Donovan Lands Another Top Five Class

As if you needed another reason to be happy that Billy Donovan reneged on the Orlando Magic and returned to UF, Florida's head coach gave you one. Florida received a commitment from Miami prep start Eloy Vargas Wednesday night, assuring UF of a second straight top-five recruiting class.

Vargas (6-9) joins Kenny Kadji (6-10), Allen Chaney (6-8), Ray Shipman (6-5) and Erving Walker (5-8) in a class that gives the Gators one of everything. The class also assures that Florida's rather undersized squad for this coming season will receive some much needed size for the 2008-09 campaign.

Back-to-back highly rated five-man classes also mean that this will be the core of the Gator Basketball team for the next three years. It will be fascinating to watch these classes meld into one unit and develop into a championship caliber team.

Playing by Numbers

Donovan also created a numbers issue with the addition of Vargas for next season. Florida potentially will be one over the NCAA limit of 13 scholarship players comes next fall. Obviously that cannot happen; so what are the possibilities?

One analyst has already projected Marresse Speights as a lottery pick for next year based on his outstanding skills on the offensive end of the floor. Big men who can score are always in high demand, and if Speights has a big year and shows he can play 30 minutes a night without getting in too much foul trouble, he'll have a great opportunity.

Also, don't be shocked if Walter Hodge turns pro after this season. Not necessarily for the NBA, but to play for pay in his native Puerto Rico. With a wife and child to care for it may be his best move.

And of course there's always the chance that someone flunks out, doesn't qualify, gets homesick or transfers for more playing time. I don't know that anyone fits into any of those categories at the moment, but who knows six months from now?

So let Billy Donovan and his staff worry about being one over the limit. You should focus instead on the incredibly bright future that these two recruiting classes will almost certainly deliver.

Fightin Gators Top Stories