Gators Grab 2006 Recruiting Title

SEATTLE, Feb. 1 – Urban Meyer, in his first full season to hit the road and recruit as the Head Coach at the University of Florida, has secured the nation's top recruiting class according to and the Gators were declared the National Recruiting Champions by the Seattle-based online sports network at 6 p.m., Eastern, today. Florida held off a hard charging USC and other national powers to claim's national championship for recruiting.


The Gators claimed the top spot about a month ago when they passed the National Champion Texas Longhorns for the top spot and have held the No. 1 position since. The top five finished with USC (No. 2), Texas (No. 3), Georgia (No. 4) and Notre Dame (No. 5) respectively.

Florida filled all their needs in a class built with balance, athletes and speed. The Gator headliners are quarterback Tim Tebow (St. Augustine, Fla.), wide receivers Percy Harvin (Virginia Beach, Va.), Jarred Fayson (Tampa, Fla.), offensive lineman Carl Johnson (Durham, N.C.), linebackers Brandon Spikes (Shelby, N.C.) and A.J. Jones (Tampa, Fla.) and safety/ wide receiver Jamar Hornsby (Jacksonville, Fla.). This magnificent seven were all members of the National 100.

"What Urban Meyer and his staff did this season was so impressive," said Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst for "They have filled all their needs and that's the most important factor. But they did this with some great players. This class is also so well balanced from top to bottom."

Vidal Hazelton
Speaking of the National 100, the Trojans have an incredible haul, getting a dozen top 100 prospects – running backs Stafon Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Emmanuel Moody (Coppell, Texas), wide receivers Vidal Hazelton (Chatham, Va.) and David Ausberry, lineman Butch Lewis (Aurora, Co.), defensive tackle Derrick Simmons (Fairfield, Calif.), linebackers Allen Bradford (Colton, Calif.) and Josh Tatum (Oakland, Calif.), cornerback Shareece Wright (Colton, Calif.) and safeties Antwine Perez (Camden, N.J.), C.J. Gable (Sylmar, Calif.) and Taylor Mays (Seattle, Wa.). Southern Cal finished a close No. 2 behind the Gators.

"USC signed twelve of's top 100 players, more than any other program," said Allen Wallace, National Recruiting Analyst for " This effort is highlighted by superior skill position signees and also includes notable, as well as defensive linemen. The Trojans aimed high for offensive linemen and lost hard fought battles for the best they were after to Alabama (Andre Smith), Michigan (Steve Schilling) and Sam Young (Notre Dame)."

Jevan Snead
At No. 3 is Texas and what's amazing about the Longhorn recruiting class is when they secured most of their commitments, which was before the 2005 regular season even started. Texas Head Coach Mack Brown and his staff are bringing in some outstanding talent like quarterback Jevan Snead (Stephenvile, Texas), wide receiver/cornerback Ken Beasley (Orange, Texas), linebacker Sergio Kindle (Dallas, Texas), defensive end Eddie Jones (Kilgore, Texas), and offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb (Mesquite, Texas).

"I think the impressive thing about this Texas class is the manner in which they got these kids," said Newberg. "Most of them were committed prior to the season even starting and a good many of those were committed to coach Brown before the summer. Amazing. Things should get even better now that they are the national champs as they move forward."

Checking in at No. 4 are the Georgia Bulldogs. Coach Mark Richt and the Dawgs have been a very consistent recruiting power and they once again put together a stellar class headed to Athens. Quarterback Matthew Stafford (Dallas, Texas) is one of the nation's top signal callers and he's already in Athens. Today, the Bulldogs landed super safety Reshad Jones (Atlanta, Ga.) and running back Knowshon Moreno (Middleton, Ga.). Other headliners are defensive ends Brandon Wood (Tallapoosa, Ga.) and Demarcus Dobbs (Savannah, Ga.), wide receiver Tony Wilson (Daytona Beach, Fla.), tight end Na Derris Ward (Oakland, Calif.), linebacker Akeem Hebron (Wheaton, Md.) and offensive linemen Justin Anderson (Ocilla, Ga.) and Kiante Tripp (Atlanta, Ga.).

Matthew Stafford
"Georgia is bringing in a well balanced class," said Scott Kennedy of "The Dawgs filled their needs, especially at quarterback and the offensive line. They are also bringing in at least one star prospect at every position."

Notre Dame is back as Head Coach Charlie Weis leads the Irish change. They have perhaps the top offensive line class in the country led by Sam Young (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Dan Wenger (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Matt Carufel (St. Paul, Minn.). Running back James Aldridge (Merrillville, In.) is one of the nation's best and they are getting some great help in the secondary with cornerbacks Darrin Walls (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Raeshon McNeil (Mocksville, N.C.) and safety Sergio Brown (Maywood, Ill.).

"Notre Dame rebounded strongly after a poor signing effort in '05," said Wallace. "Charlie Weis signed the nation's finest group of offensive linemen and he also managed to significantly fortify his running game. The Irish secondary has been viewed as a weakness in recent years and cornerbacks Darrin Walls and Raeshon McNeil have the athletic ability to step into South Bend and help the program quickly. Drop-backer Zach Frazier

Demetrius Jones
from Pennsylvania and the more athletic Demetrius Jones from Illinois give Weis some excellent options at quarterback."

Rounding out the Top 10 are LSU (No. 6), Penn State (No. 7), Oklahoma (No. 8), Auburn (No. 9) and Michigan (No. 10). The Nittany Lions made quite an impressive run this season after a great year on the field getting top end prospects like quarterback Pat Devlin (Downingtown, Pa.), defensive linemen Jared Odrick (Lebabon, Pa.) and Maurice Evans (Middle Village, N.Y.), wide receiver Chris Bell (Norfolk, Va.) and offensive lineman Antonio Logan-El (Forrestville, Md.).

"Penn State really finished with a great flurry," said Bob Lichtenfels of "They really did well in the state of Maryland and they did well on the defensive line, not to mention the getting a receiver like Chris Bell. They also filled all their needs."

There were also some recruiting surprises this season. The two at the top have to be Pittsburgh and Ole Miss, both finishing in the top 15 in the nation, according to

"Coach (Ed) Orgeron and Coach (Dave) Wannstedt have to be the co-recruiters of the year," proclaimed Newberg. "What they did recruiting this season was incredible and they both did this in their first full season to recruit and remember both teams struggled this season on the field too."

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