The old saying “The rich get richer” comes to mind when thinking about Florida’s current recruiting class.
After Urban Meyer’s drama put a little uncertainty into what this class would look like in February, everything has been going right. In seven days, the Gators snatched up five top recruits — all on national television. Eleven of the 24 commitments are already on campus and will participate in spring ball.
And there’s still room for improvement in this class. Yes, Florida can still make this class better. It sounds weird to say, I know, but with four spots left, Florida is far from finished with this year’s class.
Here’s a look at the final few prospects Florida’s staff is looking at as the weeks for this recruiting season wind down.
Andrew Hendrix, Cincinnati Moeller (Notre Dame) — Hendrix visited Florida this past weekend for an official visit and reportedly came away very impressed with what Florida has to offer. Although he’s committed to Notre Dame, he committed to the Irish when Charlie Weis was in charge and now that Brian Kelly has taken over, Hendrix said he’s opened his recruitment up a bit in order to take visits. He’s got a strong arm and while he’s mostly a pocket-passer, he’s shown some signs of decent mobility in his high school videos. Trey Burton and Jordan Reed are on campus, but getting another quarterback into the mix this year wouldn’t hurt.
Jesse Scroggins, Lakewood, Calif. (USC) — He’s on the list simply because of the fact that Pete Carroll is out as USC’s coach. He’s hasn’t come out publicly with any intention to looking around, but I have to think that since Florida was a finalist for his commitment over the summer that Meyer and Co. have to get involved with some sort of communication.
Dillon Baxter, San Diego Mission Bay (USC) — He’s a bit of a long shot and I doubt Florida’s staff is actively pursuing him with Mack Brown committed. Brown has met with new running backs coach Stan Drayton and is comfortable with Florida’s coaching staff. However, if anything were to change (many schools are actively recruiting him), don’t be surprised if Baxter’s name comes up closer to Signing Day. He said after Carroll’s resignation that he’d be interested in hearing from Florida.
Kyle Prater, Hillside, Ill., Proviso West — The nation’s top receiver has reportedly decommitted from USC and will take visits between now and Signing Day. Tennessee is definitely getting a visit and Prater told reporters in San Antonio that he’d be interested in visiting Florida. He’s got tremendous size and speed and showed great hands over the weekend as well. If he gets on campus for a visit, expect Florida’s staff to turn the heat on considerably.
Ivan McCartney, Miramar — He’s been one of Florida’s top prospects all year and he showed during the U.S. Army Game that he’s an elite receiver with elite speed. He’s been quiet about recruiting all year, but it appears to be a Florida-Miami battle. He’ll decide on Signing Day and Florida’s staff will constantly be after him between now and then.
Adrian Coxson, Baltimore City College High (Penn State) — Coxson visited Florida for the Florida State game and came away impressed (like everyone) with what he saw in Gainesville. There’s been talk about his status with the Nittany Lions lately. Some say he’s leaning toward Florida and that PSU is backing off. If he wanted to commit, I find it hard to belive Florida’s coaches would say no. He’d be a solid get at a position of need.
Kadron Boone, Ocala Trinity Catholic (Texas Tech) — Boone was a guy that a lot of people pegged as a Gator, but when he committed to Texas Tech, it threw many for a loop. Now that Mike Leach is out as head coach, Boone is looking around and Florida is definitely a team to watch. I’m not sure where the interest level is between both parties at the moment, but things could change depending on the receivers in front of him.
Christian Green, Tampa Catholic — He was a Florida lean over the summer, but Georgia and Florida State appear to be his top schools. He’s got tremendous athletic ability and would fit in well in Florida’s offense, but it might be too much of an uphill battle for Florida’s staff this late in the game.
Seantrel Henderson, Saint Paul, Minn., Cretin-Derham Hall — He’s the top lineman in the country and was a beast in Saturday’s all-star game. He’s been on Florida’s radar all fall and finally started talking up the Gators after his official visit in December. He’s a Signing Day guy and Florida is very much in the mix. He’s the No. 1 offensive lineman on Florida’s board and could get most of Florida’s attention the rest of January. USC might have hit a bit of a wall with Carroll gone, which will only help Florida. Ohio State and Notre Dame are also major players.
Chaz Green, Tampa Catholic — Like his teammate, Christian Green, Florida was the leader early on, but Tennessee is in the driver’s seat. It’s going to be hard to pull him away from Knoxville, but he and Christian are officially visiting UF on Jan. 15. Anything can happen when kids see Gainesville up close.
Matt James, Cincinnati St. Xavier — He’s another guy that talked up Florida at the beginning of the recruiting season but then went quiet. After his time in San Antonio (around all those Gators) he has decided to take an official visit to Florida this weekend.
I would put Plano, Texas, defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat on this list, but ESPN reported Monday that he has cancelled his official visit to Florida.
Jordan Hicks, West Chester, Ohio, Lakota West — The top linebacker prospect has Florida and Texas at the top of his list, with Texas getting a slight edge at this point. The hiring of George Edwards as defensive coordinator certainly helps Florida’s chances. The next thing is for one last in-home visit from the coaches.
Michael Taylor, Atlanta Westlake (Tennessee) — He was last weekend’s surprise recruit, which means Florida must be very interested in him. He’s not rated as one of the best linebacker recruits by most Web sites, but he won co-MVP honors at the Under Armour game and is a very athletic linebacker. I like Florida’s chances here.
Christian Jones, Winter Park Lake Howell — For most of the year it was Florida State that held the advantage, but after Florida’s recent success, he’s started to get the orange-and-blue itch. He wants to visit before Signing Day and a lot of current Gator commits are pushing him to make it to Gainesville. Still, Hicks and Taylor might be ahead of Jones on Florida’s board.