Gator Reinforcements Enroll

The Florida Gators aren't losing much from their squad for 2009, but that won't keep Urban Meyer and company from re-stocking the shelves so to speak. Six of Florida's early commitments have enrolled at the University of Florida and will begin competing for playing time during spring practice.

Here's a look at each of the six early enrollees and their chances of getting into the mix in their first year.

In all cases when I refer to someone's ranking or the number of "stars" they received it is based on the Scout.com rankings.

Nick Alajajian, OL, Naples FL, 6-4, 280 --- The nation's top rated prospect at guard Alajajian will be entering a crowded field on the interior of the Florida line. With the Pouncey brothers and Carl Johnson, Florida's middle returns intact. Add in Mo Hurt, James Wilson and others and there's plenty of talent on hand. Alajajian might be able to move past those guys or he might convince coaches he can play tackle or that they should move Johnson back outside.

Jonotthan Harrison, OL, Groveland FL, 6-4, 290 --- Rated slight below Alajajian at guard (No. 11) he is in toughly the same position. I would expect one of the two to start out at tackle where Florida needs two new starters and has just David Young and Marcus Gilbert in the mix.

Desmond Parks, TE, Greer FL, 6-4, 218 --- You can't be much better off than coming into a situation where there's just one other guy at your spot. Of courser that guy, Aaron Hernandez will be an All-SEC candidate next fall. Parks might be ready to help as a receiver from day one, but he'll probably have to put a lot more meat on that 6-4 frame in order to be able to block effectively in this offense.

Jon Bostic, LB, Wellington FL, 6-1, 218 --- When the season began I felt Florida had a desperate need at LB, but that's no longer the case. Charlie Strong has done a superb job bringing along Ryan Stamper, A.J. Jones, Brandon Hicks and Dustin Doe. Add in Lerentee McCray and Lo Edwards and this is suddenly a tough place for a rookie to make his mark. Still, Bostic is the No. 3 WLB in the country for a reason so you can't rule it out.

Dee Finley, S, Milford Academy/Auburn AL, 6-1, 193 --- Finley was the No. 5 safety in the country a year ago and a year in prep school isn't likely to have hurt him any. You look at him and wonder if he'll outgrow the secondary, but for now that's still where he's targeted. Florida has Ahmad Black and Major Wright as starters with future star Will Hill. Then you have questions. Will Dorian Munroe make it back? Will Bryan Thomas emerge? You gotta believe Finley has a legit chance of cracking the two-deep.

Edwin Herbert, DT, City College of San Francisco 6-3, 295 --- The Gators have never gotten much from their forays into the JUCO ranks and time will tell if Herbert can be the exception. Florida's starting tackles are set and the Gators are thrilled with the development of Lawrence Marsh and Terron Sanders. But there are opportunities after that. Torrey Davis has a world of talent and Jay Howard has shown some potential. There are size, health and/or ability concerns about Omar Hunter, John Brown, Brandon Antwine and Troy Epps. If Herbert can crack the top five he'll be a plus.

These six guys will help to make spring practice a lot more interesting.


Fightin Gators Top Stories