Slow Start for Gators

By this time last year, the Florida Gators had already taken eight commitments. This year things are different. In the spring, Urban Meyer hinted that Florida may be more selective in their offers and receipt of commitments, but to date, they only have two public commitments. After Monday's initial release of the team rankings for the class of 2008, the Gators find themselves ranked No. 43.

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    The Gators are the only school in the top-50 to have four or fewer commits. Last year at this time, the Gators already landed two five-star prospects in Aaron Hernandez and Chris Rainey, but this year, they're still searching for their first top-rated prospect.

    And time may be running out. Twenty-two of the 40 five-star prospects are already committed elsewhere. But there is a silver lining. First, Scout's recruiting experts have yet to hand out all the five-stars, and the list is re-evaluated every month. There is still time for Dee Finley (ranked No. 45) to earn a five-star, and there's time for prospects further down the list to work their way up towards the top.

    Any Chance on the Top-Five?

    In Meyer's last two recruiting classes, the highest rated prospects were No. 16 Torrey Davis and No. 8 Percy Harvin, so landing a top-five prospect isn't necessary for the Gators to finish with a top-10 recruiting class. But, it is important to note that the Gators are in on all five of the nation's elite.

    #1 Arthur Brown Wichita (Kan.) East – The 6-1, 225-pound linebacker hasn't even begun the process of narrowing down his list, but the Gators will have a chance to make their pitch in a few weeks when Brown visits Gainesville. The nation's top prospect was just featured in Sports Illustrated and would be a nice catch for the Gators, but don't expect a commitment from Brown anytime soon.

    #2 Terrelle Pryor Jeannette (Pa.) - A few weeks ago, the nation's top quarterback narrowed his list to 11 schools, which included the Gators. Although, it may be tough to land a quarterback since the Gators already have three highly rated QBs on the roster. Plus, Pryor has made no secret that he would like to play both basketball and football, and he recently said the Gators aren't one of those schools offering him that chance right now.

    #3 Julio Jones - Foley (Ala.) - The nation's top-rated wide receiver is still open, but one would think Alabama is the favorite to land his services. Urban Meyer attended his spring jamboree, and the No. 3-rated player may be in Gainesville for Friday Night Lights in a few weeks.

    #4 Darrell Scott - Ventura (Ca.) St. Bonaventure - He says he's not naming any favorites, but the Gators and Michigan keep coming up in his reports. He is very aware of the running back situation at Florida, and that has to be intriguing to anyone of his caliber. No visits are planned, but an official in the fall is probable.

    #5 Will Hill - Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peters Preparatory - He lists the Gators in his final eight and may be the best chance Florida has to land a top-five prospect. He plays three positions, which Meyer must love, but he wants to play safety. He loves to hit people, and with the hair, even looks a lot like Reggie Nelson.

    The Other Five-Stars

    Of the remaining 35 five-stars, six show strong interest in the Gators.

    #13 T.J. Bryant - Out of Tallahassee, Bryant is making the rounds, visiting Gainesville a few weeks ago. He just narrowed his list to ten and includes the Gators.

    #30 Michael Floyd - Minnesota's a long way away, but he may be in town for Friday Night Lights and is talking about an official visit for Florida/FSU.

    #34 Matt Patchan - Had a very productive visit to Gainesville last week, but he had the same type of visit to Tallahassee as well. A very smart kid, Florida could be the choice.

    #35 DeAndre Brown - A big and talented wide receiver, Brown will be in Gainesville for Friday Night Lights. They have some work to do, however.

    #36 Brice Butler - The Gators are in his top-10, but do they make his top-five? He'll make that decision in a week or two and is looking to commit in August.

    #39 Chancey Aghayere - A lot of positives for Aghayere at Florida – former high school teammate Brandon Antwine and one of the best defensive line coaches in the nation in Greg Mattison. He also has his official visit to Gainesville scheduled just before his September 17 birthday – coincidentally the day he'll announce his decision.

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