Closing Time; Muschamp Needs His Game Face

There are a lot of clichés in recruiting but one of the truer ones is coined from an old Auburn coach. Pat Dye at one time referred to the higher profile recruits and the fact they take their time more often than not when picking a school when he said, "The big dogs walk late". For the Gators who usually don't care for dogs, they indeed are walking late this year.

The Gators are currently sitting in fifth place nationally in the Scout.com rankings and have a chance to really move right up the board on signing day. With two days left, there are basically 11 prospects left with what we would call varying degrees of ability to land in the Gators' 2012 class.

The ‘Big Dogs' alluded to earlier include five-star receiver Stefon Diggs, four-star receiver Nelson Agholor, and four-star ends Dante Fowler and Leonard Williams. Five-star offensive lineman Avery Young is still considering the Gators as well as three-star lineman Jake Meador. Five-star linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons is still looking UF's way as well as three-star backer Schyler Miles. Five-star cornerback Tracy Howard is still considering Florida also.

It is going to make for an exciting finish and probably one not for the faint of heart if you follow college football recruiting.

At 9 a.m. is probably when some of the real drama begins for Gators and their rival schools alike. Five-star Josh Harvey-Clemons, the sensational linebacker for the Lowndes County program in Valdosta is set to pick between Florida, Florida State, and Georgia although one of the latter is expected to be eliminated Tuesday evening at a ceremony in Valdosta. The Gators made up a lot of ground on the other two in the last three months of the process, so Gator fans should stay tuned to the television announcement for that one.

Miramar's Tracy Howard will go on national television a short while later and make a decision and his recruitment seemingly heated up overnight a couple of weeks ago. Florida, Florida State, and Miami are all in a tango over Howard and surprisingly Miami seems to have grabbed the lead for the physical cover corner. Florida, who seemed to be the leader coming in, refuses to lie down and let Howard go and this one will end early in the day and well for one of Florida's big three.

Over in St. Petersburg around 10 a.m. another announcement is expected. Despite comments to the contrary, it appears that Florida State commitment Dante Fowler will make a final decision between FSU and the Gators at a conference at his school. This one has had more drama than any in this class and will be certainly one to watch as the day unfolds.

Jake Meador is the big offensive lineman from Indiana that the Gators got on late in the process. It appears at this time that Meador is heading elsewhere, but we will have to see what transpires shortly after 10:00 a.m. with a guy that would certainly help out at a need position.

A couple of hours later in nearby Tampa two teammates from Tampa's Berkley Prep will be deciding between Florida and another school. Four-star receiver Nelson Agholor is a huge recruit for Florida in desperate need of play making receivers. Agholor is getting the full court press from Southern Cal and the Trjoans may very well be the leader. This one is too close to call in my book but we should all find out around noon on national television where he is going.

Right at the same time, linebacker / fullback Schyler Miles, Agholor's teammate, will choose between Florida and Kansas. The Jayhawks made a late move on Miles after Charlie Weis left the Gators to become the head coach at Kansas. Weis has done a good job of recruiting Miles as a fullback in his offense and they may very well be the team to beat. Florida wants Miles as a linebacker.

Around 2:30 pm Five-star offensive tackle Palm Beach Garden's Avery Young will make his decision. Young has four teams still vying for his services with Georgia, Auburn, and Miami in there with the Gators. Florida also has a huge need on the offensive line and Young is one of the best in the nation at his position. The gators seemingly have made up a lot of ground and have a really good shot with Young on Wednesday.

We don't have a scheduled time for Leonard Williams to announce a decision, but the big defensive end from Daytona Beach Mainland is expected to decide between Florida and USC on Wednesday. The California native has lived in Florida for a few years, but heading back to California would not be a big deal for him, This one seems pretty close right now and too close to call.

The last big dog in the picture won't sign anywhere on Wednesday. The nation's number two receiver Stefon Diggs has decided to postpone his signing until February 10. Florida is battling Ohio State, Maryland, and Auburn for Diggs and they all will have to wait to see what happens. In all it will be a big day for Florida who has enough prospects on the board to make it a very suspenseful day and one that will definitely see more get away than they land. We still feel it will be a big day for the Gators.


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