RECRUITING: Florida Recruiting Breakdown

Florida has an unusual amount of verbal commitments for the Gators at this time of the year. But there is a new regime in Gainesville and the excitement around the UF football program is at an all-time high. Lets take a closer look at what is going on with recruiting for Urban Meyer and his Florida Gators.

If you follow the University of Florida and recruiting over the years then you know that the Gators, along with their in-state rivals Miami and Florida State, are notorious for closing strong in the recruiting wars. Just look at recent history with the previous two UF coaches Steve Spurrier and Ron Zook. Did they ever have nine commitments going into the season as Florida does now with Urban Meyer? Not that this is a bad thing. Quite the contrary. To each his own. Each team has a different philosophy and strategy when it comes to recruiting. You do what you thinks works best for you and your program. With that being sad, it could be a relatively boring January in Gainesville if the Gators continue at this pace. They look to sign 26-28 prospects overall and are off to a great start with nine right now. And those nine can play. Considering Florida hasn't played a down of football yet they are off to a super start and are on some of the nation's finest talent from coast to coast. Lets take a closer look.

Jevan Snead (commitment) (photo above)
Snead, out of Stephenville (Texas), committed very early in the process to UF. He does all the things that Coach Meyer wants in a quarterback. Snead can run and throw and is very intelligent. He out-performed Tim Tebow at the Florida camp this summer. Tebow, from St. Augustine, is the more highly regarded signal caller and there is still a good chance that he signs with the Gators as well. They have told both players that they want to bring in two quarterbacks this season. Tebow, even more so than Snead, is a guy that can run and throw. The question is does he still want to come to Florida with Josh Portis (already there) and Snead (on the way)?

Running Back
Chevon Walker (commitment) (photo above)
Walker could be the answer to a future Meyer trivia question as he was the very first commitment for the new Gator coach. Walker, from Ft. Myers, Fla., has tremendous breakaway speed and should fit into the Florida offense perfectly with the way they spread the field. Look for UF to sign at least twp more backs, possibly three, coming from C.J. Spiller (photo below), Mon Williams, DeMarco Murray, Stafon Johnson and Brandon Minor. Spiller is the highest rated of this group and he has befriended some players that are already headed to Gainesville or kids that could be on their way. Had FSU not signed Antone Smith last season the ‘Noles would prove tough to beat. They may still but Florida and others are clearly in the picture. UF has offered all the backs mentioned above and Williams says the Gators lead slightly for him.

Wide Receiver
Damien Williams (commitment)
Williams is a receiver headed to Gainesville via Springdale (Ark.). It's unusual that Florida goes to Razorback country to get a player but they got a good one in Williams. He is very elusive with the ball and has good hands. UF is on a ton of other great wide receivers like Jamar Hornsby (photo below), Percy Harvin, Vidal Hazelton, Justin Williams, Jarred Fayson, Jamere Holland, Ricky Dixon, Tim Hawthorne, Riley Cooper, Chris Bell, Bryan Thomas and many others. Hazelton, Harvin, Hornsby, Bell, Hawthorne and Fayson are six of the top seven receivers in the nation. Harvin lists UF as one of his favorites and will take an official visit for the Tennessee game. UF is the team to beat for the versatile Hornsby and he wants to make a mid-season decision. Fayson is one of the most intriguing prospects from Florida as he plays QB in high school but has tremendous upside at wideout. He will likely comes down to UF and Miami. Bryan Thomas, Williams and others like UF but there are lots of possibilities at this position.

Tight End
Ben Cleveland (commitment)
Cleveland will likely be the lone tight end commitment for Florida this season. He's got great size and a great frame and should get much bigger at the next level. Cleveland also possesses a great motor and hands.

Offensive Line
Carl Johnson (commitment) (photo above)
What a way to start off on the offensive line with a commitment from Johnson. Johnson, from Durham (N.C.) is one of the nation's very best. He already has great size and for that size he moves incredibly well. Look for UF to sign at least four more. Andre Smith, Sam Young (photo below), Daniel Wenger, Daron Rose, Marcus Gilbert, Maurice Hurt, Jovon Hayes, Matt Carufel, Bruce Campbell, J.B. Walton, Antonio Logan-El, Kareem Crowell, and others are all high on the Florida board. Smith is the top rated player at this position but he will likely stay in-state. UF has made up great ground with Young and they are certainly in the hunt with he and his teammates Wenger and Gilbert.

Defensive End
This is a position UF doesn't have any commitments yet. Jared Odrick, Jermaine Cunningham, John Paul, Aaron Maybin, Kentrell Lockett, Josh Minton, John Graves and Richard Dickson are defensive ends high on the UF board. Odrick, from Lebanon (Pa.), has all five visits set up and will officially visit Florida for the Tennessee game. He will likely be a d-tackle or even offensive lineman in college.

Defensive Tackle
Terron Sanders (photo above) and Corey Hobbs (photo below) (commitments)
Sanders, 6-2 and 298 pounds, is versatile enough to play on either side of the ball in college. Hobbs, like Sanders, is a guy that could end up playing on the offensive or defensive line. Hobbs was slowed by a foot injury last season. Odrick, Brandon Antwine, Kendrick Ellis and Leslie Stirrups are all more possibilities. Antwine lists UF has one of three favorites. Stirrups favors Miami right now.

Dustin Doe (commitment) (photo below)
Florida is off to a great start with the commitment of Doe. Doe, from Jasper (Fla.), is a terrific linebacker prospect that is a sideline to sideline guy with great speed and he's a big and aggressive hitter. This is a crucial need area for Florida and they need to do much better numbers wise than they have recently at this position. A.J. Jones, Brandon Spikes, Marcus Ball, Toryan Smith, Colin McCarthy, Chasman Davis, Jarrell Miller, and Navorro Bowman. Smith has set up an official visit to Florida at the end of November. The others are pretty open with Florida one of many teams in the mix.

Markihe Anderson (commitment)
Anderson is probably the least known of all the Gator commitments. He was a camp find and the coaches loved him on game tape. Myron Rolle (photo below), A.J. Wallace, Darrin Walls, Jacques Rickerson, Darin Baldwin. Asher Allen, Ryan Hill, Patrick Robinson, and Jai Eugene are other prospects the Gator coaches are on. Rolle is the nation's top recruit. He wants to play corner but could also play either safety position or even running back. He is set to announce on September 1st between UF, FSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Penn State and Michigan. Eugene is the top CB in America and UF is one of six schools he favors at this time. Walls is highly regarded as well and he will visit in mid-September. UF has a great shot to land Rickerson.

UF doesn't have any commitments at this position. If Rolle picks Florida he could end up at safety. They also like Bryan Thomas here too. Allen Walker, Anthony Summers, Brandon Heath, Reshad Jones and Marcus Udell are all prospects they will recruit hard. Walker favors Florida and LSU.

The Gators have one of the top recruiting classes right now. But in recruiting it doesn't matter where you start but it's how you finish. There is a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding the Gators this season. Obviously Ron Zook and his staff recruited a tremendous amount of talent to Gainesville and Coach Meyer has a chance to have a big first season in Florida. If they do have a big first season they will finish with one of the top recruiting classes in college football. The signs are there. The hard work will pay off. UF already has nine commitments from players from Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, and obviously Florida. They are on more kids in the Sunshine State and throughout the country. The Gators are going national and it is already paying dividends and they have not played a down of football yet under coach Meyer. It could be a very big season for Florida both on and off the field.

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