwardsville (IL) are all Scout 300 Top 100 players that the Gators would love to land.

Florida is also in desperate need at defensive end and recently landed the commitment of Quinteze Williams (No. 294) of Tyrone (GA). At least two more ends will have to sign if the Gators are going to meet their needs.

In-state it is a pretty group of defensive ends led off by current Florida State commitment Dante Fowler (No. 39) of St. Petersburg (FL). Jelani Hamilton (No. 61) of Ft. Lauderdale (FL), Tyriq McCord (No. 216) of Tampa (FL), and Leonard Williams (No. 262) of Daytona Beach (FL) are the others that will be recruited throughout the process from Florida. Out of state, there is another quartet of strong players looking at Florida. Noah Spence (No. 6) of Harrisburg (PA), Jordan Jenkins (No. 43) of Hamilton (GA), Chris Wormley (No. 112) of Toledo (OH), and Jonathan Bullard (No. 257) Shelby (NC) is a very strong group to recruit from at this point.

The Gators signed one linebacker in 2011 and so they are looking to take 3-4 in 2012. A solid pick up last month from Jeremi Powell (No. 282) of Largo (FL) means they need to sign 2-3 more. Noor Davis (No. 103) of The Villages (FL) is a special athlete that has visited the Gators already. He and Powell are likely the top two linebackers in the state this year.

The south (outside of Florida) has a quartet of linebackers that interest in the Gators and are among the nation's top 300 players. Kwon Alexander (No. 15) of Oxford (AL), Eli Harold (No. 135) of Virginia Beach (VA), Dillon Lee (No. 228) of Buford (GA), and Raphael Kirby (No. 260) of Stone Mt. (GA) are all highly regarded and would be welcome in the orange and blue.

The Gators are also looking north for some help at linebacker as well and Deaysean Rippy (No. 101) of McKees Rocks (PA), Royce Jenkins-Stone (No. 105) of Detroit (MI), and Kaiwan Lewis (No. 161) of Hammonton (NJ) are all being recruited strongly by the Florida staff.

Depending on how the spring and fall check out the Gators may look to sign two safeties. With that in mind, there is a very strong recruiting board to look at and most come from the Scout 300.

In-state, Nelson Agholor (No. 57) of Tampa (FL), Travis Blanks (No. 162) of Tallahassee (FL), Marcus Maye (No. 196) of Melbourne (FL), Deon Bush (No. 222) of Miami (FL), and Jordan Diggs (No. 240) of ft. Myers (FL) are a solid group that Florida will likely take at least one from.

Out of state, there is still a quality group to recruit from. Shaquille Thompson (No. 11) of Sacramento (CA), Stefon Diggs (No. 16) of Olney (MD), Deion Bonner (No. 128) of Columbus (GA), and Rhaheim Ledbetter (No. 300) Shelby (NC)are all special athletes in their own right.

Finally, the Gators will lose two senior cornerbacks and have already moved Josh Shaw from corner to safety in the offseason. Taking two is what they want and there is a very solid group to look at that is also looking at the Gators.

The nation's top corner prospect according to Scout is Brian Poole (No. 41) of Bradenton (FL) and he has been to Gainesville a few times. Also taking a look at the Gators are Ronald Darby (No. 47) of Oxon Hill (MD), Geno Smith (No. 54) of Atlanta (GA), and Tracy Howard (No. 67) of Miramar (FL). The later has been to Gainesville a few times as well.

It is going to be a pretty full size class for the Gators in 2012 and deriving the board from the nation's best prospects will lead it to being one of the top classes in the country. They appear to be well on their way to doing that.


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