For the Gators and their board in the 2015 class, it all starts up front with the #1 prospect in the entire 2015 class. Defensive tackle Tim Settle of Stonewall Jackson HS (Manassas, Va.) is a beast of a player. He has yet to visit Gainesville, but he is one the Gators are after and getting a look back from.
Staying with the defensive tackle position the #15 overall player in the class is Trenton Thompson of Westover HS (Albany, Ga.). Thompson came to Friday night Lights in July and left thinking very highly of Florida. The Gators have some catching up to do with Georgia on this one, but they have made up some ground fast.
The #1 DE in the country resides at #5 overall on the list and also resides just 45 miles north of Gainesville. CeCe Jefferson of Baker County HS (Glen St. Mary, Fla.) also came to Friday Night Lights and has been saying some great things about the Gators ever since. The Gators have always been among his leaders.
The Gators are in on a couple of 5-star outside linebackers in the 2015 class. Starting at #10 overall, Ricky DeBerry of St. Christopher's School (Richmond, Va.) is a big time player with plenty of athleticism. At #16 overall John Houston of Junipero Serra HS (Gardena, Ca.) is a teammate of current Gators prospect Adoree Jackson who is really looking hard at Florida.
It is doubtful that anyone has recruited the secondary as well as the Gators in the last few years. To that end, Florida has two prospects rated 5-stars at the cornerback position. #11 overall prospect Terry Godwin of Callaway HS (Hogansville, Ga.) and #17 overall Iman Marshall of Polytechnic HS (Long Beach, Ca.) are a couple of high profile corners the Gators are lobbying for in the class.
The only current offensive player the Gators are in on among the 5-star prospects is #9 overall and the #2 offensive tackle in the class Martez Ivey of Apopka HS (Apopka, Fla.). Ivey was also at Friday Night Lights and has talked up Florida quite a bit in the past. He is certainly one that the Gators could land at the end of the day.
With the eight 5-stars out of the way, that leaves 24 more prospects in the 2015 Scout Top 100 to talk about.
The Gators are looking for a quarterback in 2015, but the only one that makes the list right now is #81 overall Torrance Gibson of American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.). Gibson is a terrific athlete who will likely be recruited to play another position, but his high school film is ridiculous and getting another big time prospect out of South Florida should always be a high priority for Florida.
The top running back on the 2015 board in terms of the Scout 100 is Taj Griffin of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, Ga.). The speedy back attended Friday Night Lights and earned a scholarship offer at the event. He is electric on the football field and one to catch the interest of more schools along the way.
The next two running backs on the board for Florida in the Scout.com 2015 class are both from the same city and both out-of-state. #57 overall ranked Nicholas Brossete of LSU Laboratory School (Baton Rouge, La.) and #72 Derrius Guice of Catholic HS (Baton Rouge, La.) are a pair of what appear to be big timers right in LSU's back yard.
The other two running backs that reside in the Top 100 are in-state. #78 overall Jordan Scarlett of University School of Nova Southeast (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and #86 Jacques Patrick of Timber Creek HS (Orlando, Fla.) are just two of a very promising running back class in the state for next year.
A position of need as of late has been receiver. The Gators will continue to recruit the position and search for the best athletes. Florida already has a commitment from Da'vante Phillips from the 2015 class, who didn't make the top 100, but will be among the next group of stars listed in the Scout300. Inside the 100, just two names are mentioning Florida and both are from out of state. #58 overall Desean Holmes of Bishop Alemany HS (Mission Hills, Cal.) and #85 Brandon Polk of Briar Woods HS (Ashburn, Va.) are real athletes that Florida could use. A third is a player listed at tight end, but plays the game like a receiver. #68 Devonaire Clarington of Westminster Christian School (Miami, Fla.) was a star at Friday night Lights and certainly a player the Gators will keep tabs on moving forward.
On the offensive line, we mentioned Martez Ivey among the 5-star guys, the gators are also on the top rated guard in the country for 2015 in #26 overall Tristen Hoge of Highland HS (Pocatello, Id.). Tackles are always a primo position to recruit and the Gators are getting looks from #37 Isaiah Prince of Eleanor Roosevelt HS (Greenbelt, Md.) and #95 Drew Richmond of Memphis University School (Memphis, Tenn.)
With three defensive linemen among the 5-stars interested in Florida, the gators continue to go after and get attention from star defensive linemen.
It's usually hard to find the big, physical defensive tackles in the state of Florida. The numbers just aren't that great every year. It has been the case for decades, with a glitch season or two along the way. The gators will certainly try and sign some quality beef in the middle of the defense and are currently looking out of state for three more prospects residing inside the Scout 100. #30 overall Shy Tuttle of North Davidson HS (Lexington, NC) has been to campus in the last few months and is one to keep an eye on. #39 Albert Huggins of Wilkinson HS (Orangeburg, SC) is another one and with defensive line coach brad lawing knowing the area well, I would think there could be a good chance there. #45 Christian Wilkins of Suffield Academy (Suffield, Conn.) is not from your normal defensive stalwart territory, but is considered a big timer.
At defensive end, the gators are showing they can sign and coach up the best at the position and so this should be a real positive for them continuing on with the recruiting process. Outside of CeCe Jefferson mentioned above as a 5-star, four more defensive ends within the Top 100 are looking at Florida.
#31 overall Rasheem Green of Junipero Serra HS (Gardena, Ca.) is another teammate of Gator 2014 target Adoree Jackson. #41 Natrez Patrick of Mays HS (Atlanta, Ga.) attended camp in June with Florida. DE Jashon Cornell of Cretin Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) is another one from a place the Gators rarely recruit, but from a big time high school that has produced a ton of star players over the years. #61 Byron Cowart of Armwood HS (Seffner, Fla.) has been on campus a ton including Friday Night Lights. He certainly would be on the watch list if we had one.
It is a wait and see at linebacker for Florida in 2014 recruiting. There are none currently committed and it is a little sketchy on where that position will end up. With that in mind and with the two 5-star guys already mentioned, Florida is on on three other Top 100 linebackers for the 2015 class.
All three are listed as outside linebackers and the one we know the best is #33 overall Jeffery Holland of Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.). He's been on campus a lot, has several friends on the roster and showed for Friday Night Lights as well. #87 Jerome Baker of Benedictine HS (Cleveland, Oh.) and #63 D'Andre Walker of Langston Hughes HS (Fairburn, Ga.) finish off the linebackers on the list.
With the Gators continually producing stellar secondary play, the best defensive backs are going to continue to line up their interest in Florida. At safety there are a pair of Top 100 guys that fit the bill. #23 overall Shawn Burgess-Becker of Monarch HS (Coconut Creek, Fla.) and #100 Kendall McFadden of McArthur HS (Hollywood, Fla.) are two south Florida prospects, an area where Florida is really creeping into hard.
Finally at cornerback, a pair of out-of-state guys rest in the Top n100and show interest in Florida. #21 overall Kendall Sheffield of Marshall HS (Missouri City, Tx.) and #76 CB Minkah Fitzpatrick of St. Peters Preparatory School (Jersey City, NJ) complete our list of prospects here.
In all, there are 34 of the top 100 prospects for 2o15 according to Scout,.com that are interested in the Gators. The defense leads the way with 22 prospects while the offense has a respectable 12. This list ill change, but over the course of the next year and a half, so will the interest of some of these and others along the way. Right now, what we can conclude is that the gator staff is doing good work and doing it early.