Positional Rankings Tell Better Story

A couple of weeks ago I jumped into the recruiting debate as it relates to the national ranking of Florida's impending signing class compared with others. The Gators are closing in on a consensus top five class nationally for the third consecutive year. That would be a first in school history.

I thought it would be a good time to look at how the Gators rank on Scout.com for each position on the field. For this to be a great class, it doesn't have to be ranked No. 1 or No. 3 or even somewhere in the top ten. A great class must address the most pressing needs on the roster and for the Gators in 2008 it's all about defense.

As I write this the Florida class stands at No. 7 overall. A No. 7 ranking is strong, but where do the Gators stack up position by position? Scout.com only ranks positions to No. 15.

Quarterback N/R ----- This is what hurts the Gators the most with Scout.com since signing a great quarterback is more valuable than any other position. Florida messed around a bit with Tyrelle Pryor but it's no surprise this class will not have a QB. Next year look for the Gators to sign one or two.

Running Back N/R ----- To me this is a bogus non-ranking since JUCO transfers earn you points but the transfer of Emmanuel Moody does not. Add in what Jeff Demps and T.J. Pridemore can add to the unit and this is an example of Florida's class being better than its ranking.

Wide Receiver N/R ----- This is a banner year at wide receiver and the Gators were not able to grab one of the elite prospects as far as the rankings go. Carl Moore, Omarius Hines and Frankie Hammond are quality additions and this group will probably get ranked if T.J. Lawrence comes along.

Offensive Line No. 14 ----- One shortcoming in this class is that Florida adds just one tackle prospect. The ranking is primary a reflection of that tackle, Matt Patchan who is one of the best in the nation. The ranking is a bit quirky because it includes Byran Jones who may not play offense and does not include Sam Robey who will.

Defensive Line No. 12 ----- Headlined by Omar Hunter the four man defensive line class includes Robey but not Jones. However since Robey and Jones are both "three-star" players it doesn't change things. This unit would be rated higher if Chaz Sutton had stayed OR if William Green was listed as a defensive end.

Linebacker No. 3 ----- To me it was hugely important for the Gators to score big at this spot and they did so with Beal, Buchanon, McCray and Green. Even if Green becomes a defensive end, the other three clearly upgrade this position.

Secondary No. 3 ----- With linebacker, this unit was the other top need area for 2008 and Meyer and his staff came up big. Will Hill and Dee Finley could evolve into a Jarvis Williams/Louis Oliver caliber tandem. Add in corner prospects Jenkins, Brown and Bushell and you have a big time group of DBs.

The rankings give little love for kickers, but the addition of Caleb Sturgis was a must after the Gators managed touchbacks on just ten percent of kickoffs. The kickers were the difference in the Capital One Bowl loss to Michigan, so you could argue Sturgis could be worth a win a year.

All in all the Gators have done extremely well, or so it seems. Their highest rated positions are in the areas of greatest need and that's ALWAYS the most significant ranking of all.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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