UF Has A Lot To Offer Receivers

It should be the goal of any good high school receiver to be a star in college, make it to the NFL, and win some championships along the way. If that is the case, they better jump on board the 2010 class of the reigning national champions. The University of Florida needs receivers badly for 2010 and there are a slew of them looking hard at the Gators for just a few more spots.

The Florida Gators only signed one receiver for the class of 2009. Andre Debose looks to make an impact in his freshman year, but outside of him it is a bunch of seniors that will likely take up a bulk of the playing time. David Nelson, Riley Cooper, and Carl Moore will likely head off to the NFL after finishing their senior seasons in 2009. On top of that, junior tight end Aaron Hernandez is a candidate to go early for the NFL. In all it is likely that 75 percent or more of the receiving production will move on after 2009 leaving a huge opening for young guys to come in and make an impact.

It isn't out of the norm for freshmen to play early and often under Coach Urban Meyer, especially at skill positions like receiver, most do. With the losses on offense, receivers are at a premium and the quality of wide receiver looking at Florida is as good as it has ever been.

The above are some reasons why that is the case, but there is more. Billy Gonzales coaches receivers at Florida and has built a reputation as a coach that really prepares receivers for the highest level of football in the NFL. Gonzales and the Gators have landed six players in the NFL draft in the four years of coaching at the University of Florida. That is tied with most of any team in America. The fact that his players have two national and SEC championships in that time frame is a bonus that any player should want when picking a college choice.

Gonzales is respected so much by his peers that he has been offered jobs with two NFL teams, and the current staffs at LSU and Tennessee in the SEC. He turned each of them down to continue the football machine that is the Florida Gators.

The fact is the current Florida staff prepares receivers for the NFL as well as anyone and this recruiting season marks the best chance in a whole for young talented receivers to come in and make a mark early and often.

The Gators aren't just taking anyone. They understand that the best want to come to Florida, and so they are looking hard at the best.

The Gators are off to a quick start with two receiver commitments in the last week. One was from speedy Solomon Patton of Mobile (AL) SS Murphy who is a quick slot receiver type that also has a chance to return kicks at Florida. Patton has been a big target for the Gators for a while.

The same can't be said for Stephen Alli of Andover (NH) proctor Academy. Alli showed up to camp last week and was very impressive. The fact that he is 6-6 and 210 pounds and runs a 4.4 40-yard dash means he has tools that you just don't find every day in your common wide receiver prospects. He is most likely a project of sorts, but there is a lot to work with there.

The Gators are probably looking to sign three more receivers. With that in mind, I consider it a two tier group with a most likely and least likely to sign scenarios between the two groups. Group one consists of six of the state of Florida's finest and one all star from the Peach State. I would expect three of these seven to be in the class on signing day.

Markeith Ambles of McDonough (GA) Henry Co. HS is a big receiver at 6-2 and 185 pounds. He is a strong receiver that has good speed for his size and plays the game with an attitude. Florida is the clear leader at this time and Georgia is out of the mix for Ambles. The Gators appear to be battling Alabama for this four-star playmaker.

Kadron Boone of Ocala (FL) Trinity Catholic HS came to camp last week and was a star. Gator fans should know all about Boone who stars for Trinity Catholic only 40 miles from the UF campus. At 6-1 and 195 pounds he is one of the biggest receivers the Gators are targeting, but he has the quickness and skill level of a real play maker at the position.

Chris Dunkley of Pahokee (FL) can play any of the three receiver positions and his versatility makes him very important for what the Gators like to do on offense. The four-star playmaker has been recruited hard by Florida for quite some time and most predict he will end up being a Gator before all is said and done. Dunkley will visit Gainesville for an extended stay in the next month.

Christian Green of Tampa (FL) Catholic HS is the highest rated of the first group of receivers. Just shy of a five-star ranking, Green is a big time athlete that could play multiple positions in college with his skills. He plays quarterback for Catholic and tried some of that at camp last week in Gainesville. Green has visited Florida six times in the last 12 months and looks to make more trips in the future. There is no doubt that FSU has a battle with the Gators on their hands for Green.

James Louis of Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic HS was very close to pulling the trigger for Florida after the spring game. The four-star athlete is probably the best fit in this class at the slot position and is a big time play maker that can run from the backfield and return kicks if called upon to do so.

Ivan McCartney of Miramar (FL) is a Dallas Baker clone with a little more speed. He plays bigger than his 6-1 frame and owns the ball when it is in the air. The Gators are the current front runner for McCartney, but Miami has made him a huge priority.

Darius Millines of Delray Beach (FL) American Heritage HS was a blur at camp last week and has moved up the board for Florida in the last three weeks or so. Millines was scheduled to make a trip to Tennessee this week, but that trip never materialized. He now appears to be heading back to Gainesville for another visit in July and will be at Friday Night Lights to compete against the best. The Gators lead for Millines as well, and I wouldn't be shocked if this one gets settled sooner rather than later.

The next five receivers are going to be big time players wherever they end up. They are in the second group not all on ability, but some because they just seem less likely to sign with Florida when all is said and done.

At first is Quinton Dunbar of Miami (FL) Booker T Washington HS. The 6-2, 165 pound Dunbar was previously committed to Miami, but has since stepped away from that commitment and now favors the Gators.

Justin McCay of Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege HS may be the most talented receiver listed here, but the fact he lives in Kansas and the Oklahoma Sooners are on him hard, means the Gators will likely have a big uphill battle to land him. Still, he maintains interest in Florida and will likely visit for Friday Night Lights, so there is a fighter's chance here.

O.J. Ross of Daytona Beach (FL) Mainland HS is a hugely skilled slot receiver that was also ultra impressive at Florida's camp session. Ross tests off the charts at combines and then backs up his physical ability with big plays on the field of play.

Ace Sanders of Bradenton (FL) Manatee HS is another very skilled slot receiver that is also a dynamic kick returner. Sanders turned a lot of heads at Florida's camp and would not be a disappointment for most if he found away into Florida's class.

Kenny Stills of Encinitas (CA) Canyon HS continues to show up at combines and win MVP honors. There is a tie or two to Florida for Stills and the Gators are suddenly stepping up their game in his recruitment. This one has a chance to move up to the first group soon if things progress a little more or if the first group continues to hold out from committing.

It is possibly the most extensive and well rounded wide receiver board I can remember from the Florida Gators in quite some time. With all the reasons listed above, it should be that kind of list. Luckily for Florida there is such a huge group of talented receivers to recruit in 2010. That wasn't the case in 2009.

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