First for me when it comes to the underrated prospects on the signee list for Florida is defensive end Jabari Zuniga from Marietta (Ga.) Sprayberry High School. Nobody in these parts knew who Zuniga was until he was on his way to Gainesville for his official visit in the first available weekend in January. At the time a North Carolina State commitment, Zuniga’s senior highlight film hit the message boards at Fightin’ Gators and that was all it took for the fans to fall in love. What you see on his film is an aggressive, quick, and strong pass rusher that meets the ball carrier with bad intentions. The Wolfpack saw something early in him, but he got more attention as he grew three inches from the summer until visiting in January. Watching his film, you would say he is a five-star prospect.
Second for me is center Tyler Jordan. It may seem odd to consider an Under Armour All-American as underrated, but despite that award, he has continued to be somewhat overlooked by the rankings. In the summer, Jordan weighed in somewhere around 270 pounds, now he tips the scales at 6-foot-4 and 288 pounds. He also played tackle and his size wouldn’t dictate him being an all-star on the outside. But, he plays with great leverage, his tenacious play on defense carries over to the offensive side of the ball, and his intelligence makes him a supreme target to push for the starting job as a true freshman at the center position when he arrives on campus in June.
Gator fans were screaming about wanting receiver Antonio Callaway in the recruiting class for the entire recruiting process. I caught up with Callaway at the Florida 7-on-7 tournament at the school’s camp in June and came away highly impressed. His senior year was cut short because of a meniscus injury, ad that had to do a lot with his fall from the rankings at the receiver position. At 5-foot-11, and 185 pounds, physically he is ready to play right away. He is very strong and a sturdy build to get a shot as an early playing time possibility at Florida.
With zero Power-5 conference offers before December, once 6-foot-8, 310 pound offensive tackle Fredrick Johnson’s senior film was released he got six of those rare offers before basically limiting his top two to Florida and Miami. A true offensive tackle his massive size make him and true tackle ability make him a huge get in this class for a team that desperately needs linemen.
The hottest prospect in the country after his senior film was released was Gainesville (Ga.) cornerback Chris Williamson. He entered December with two scholarship offers to FBS teams and by the time he committed to Florida in February he had 27 offers. A two-way player Williams certainly would have earned a fourth star had he been noticed early, but the gators were one of the very first to offer in December and that offer made a huge difference in his mind. He knows he has some tough competition in Gainesville, but you have to expect this young man to play as a freshman in 2015.
At the end of the day you can bet these five guys will find themselves in the mix for playing time as freshman for the Florida Gators, even though their rankings don’t show it.