Closing Time: Offensive recruiting

There are less than two weeks left until signing day and the Florida Gators are poised to finish strong and with a top ten recruiting class. But doing that is going to mean that Will Muschamp and company are going to have to finish strong in the last couple of weeks. That hasn't been the MO so far in his first three years.

The Gators are currently perched at number 11 overall in the Scout.com rankings and have 21 commitments to earn that ranking. With nine prospects already enrolled and 11 others that seem solid as a rock, Florida looks to add six more and solidify the one possible weak link. Here is what it looks like heading down the stretch on the offensive side of the ball.

QUARTERBACK

Will Grier (committed and already enrolled) – Grier is the prize of the offensive class so far and worked hard in trying to secure receiver talent to come with him, but we have yet to see the gains there. The Army All-American is a national Top 100 player and a big time player at the quarterback position.
Recruitment: 100% committed and already on campus.

Treon Harris (committed to Florida State) – Harris is the change up that Florida has been mercilessly recruiting since the hiring of Kurt Roper as coordinator. Roper has been able to train dual threat quarterbacks into becoming top notch performers at the position. Harris wants to play quarterback and led his high school team to a national title in 2013 at the position. Florida and the change in offense will provide him with a much better chance at doing that than the pro-style attack at Florida State where he knows he would likely be pushed to defensive back. In Gainesville, his change of pace may allow a redshirt of Grier as he comes in on certain situations.
Recruitment: I am hearing good things here. It is never done until public, but I would give the Gators a 60% chance at the moment.

Overall: The thought process going into the year was to just take Grier. But, Florida saw two quarterbacks leave the roster after the season and three in the past two years. They could use another real quarterback. The biggest thing is getting a change-up guy and a good one, and Harris is just that. It should be Harris or bust.

RUNNING BACK

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Powell brings the speed.
Brandon Powell (committed and already enrolled) – The change in offensive philosophy meant Powell was suddenly a very good fit for the Florida offense. Certainly they would like to have a bigger fast back like a Dalvin Cook, but Powell wasn't even a consideration before the philosophy change and he was an adequate replacement and something the roster doesn't already have.
Recruitment: Stealth mode for Muschamp and company as they got on Powell in December and pounced when Miami delayed his entry after being committed to the Hurricanes a while. Three days after he was offered, Powell drove up almost in the middle of the night and enrolled in classes at Florida. He is 100% and already on campus.

Bo Scarbrough (committed to Alabama) – The big tie to Florida is the commitment of high school teammate Cyontai Lewis. Scarbrough also played his senior year in Florida after attending IMG academy, although has since moved back to Alabama to graduate from school.
Recruitment: That tie with Lewis was relatively strong and is what has kept the Gators even remotely in it. As we approach signing day it appears there isn't much of a chance to pull this one off. The Gators probably have less than 10% chance with Scarbrough at this time.

Overall: The Gators would have liked to land a bigger back with speed. They could have landed highly rated back or two, but didn't have that speed, but they chose not to go that direction. They took a back with legitimate speed and will hold out hope on Scarbrough, who does fit the bill.

TIGHT END

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Goolsby is the complete TE.
DeAndre Goolsby (committed and already enrolled) - The all-around player of the trio of Goolsby traveled all the way from Kansas and committed to Florida after losing their seventh game of the season, back in November. He has more bulk than the other two at the position and the fact he is enrolled early will likely allow him to get on the field earlier.
Recruitment: 100% committed and already on campus.

Cyontai Lewis (committed to Florida) – One of the Gators earliest commitments, he is a down field threat at the position and also has some height to him to go up and get the ball in red zone or third down conversion throws. At 6-foot-5 and 212, he can get up.
Recruitment: 99% Gator, nothing is over until it is over.

Moral Stephens (committed to Florida) – Was itching for the Gator offer for a long time and when the chance came, he pounced on it. Stephens could really be the sleeper in the class. He weighed in recently at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds and he plays the game like a receiver with excellent ball handling skills and speed to get down the field.
Recruitment: 99% Gator, nothing is over until it is over.

Overall: The Gators wanted to go with numbers here. They did that with flying colors. The group would not be as solid if Florida had not switched offenses, but with more of a spread look and flexed tight ends, this could be a home run group.

RECEIVER

Ryan Sousa (committed to Florida) – Sousa flipped from Florida State during the middle of Florida's disastrous season. A Gator fan for quite some time, the Gators finally offered the state record holder for receiving yards and catches. He's a polished receiver for sure and should be able to compete early with his mental prowess.
Recruitment: 99% Gator, nothing is over until it is over.

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Mckenzie is the perfect slot receiver.
Isaiah McKenzie (committed to Notre Dame) – McKenzie is one that the Gators got on hard in the middle of Under Armour practices where he was tearing it up in preparation of the All-American game. He is another prospect that would have never gotten a look in the old offensive philosophy due to his lack of size (5-8, 180) but makes too much sense not to go hard after with the new look offense.
Recruitment: This looks to be a Florida – Notre Dame battle. He has been committed to the Fightin' Irish for quite a while when not many other big programs were looking. They have helped him work on getting his academics in gear. They also get the last visit. Florida sits in a pretty good place though. McKenzie has a younger brother and an elderly grandmother at home that currently watches over he and his brother. Proximity will likely be a big thing for him and Florida's new offense should be a perfect fit. Notre Dame has done everything right here, but at the end of the day I am going with the Gators at 70% right now.

Chris Worton (committed to Florida State) – The Seminoles earliest commitment in the class, the South Florida native is taking a few visits this month and one to Florida for the weekend. At 6-foot and 175 pounds he could play inside or outside.
Recruitment: His older brother plays at UCF. There was thought that FSU may be looking to drop Worton, but they have been by to see him twice this month, so that does not appear to be the case. Florida came in hard late, but has been recruiting him for a while now. Oregon just jumped into the picture and he will visit there next weekend after visiting both Florid and FSU this weekend. This one is tough to call right now, so I will give the Gators just a 40% chance.

Eric Lauderdale The JuCo receiver is a blazer and an outside receiver. Florida would like to sign one outside receiver and he was thought to be the one after Ermon Lane was written off of the books.
Recruitment: Long thought to be a Gator lean after he was a commitment to Tennessee, Lauderdale surprised everyone last week on his Arizona State trip and announced he would be making his commitment public to the school of his choice, this Saturday. Now the thought it is Arizona State is the school to beat. Gators have roughly a 30% chance at this writing.

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Jackson is the top athlete in the country.
Adoree Jackson he is likely the most electric athlete in all of high school football for the class of 2014. Having recruited him at cornerback the entire recruiting period, the Gators are having change things up and recruit Jackson as a receiver now after he made it known he wants to play receiver in college. It doesn't matter on this end, Florida needs a slot receiver as much as anything on the entire roster and putting him there means there is instant offense at their disposal.
Recruitment: I have to drop my percentage on Adoree just slightly because of the change in his stance on playing on offense. Again, Florida has a HUGE need on offense, but when you spent the entire recruiting cycle telling him he is the top guy at cornerback and then come back and now tell him he is the top guy at receiver, what is he to think. The thing is, both would be absolutely true statements, but the staff has a limited amount of time to sell him on that. The two things Florida does have going for it that he does want are an excellent track program and to play in the SEC. They have both covered there. USC has a good track program, they also hired his coach. I still maintain he wants to leave and he wants to play in the SEC. Again, I am lowering my stance here, but still going with the Gators at 65%.

Travis Rudolph (committed to Florida State) – Rudolph is a big time skilled receiver that seems a bit under-rated even as a four-star prospect on Scout. Rudolph is an outside receiver that would a huge get for Florida. He's intelligent and strong and so a guy that would come in mentally and physically ready.
Recruitment: Out of nowhere the buzz has shot up the charts on Rudolph. All the Nole sites are now talking about the possibility of a flip. Rudolph grew up a Gator fan and was a strong Gator lean for a while. His first commitment was to Miami, and he de-committed. Florida was his team until things went south with the offense. When he committed to Florida State, Alabama thought they were getting him, it was close. There are rumblings that he doesn't mix well with some of the other Nole commitments… that could be true. Rashad Greene didn't declare for the NFL which was likely one thing they told him would happen before showing. My point is there are a lot of reasons this name is being brought up right now. All of that said, my percentage has gone down a little in the last two days after Rudolph has shot down the notion of flipping, so I will only give the Gators a 35% chance right now.

Garrett Johnson (committed to Kentucky) – May be the sleeper of all sleepers. If you watch this kid's highlights on hudle, you will see about seven minutes of senior highlights and all but four plays are touchdowns. He finds the end zone every time he touches the ball, it is uncanny. He ran a slow time once which I think is holding him back, but I would smile if the Gators were to go this direction on signing day.
Recruitment: He is committed to Kentucky, but I have zero doubt he would flip to Florida if given the chance. That will all depend on timing on signing day and who actually decides they want to be a part of this class. The chances of him being a Gator are about 30% in my opinion.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Drew Sarvary (committed and already enrolled) – A long, tall tackle with brute strength, He is a guy that is physically ready to play.
Recruitment: Was committed to Texas Tech before flipping to Florida. Muschamp said they took him because they lost Ian Silberman and needed another upperclassman on the roster. He's already enrolled in school so is 100% Gator.

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Kelleher is on campus ready to compete.
Nolan Kelleher (committed and already enrolled) – Another one that is physically ready to play, Kelleher is more of an inside player and a future guard. He is one of the two highest rated committed linemen in the class.
Recruitment: His recruitment was over early. Without an offensive line coach he enrolled early and is 100% Gator.

Kavaris Harkless (committed and already enrolled) – Harkless is long and lean and likely a red-shirt prospect as he puts on weight. he is a very athletic prospect and has a bright future.
Recruitment: Another flip and the Gators are the beneficiary of Charlie Strong going to Texas with Harkless recruitment as he was previously committed to Louisville. Harkless committed to Florida just a day before classes started for the spring, but he is already enrolled and 100% Gator.

Travaris Dorsey (committed to Florida)- He is 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds, Dorsey is a beast of a guard that was skilled enough to be a very good left tackle at Jacksonville Raines. He is a hoss and intimidating on the field.
Recruitment: There has been some talk about grade issues, but it should not impair him leading up until signing day. 99% Gator, because anything is possible.

David Sharpe (committed to Florida) – Sharpe is a long time basketball player that played football for just three years. He is extremely gifted physically and he is also 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds with lots of room to grow and bulk up. He is a little raw, but his athleticism helps him get by.
Recruitment: A Gator fan growing up, Sharpe tooled around with other programs before finally committing to the god guys early in December. He is 99% Gator because anything can happen.

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Prince would make it an elite OL class.
Damian Prince – The Forestville, Maryland offensive tackle is one of the more sought after prospects in the country right now. Another quick tackle at 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds Prince has a chance to play early at Florida if he comes.
Recruitment: Maryland is big here as the local team. However, they are under some turmoil and lost their offensive line coach this week. Florida remained on his list late in the process and there has been something always drawing him to Florida. Then, the Gators signed one of his better friends Jalen Tabor and the Gators got more into the loop here. I have heard that tabor knows where he is going, but will not say. I think that is a good sign. Nonetheless, I can't go all in and will have to say there is a 55% chance he will be a Gator as of now.

Andrew Mike At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds Mike was a Semper-Fi All American in 2013. He's got long arms and room to grow up top. He is a solid lineman at a huge position of need on the Gator roster.
Recruitment: Out of nowhere came Mike, who was actually being recruited at New Mexico by Coleman Hutzler who he is said to have a great relationship. Because of the heavy rumors that he could commit I will go on the positive side here, but just barely. I will say Gators with a 55% chance.

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Yondy Cajuste – Another out of nowhere prospect Cajuste is from Miramar and is another athletic big man at 6-fot-6 and 270 pounds. He is another that has had limited time playing the game and his upside is tremendous.
Recruitment: West Virginia is the real test here, and the main reason is because they hired his coach. Still, Florida is much closer to home and the Gators seem to have a great shot if they offer. If that offer comes through I think he will be a Gator, at this time, I think the possibility here of being a Gator is about 35%.

Overall: Jacksonville an really north Florida was very kind to the gators with offensive line. Sharpe, Harkless, and Dorsey all hail from Jax, while Sarvary [played high school ball in Tallahassee. Adding a Prince to this group makes it an elite class, even without him it is a really good foundation class along the line with lots of size and athleticism.

Check back this weekend as we continue with the defensive side of the ball.


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