Like the running back position, wide receiver was not a need. Whoever UF signed this season would be a luxury or what we call a luxury need. UF recruited some great athletes at this position and would have loved to have signed anyone of them – Mike McIntosh, Derrick McPhearson, Lance Leggett, Xavier Carter, Doug Dutch and others. These receivers are all big-play difference makers and you don't turn them away.
On Signing Day, the Gators scored big landing McIntosh and McPhearson. McIntosh, from Jacksonville, had been committed to Clemson. He is from the same high school that produced current Gators Reggie Lewis and Kenneth Tookes and he surprised the college football world with his switch. McIntosh has nice size and can really stretch the field. McPhearson is a big-time athlete from Hyattsville, Maryland. He's also an outstanding baseball player and just a wonderful athlete. Both McIntosh and McPhearson have great upside and should be impact players at Florida in time. McPhearson is a part of TheInsiders.com National Hot 100 players in the country.
What his coach said?
"Mike had a great career for us," said Head Coach Martin Lee. "He is one of the best wide receiver prospects we have ever had and we have had some great ones like Reggie Lewis, Kenneth Tookes and Amp Hill. He's exactly what UF has lacked over the past few years and he's a true deep threat. Mike is 6-2 with legit 4.35 speed and a 35-inch vertical. He can flat out hit the speed and get it done. His commitment was a game time deicison and he really struggled with it but it felt UF was the best place for him."
McIntosh caught 27 passes for 507 yards and 7 touchdowns as a senior. He had over 1,000 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns over his final two seasons.
What his coach said?
"Derrick has had a great career and he had a great senior year for us," said DeMatha Head Coach Bill McGregor. "He's got hands and is a super athlete. Derrick can make something happen after the catch. He also has a great attitude and he makes practices fun. Derrick is always wanting to get better." The Stats
As a senior McPhearson caught 49 passes for 897 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had two kick returns for touchdowns.
Florida really didn't need a running back and wide receiver but they scored BIG with their three signees at these two positions. One thing to consider is this, with the loss of Ben Troupe and despite signing three tight ends as well, look for Florida to run more four and five wide receiver sets. This means the Gators need depth. With McIntosh and McPhearson they definitely signed two wideouts with all the ability in the world. All they need to do is pick up the offense and adjust to the speed of the game. If they do those two things and stay healthy, they are both talented enough to contribute as freshman.
One other thing to consider is this, Florida has a franchise quarterback in Chris Leak. To maximize his talent you need to surround him with great playmakers at wide receiver and have a good running game threat. UF has the later and they have a great young nucleus of WR talent with Andre Caldwell, Dallas Baker, Chad Jackson, Jemalle Cornelius (and others) and now McIntosh and McPhearson. If these guys can develop at the same pace as Leak this offense could become quite lethal like in the good old days of Steve Spurrier's "Fun ‘N Gun."