Signing Day 2009 has come and gone and the Florida Gators had another year of banner prospects added to their roster. With limited scholarships available, the numbers were going to be low. The Gators were still able to capitalize on some premium talent and garner some of the nation's top prospects at almost every position. Here is Hollywood Bob's breakdown of the 2009 class.
The Gators didn't have great numbers at any position outside of the offensive line. Still they managed to snag star players at each level of the offense and defense. Here is my interpretation of each player and their meaning to the Gator roster.
Breakdown: The Gator staff had him show up at Friday night Lights and that was all they needed to see. He is big, sturdy, can run well, and is not afraid to dish out the punishment as a running quarterback. He has a cannon of an arm that will need some refining, but physically he is everything they are looking for.
Breakdown: Gillislee is maybe the most under rated player in the class. He has great athletic ability and speed to burn, He has some height to put more weight on a 200 pound body. He also could play receiver and be a nice change up in the slot if necessary. Definitely the kind of athlete they want in the Urban Meyer offense.
Breakdown: The 'must have' in this recruiting class, DeBose was at the top of the board at receiver and probably the whole recruiting board. He will be asked to replace Percy Harvin in the offense and has the same skill set. The truth is, this guy is a flat baller and knows how to play the game. I can see him in a lot of direct snap play for the Gators running from the quarterback position and occasionally throw it as he was an under rated quarterback in high school.
Breakdown: He doesn't get a lot of accolades and was under utilized in high school. He played in the offense/ defense game and caught a 21 yard touchdown against good competition showing he may be better than advertised. Parks may be asked to contribute this season, but he will need to put on some weight to play in the SEC.
Breakdown: Nick is the meanest of the offensive linemen that Florida signed. He is aggressive and has quick feet. He was pushed hard to play tackle, but he is rated as Scout.com's number two offensive guard and may be better suited there in college.
Breakdown: Sources have told me from the beginning that Halapio is the most physically ready to play lineman in the bunch. With all the injuries last season, it would still be amazing if he saw early playing time in the fall, but it is not out of the question.
Breakdown: Harrison, like Alajajian,. Is an early enrollee. The four—star lineman may be the most versatile and able to play guard or tackle. The jury is out which position, but I think he will play tackle where he can use his long arms and strength to his advantage.
Breakdown: Kyle Koehne is somewhat of an unknown but a prospect the Gators recruited hard fro the very beginning. Koehne travelled down for spring practice last year and the staff loved him and his family enoough to offer a few months later. He has size and quickness and has a great frame to add more weight and strength. He is aggressive and physical like the staff loves in their offensive linemen.
Breakdown: Nixon was by far the most dominant offensive lineman at either of the All-Star games this January. He has excellent technique, quickness, and footwork. He is on his way up weighing in at 275 pounds and will probably be close to 290 when he arrives on campus. I expect Nixon to compete right away for playing time.
Breakdown: Like Nixon, Brown was the most dominant lineman at either All-Star game but on the other side of the ball. He had 26 sacks as a junior and over 20 as a senior. He absolutely blew up the All-Star game in Orlando. He is a quick tackle with great size and could be a weapon from day one.
Breakdown: Herbert was one the Gators grabbed from Tennessee before their new staff arrived. Herbert is already enrolled at Florida and will be able to contribute right away this spring in preparation for the fall. With all the injuries last season, Herbert has a chance to play early in 2009.
Breakdown: Johnson had 43 sacks in his last two years of high school. A speed rush end, the staff fell in love with him at camp where he worked along side Gary Brown and they dominated everyone they faced. He doesn't run well, but is ultra quick in the short sprints. He is most likely a redshirt due to depth and experience at the position, but I look for Johnson to play a lot in his Gator career.
Breakdown: Bostic was the number one target at linebacker for a long time in the recruiting class of 2009. He was supposed to be the only linebacker, so that tells you how much the staff loved him. He's big and will get bigger. He has a chance to play in the middle or can be a speed strong side linebacker also. He is a combine warrior and is big time on all the agility drills.
Breakdown: Honestly a great surprise pick up late in the process. In October he was a speck on the recruiting board and then something changed. Now the gators will have the services of the number one weak side linebacker in the country for 2009. Jenkins is another that had a seriously good week in Orlando at the Under Armour All-American game.
Breakdown: Those that have been on the message boards at Fightin' Gators know that Jason and I have been raving about Evans. He has remained under the radar because of lack of film out on him, but should be much higher rated. He is an athletic safety that loves to hit,.he will; likely redshirt due to depth and experience on the roster, and he may need some time to add some weight.
Breakdown: Finley has been tearing it up in early work outs with the other players, or so I have heard. I love Finley's physical ability and I believe he has excellent speed for a guy his size. He covers ground really well and will challenge for the hardest safety on the team. He definitely has an attitude when playing the game.