Breaking Down the UF Numbers

As the Gators close in on May they have nine verbal commitments for the class of 2014. The defense last season was outstanding but the offense at times struggled. As expected the current recruiting class reflects where the Gators need the most help moving forward.

Coach Muschamp has six verbal commitments on the offensive side of the ball with Quarterback Will Grier, Runningback Dalvin Cook, Wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson, Offensive tackle Ben Knox, Offensive Guards Travaris Dorsey & Joseph Paul. The Gators have three defensive verbal commitments with Defensive tackle Anthony Moten, Outside linebacker Christian Miller and cornerback Duke Dawson.

Let's start with the offensive line position. Three in the fold as I mentioned above with Knox, Dorsey and Paul. Expect the final number to be five on NSD. Players with offers from the Gators would include the following Alex Bars, Andy Bauer, Orlando Brown, Juwan Bushell-Beatty, Jermaine Eluemunor, Bentley Spain, Donell Stanley, Christian Taylor and Cameron Robinson. Two to keep in play at this time are Denzel Ward and David Sharpe. Andrew Shofner has a chance if he comes to camp.

The quarterback position is good to go with Will Grier. As of today Coach Pease is not planning on taking another signal caller in the class of 2014.

The Fullback position is on hold at this moment.

This year's class received a great boost with the addition of Dalvin Cook out of Miami (FL) Miami Central High School. The Gators are still recruiting various backs including Nick Chubb, Royce Freeman, Jonathan Hilliman, Tony James, Joe Mixon, Racean Thomas, Donte Williams and Darrel Williams. I think they are in a difficult position and landing two will not be easy but they have the spot for a second running back. The two running backs near the top of the wish list are Royce Freeman and Bo Scarborough.

The Gators would like to land a Tight end prospect this class and Jeb Blazevich, DeAndre Goolsby, Ravian Pierce, Tyler Luatua were all some names on the board. Adly Enoicy and if he ends up at the position Moral Stephens has a chance with the Gators moving forward. The Tight end prospect that I think has the best chance right now is the one Coach Pease is visiting tomorrow, Chase Blakley from Coeur D'Alene (ID) checking in at just under 6'5 and 235-pounds.

While some of the previous position "targets" are clear the wide receiver position could go numerous directions moving forward. The Gators currently have one committed wide out prospect in Ryeshene Bronson. I would expect to see three wide receivers on NSD maybe four if things went their way at this position or if they fall short at another.

Some big names out there have offers from the Gators including Davion Hall, Drake Harris, Trevion Thompson, Ermon Lane, Demarre Kitt and Artavis Scott. Hall and Harris announced for Baylor and Michigan respectively. Johnnie Dixon, Isaiah Ford, Ja'Von Harrison, Travis Rudolph and maybe Josh Malone and Devin Perry are a few to watch. Florida would be thrilled with any of these players and they are not the only recruits on the board at this position. Scott, Dixon and Rudolph are three Florida would love to land on NSD. However, I would not count out players such as Stanton Truitt or Austin Roberts.

The Gators are sitting on six on this side of the ball and would like to get to 13 total over the next ten months as they round out this offensive class.

Taking a look at the defensive side of the ball you will find only three verbal commitments but what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in skill. Duke Dawson, Christian Miller and Anthony Moten are the three defensive verbal commitments at this time for Will Muschamp.

Let's start with the defensive backfield. Duke Dawson out of Cross City (FL) made his intentions known to the recruiting world he would indeed be a Gator. The 5'11 cornerback prospect plays his high school football for Dixie County. There has been lots of speculation which position Dawson will play at Florida but it is very clear Will Muschamp wants him at Cornerback for the Gators. What may surprise Gator fans is you could see five corner type players in this class when it's all said and done.

Jaylen Watkins and Jeremy Brown will say their goodbye's to the Swamp after this season and underclassmen Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson with standout years could enter the NFL Draft leaving only Cody Riggs, Brian Poole and Vernon Hargreaves III returning for next season. For a team that loves to play Nickel 65% of the time these numbers at Corner will not cut it.

More than a few players to track at this position including Chris Lammons, Jalen Tabor, Parrker Westphal, J.C. Jackson and Quincy Wilson. Can the Gators land four of those five prospects? They will continue to recruit Kalvarez Bessent, Wesley Green and Marlon Humphrey because of the high numbers they need to bring in this year's class. Also keep an eye on Marcus Leslie and D.J. Smith down the road.

With seven safety type players on the current roster who all check in as underclassmen the Gators can afford to pass on this position but will they? Jamal Adams and Kendall Gant are two players the coaches have high interest in at this time. I suspect they will fall short at the corner number and end up making room for one safety prospect in 2014.

The most logical action moving forward would be to take either D.J. Smith or Ja'Von Harrison at the safety position if they do not get the numbers they want at corner. Harrison could also come in and play wide receiver for the Gators.

The Gators landed a big time linebacker when Christian Miller decided to make his pledge to Coach Muschamp and the Gators. In addition to Miller the coaching staff is looking for at least one more big time backer. The two at the top are Clifton Garrett out of Plainfield, Illinois and Nyles Morgan from Crete, Illinois. Richard Yeargin and Dillon Bates are two linebackers closer to home both having high interest in the Gators. Kenny Young out of River Ridge is another one that has been talked about recently.

Look for two defensive ends to be in this year's class. Lorenzo Carter, Lorenzo Featherston, Dewayne Hendrix, Garrald McDowell, Cory Thomas, Andrew Williams, Keyon Brown and Daniel Cage are all players with interest from the Gators at this time. Thomas is a player from Alabama that has caught the eye of Coach Muschamp and is an interesting prospect.

Inside the Gators gained a big commitment from Anthony Moten out of St. Thomas Aquinas down in Ft. Lauderdale (FL) The Gators defensive coaches want another big time player inside and topping the list is Khairi Clark from Hollywood. Clark has long been thought to be a Miami Hurricane as was the case with Jaynard Bostwick. You will see other names mentioned inside with the likes of Thomas Holley from Brooklyn, Malike McDowell from Detroit, Jamiyus Pittman from Moultrie and one time Louisville Cardinal and Florida Gator Travonte Valentine. Daniel Cage is another big time player whose name is starting to circulate out of Cincinnati. Cory Thomas could play the bigger defensive end spot but more than likely should be included inside.

I suspect this year's class to be right around the 25 man mark at the end of the day.

Fightin Gators Top Stories