RECRUITING: Top Defensive Targets of 2007

Continuing on with the juniors of the recruiting class of 2007, the Gators will still have to load up on defense. Some major defections are coming after the 2006 season and there should be a lot of spots to fill. Here's the Gators' top defensive targets for the year 2007...

2007 DEFENSIVE TACKLES

Florida will lose their top two and maybe top three defensive tackles after the 2006 season. Starters ‘Marcus Thomas and Steven Harris are seniors and Joe Cohen who sometimes provides depth inside and outside will also be graduating. The Gators signed three in 2006, but will definitely have to get some more help inside defensively.


DT John Brown
The state seems to have its share of big time defensive tackle prospects for the 2007 class. Probably at the head of the class is five star John Brown (6-4 290) of Lakeland. Brown is a dominant player and wowed scouts at the US army All American combine in January. Five-star Torrey Davis (6-5 300) is a big body from Seffner, Armwood. Ian Williams (6-2 300) of Longwood, Lyman HS is relative unknown at this time, but has outstanding ability and reportedly sports a Florida offer. D'Angelo McCray * (6-4 265) of Jacksonville, Andrew Jackson is another good one and Florida has a good chance to land him if things go right.

2007 DEFENSIVE ENDS

The Gators signed two defensive ends in 2006, but stand a chance to lose their top three on the roster after the 2006 season. Ray McDonald and Joe Cohen are seniors and if Jarvis Moss plays the whole year like he did the end of the season, he may be gone too. After striking out at defensive end in the 2005 recruiting class, the Gators still need to sign some players at the position.


DE Sidell Corley
Three players currently headline the position in the state of Florida. Jacoby Monroe (6-4 240) of Jacksonville, Sandalwood already has the size and athletic ability to probably play at the college level. Jabaal Sheard (6-3 240) of Hollywood Hills is another prospect the Gators would like to steal out of South Florida. Jerry Howard (6-4 235) of Orlando Jones is another one with the good size and athleticism to possibly play early.

Florida is also getting looks from some big time defensive end prospects from out of state. Four-star Sidell Corley (6-4 250) of Mobile (AL) McGill-Toolen lists Florida among four favorites. Five-star defensive end Allen Bailey (6-4 250) of Darien (GA) McIntosh Academy also has the Gators in his top four. Four-star Ben Martin (6-6, 220) Cincinnati (OH) La Salle is in Buckeye country but also list the Gators early.

2007 LINEBACKERS

Linebacker yet again is a position of need for Florida. Only signing three in 2006, the Gators will lose at least two off the roster and a possibility of Brandon Siler going pro early. There will be playing time available early for linebackers.


LB Lorenzo Edwards
The numbers of candidates at the position are kind of low right now, but three headline the list with interest in the Gators.

Four-star linebacker Josh Bynes (6-2 225) of Ft Lauderdale, Boyd Anderson is a menace on the field. He is a big time player from south Florida and will be on everyone's radar. Lorenzo Edwards (6-2 215) of Orlando, Edgewater is a four-star linebacker who was a star at the combine in San Antonio held in January. One out of state headline at linebacker is Richetti Jones (6-3, 225) of Dallas (TX) Lincoln. The five-star Texan currently lists the Gators and will no doubt be on the radar of a staff that has added four Texans to the roster in two years.

2007 SECONDARY

The Gators signed an excellent secondary class in 2006, but there is some worry that a coupe of cornerbacks of the four may not ever make it to campus. Add to that, there are three seniors that will be gone in January of 2007 and only one other returning cornerback on scholarship. The Gators only signed one player that will come in at safety in 2006, and will probably lose a couple at the end of the football season. The Gators will need to add some help in the secondary.

A couple of in-state players stand out at the cornerback position this early in the process. Lakeland's Ahmad Black (5-10 160) will man one spot in the secondary for the high school national champions. Vernell Brown's younger brother Vince Brown (5-9 165) of Gainesville is an all-state player already and could follow in older brother's footsteps at Florida.


CB Eric Berry
Four-star cornerback Eric Berry (6-0 180) of Fairburn (GA) Creekside is already on the hit list for the Gator coaching staff. Gary Gray (5-11, 180) of Columbia (SC) Richland-Northeast has early interest in the Gators. Addison Williams (5-9 170) of Atlanta (GA) Westlake also lists the Gators early.

Damien Berry (6-0 180) of Glades Central could be bound for corner or safety at the next level and has an interest in Florida early. Major Wright (6-2 190) of St Thomas Aquinas has the same build as current Gator signee and may grow into a linebacker, but he is as hard hitting a safety as you will find this season.


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