Seven games into the season and it’s time to take a look how the 2010 class has fared thus far.
Remember, this was rated as the No. 1 recruiting class by everyone, except Rivals.com.
Has this class lived up to your expectations? Is it a disappointment? Is it where you thought it would be? We’ll find out …
Trey Burton (Venice) — The former three-star prospect has been a total surprise and has been one of the most productive players on offense for the Gators. He leads Florida with nine touchdowns (more touchdowns than John Brantley has passing). He’s played almost every position (including on Florida’s kickoff team) and has grabbed 20 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. As Florida’s wildcat quarterback, he’s rushed the ball 32 times for 138 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s also 1 of 2 passing for 42 yards and an interception. He’s easily Florida’s most productive freshman.
Tyler Murphy (Wethersfield, Conn.) — In warmups he looks like he has a great throwing motion, but word is that he isn’t getting the offense down as well as Burton. He was a dynamite athlete in high school, despite not being highly recruited. It seemed like he’d be an ideal wildcat option, like Burton, but it looks like he’ll redshirt this year. He definitely looks like he knows what he’s doing when he’s relaying signals to the offense from the sideline.
Mack Brown (Lithonia, Ga., Martin Lurther King) — Everyone keeps asking why he isn’t getting the ball. Jeff Demps, Emmanuel Moody and Mike Gillislee are all dinged up in some capacity, but Brown still isn’t seeing playing time. I’m not a coach, but it would seem that if you’re missing running backs you could probably hand him the ball at least once. He’s played in three games this season, carrying the ball three times for 23 yards. He’s also played some special teams and recorded a tackle. With the (little) amount of time he’s played, it looks like he might not have the option of redshirting.
Chris Dunkley (Pahokee) — He was supposed to be Florida’s next great weapon at receiver, but a hamstring injury dating back to his senior year of high school has kept him out this season. Coach Urban Meyer said last week that his hamstring was around 80 percent healthy, but he didn’t play against Mississippi State. This looks like a redshirt year, but if he can get healthy, Florida needs him because the playmakers out there are hard to find.
Solomon Patton (Mobile, Ala., Murphy) — A tremendous slot guy in high school, Patton has played special teams for the Gators and has 23 kick-return yards. He enrolled in January and looked like he’d make some sort of contribution on offense in the fall, but has yet to get that chance. He’s a small, speedy guy who could make something happen if the ball is put in his hands, but maybe he’s behind in practice.
Quinton Dunbar (Miami Booker T. Washington) — With the way his coaches talked him up during training camp, you’d think he was the next big deep threat for the Gators. Meyer talked about all the plays he was making in practice and how he surprised everyone with how fast he was. However, he’s only played in two games, registering no stats and was held out of the MSU game with a hamstring injury.
Robert Clark (West Palm Beach Dwyer) — Clark has played in the slot since Chris Rainey’s suspension, but will probably move from there when Rainey returns. In his time there, Clark has caught five passes for 48 yards. His only carry of the year went for minus-2 yards, on fourth down against MSU. He’s played special teams, recording five tackles and is also a blocker on special teams for the Gators’ return man. Clark was another guy who seemed to be primed to have a nice role in the offense in the slot, but hasn’t been used too often on offense.
Adrian Coxson (Baltimore, Md., City College) — Coxson transferred to Maryland during training camp.
Gerald Christian (Dwyer) — The true mystery of this class. Christian came in as one of the best tight ends in the country, but has played sparingly this fall. He has yet to record a catch, and with the tight end position one of great need for Florida, you’d think he’d have more of a role in the offense. Right now, he’s having trouble beating out Jordan Reed (third-string quarterback) for playing time. Great pumpkin?
Mike McFarland (Tampa Blake) — He was originally supposed to greyshirt, but the coaches decided to bring him in during the summer. Weight was an issue for him coming in and he has yet to see game action this year. That redshirt is probably heading his way.
Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) — Green had hernia surgery before the season and hasn’t seen any playing time this season. Though the offensive line is a mess, Green will probably redshirt and take this fall to help his development. The Gators will obviously need him next year.
Ian Silberman (Fleming Island) — Silberman started the season as a blocking tight end, but hasn’t played since. As a true freshman, he’s probably not physically ready and could use time to develop, even with the struggles up front.
Leon Orr (New Port Richey Gulf) — Orr moved over from the defensive line this fall, but was on schedule to redshirt from the beginning of fall practice, despite enrolling early.
Ronald Powell (Moreno Valley, Calif., Rancho Verde) — He went from being the subject of transfer rumors to moving to outside linebacker. That move has gotten him more playing time and he delivered two crushing hits against MSU last weekend. Powell was the nation’s No. 1 player in the country, but he struggled to adapt to the college game during training camp and has yet to make much of an impact. I thought he’d be one of the most active freshmen this fall, but he has yet to really make that push. Defensive line coach Dan McCarney said before Powell made the move to linebacker that he wasn’t progressing as fast as the coaches wanted. Powell has six tackles and a sack in seven games. He’s also playing on special teams.
Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia, Pa., George Washington) — Floyd has been one of the most consistent freshmen on this team. McCarney said he’s ahead of all the other frosh defensive linemen and he made his presence known from day one. Floyd plays more consistently on defense than the other freshmen linemen and has recorded nine tackles, including two for loss. He’s still not that huge force in the middle that the Gators need, but he’s showing flashes of having that ability. Floyd seems to be a guy who will make the biggest impact the fastest of the stud d-line class Florida brought in.
Dominique Easley (Staten Island, N.Y., Curtis) — Easley was also the subject of transfer rumors and has not had a very impressive fall. A foot injury has kept him out most of the time and he’s only played in three games, recording two tackles. Easley also missed practice time due to a funeral he had to attend back home earlier this season. For unspecified reasons, he wasn’t even on the sideline for Florida’s game against MSU. McCarney said Easley hasn’t progressed nearly to the degree he was expected to. At Media Day, Easley anointed himself the “LeBron James” of the “Big Three” that includes Powell and Floyd.
Lynden Trail — From the beginning, Trail was set to redshirt. He’s a bit undersized, but has great speed. He hasn’t played this year and the plan is to get him ready for next year.
Gideon Ajagbe (Coconut Grove Ransom Everglades) — Ajagbe underwent surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff before the season and is expected to miss the whole fall. He would have probably redshirted anyway, but he’s a very athletic linebacker.
Michael Taylor (Atlanta Westlake) — Taylor seemed like the perfect Meyer recruit because of his blue-collar attitude and work ethic. He’s undersized, but packs a punch. He hasn’t played this year and will probably redshirt, but the coaches did rave about him before the season.
Darrin Kitchens (Homestead) — He’s been a guy who’s really taken to special teams. He hasn’t recorded any statistics this year, but he’s one of the guys Meyer talks about a lot when it comes to special teams.
Neiron Ball (Jackson, Ga.) — Ball has become a special teams guys for Meyer and has recorded five tackles. He’s played some linebacker in mop-up duty.
Cody Riggs (Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) — Riggs has moved in front of the other freshmen cornerbacks as far as playing time is concerned. When Moses Jenkins went down, he was the No. 3 corner, and when Matt Elam didn’t play in the nickel against MSU, he started in his place. He’s really surprised me with how well he covers, despite his 5-foot-9, 166-pound frame. He’s got great speed and has made a few plays on defense. Before that, he was a gunner on kickoff. He has seven tackels and two pass breakups.
Matt Elam (Dwyer) — Elam looked to be the most physically ready freshman this spring, and he’s been in the nickel corner spot all season. A concussion limited him against MSU, but he played some on special teams. He showed he’s got a knack for the football when he sprinted in for a sack in the Alabama game. Of all the defensive freshmen, he’ll probably make the biggest impact for the Gators. He’s been a great special teams player as well. His playing time will only increase, once he’s fully healthy. Elam leads the freshmen with 15 tackles and has recovered a fumble.
Jaylen Watkins (Cape Coral) — Watkins is the fourth guy in the cornerback rotation and has two tackles in five games this season. He’s done well when he’s played and could be a playmaker in the future.
Jonathan Dowling (Bradenton Southeast) — Dowling was one of the most exciting recruits for the Gators in this class. He played well at both safety and receiver and there was thought that he could play receiver in college. He’s staying at safety and has played sparingly this season with two tackles. Expect his contributions to come in the future.
Joshua Shaw (Palmdale, Calif.) — For a guy who enrolled in January, Shaw has become a ghost on this team. He moved behind Riggs, who came in July, and Watkins, with whom he battled in the spring. Shaw looked to be the most physically ready and was a stud in high school. Through seven games, he’s played in three and started one. He didn’t dress against MSU for unspecified reasons. Shaw has no stats this season.
Jordan Haden (Fort Washington, Md., Friendly) — Haden transferred during training camp.