March 8th, 2011 11:24am

Numbers game: Filling UF’s 2012 offense

by

As Junior Days come and go around the country, fans are anxiously awaiting who will be the next spring commitment for their favorite school.

Florida has had some very good, early success on the recruiting trail this spring. The Gators currently have five verbals and are at the top of many prospects’ lists. Will Muschamp and his staff have certainly hit the 2012 class hard after a signing 19 in the 2011 class.

With a small class coming into Gainesville, Muschamp has the ability to sign a class of around 25 this time around.

Who will make the final 20 spots? How will this staff make up for some misses at offensive line and linebacker? Will the Gators get another quarterback?

Well, it only makes sense to take a look at the potential numbers and some prospects who could fill some of those spots. While it is very early in the process and there could still be some attrition — or injuries — during spring practice, which begins next week, these numbers could always change.

Today, I’ll focus on the offensive side of the ball.

QUARTERBACK (1)

The Gators signed two quarterbacks in their 2011 class. Jeff Driskel, who is already enrolled, was the guy when Urban Meyer was in charge, but Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis swayed Dwyer’s Jacoby Brissett to come to Gainesville as well. That gives Florida four true quarterbacks for 2011 (John Brantley and Tyler Murphy included). Murphy and Driskel will battle for the second spot behind Brantley this spring, and Brissett will be added to the mix over the summer. Murphy already redshirted, so either Driskel or Brissett will face the same fate this fall. Once Brantley graduates, the Gators will have three at the position, but there have been rumblings that Murphy could change positions. To be safe, Florida will want to sign at least one quarterback in this class.

Names to keep an eye on:

Tyler Cameron, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds (Jupiter, Fla.) — He’s interested in Florida, and his father played running back at UF in 1984. He has yet to visit this year but has been to Florida’s camps the past few years. A slew of southeastern schools are after him. He doesn’t have a Florida offer.

Zeke Pike, 6-5, 220 (Edgewood, Kent., Dixie Heights) — He worked out at one of Florida’s camps last summer and showed off one of the most powerful and accurate arms during drills. He’s a typical pro-style quarterback, but he’s quite mobile and would fit Weis’ system. He claims around 30 major offers, and Florida is one of them.

Greyson Lambert, 6-5, 195 (Jesup, Ga., Wayne County) — On film, he shows great arm strength and good accuracy. Florida has been in contact and he visited for one of UF’s Junior Days. It will be interesting to see if he makes it to Gainesville for camp this summer.

Gunner Kiel, 6-4, 200 (Columbus, Ind., East) — He claims an offer from Florida and will be one of the more highly recruited quarterbacks in the Midwest. He’s got the arm  and he’s got the accuracy. He claims more than 20 offers and recently visited Oklahoma.

Jameis Winston, 6-4, 190 (Hueytown, Ala.) — Winston isn’t your prototypical pro-style quarterback, but can certainly get it done through the air. He rushed for nearly 600 yards, and though he passed for a little more than 700 yards as a junior, his film has shown that he’s a throw-first guy in the pocket. He’s got a handful of offers, including one from Florida, but Alabama could be the team to watch here.

RUNNING BACK (0)

With verbal commitments from Seffner Armwood’s Matt Jones and Stone Mountain, Ga., Stephenson’s Mike Davis, Florida is done at running back in this class. Two was the number the staff set out for, and it only took a month for Florida to get its guys.

WIDE RECEIVER (3-4)

Florida has already locked up Citra North Marion’s Latroy Pittman and could settle for signing two more. There certainly is depth with 10 receivers currently on campus and Ja’Juan Story coming this summer. Deonte Thompson will graduate after the 2011 season, so Florida isn’t in dire need to sign a ton of receivers.

Names to keep an eye on:

Chris Black, 6-0, 175 (Jacksonville, Fla., First Coast) — He might be the top receiver in the state of the Florida this fall. He visited UF a few times during the fall and grew up a Gators fan. However, Florida State is making a strong push, and word is that his mom really likes the staff in Tallahassee. Alabama has also made a very good impression on Black. This one should be fun to watch.

Dorial Green-Beckham, 6-6, 220, (Springfield, Mo., Hillcrest) — Many have compared him to former Georgia receiver A.J. Green. He’s got great size has great speed as well. He’s a track star at his high school, too. He has visited Florida in the past, so the Gators are definitely on his radar. He will be able to pick and choose wherever he wants to go this year.

Stefon Diggs, 6-1, 189 (Olney, Md., Our Lady of Good Counsel) — He showed that he’ll be one of the top offensive prospects in the country this fall after earning MVP honors at the U.S. Army All-American Junior Combine in January. He’s already got a connection to UF with Jelani Jenkins attending the same high school. Diggs has a slew of offers and could make an immediate impact at most schools after him.

Avery Johnson, 6-2, 185 (Pompano Beach, Fla., Ely) — He’s currently committed to LSU, the school of his brother, Patrick Peterson, but he’s shown interest in visiting other schools. Florida is one of those schools. The Tigers have his verbal, but he’s open to looking at other schools and he will.

Ricardo Louis, 6-2, 200 (Miami Beach Senior) — He’s played a lot of quarterback, but he’s one of those guys who translates better to receiver in college. He currently doesn’t have an offer from Florida, but that could change after the staff checks him out live. Miami appears to be the team to beat.

Alton Howard, 5-9, 170 (Orlando, Fla., Edgewater) — He’s not the biggest receiver out there, but after watching him work out at the Army Combine in January, he will be a playmaker at the next level. He’s got great speed and is surprisingly strong for his size. Ohio State is the overwhelming favorite here, but he’s shown some interest in Florida.

Jody Fuller, 6-0, 200 (Monroe, N.C., Sun Valley) — Fuller was one of the top prospects at the Under Armour Junior Combine in January. He caught 77 passes for 850 yard and 16 touchdowns as a junior. He was impressive at Florida’s camp last summer and has a handful of offers. He’s got interest in Florida, but hasn’t received an offer. The east coast schools are making the biggest push for him right now.

TIGHT END (1)

It’s tough to find a place to begin with this position at Florida. Aaron Hernandez was great at tight end and then the tight end vanished after he left. Jordan Reed figures to return to tight end after his stint at quarterback last season. Early enrollee A.C. Leonard is gifted enough to make an immediate impact there and will battle for time this spring. After that, you have Desmond Parks and Michael McFarland. Injuries have cost Parks two straight seasons, while McFarland redshirted last year. This position is up for grabs, so the coaches might want to invest in another one this year.

Names to keep an eye on:

Kelvin Rainey, 6-3, 210 (Yulee, Fla.) — Rainey visited Florida for last week’s Junior Day and said he had a “great time” on campus. However, Florida is recruiting him as a linebacker, not a tight end. Rainey is up to making the switch, but he’d like to play offense for now. Florida sticks out, but it’s unclear if the staff will continue to recruit him as just a linebacker.

Kent Taylor, 6-5, 220 (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) — Taylor received an offer from Florida’s coaches after visiting for Florida’s first Junior Day. He’s getting a lot of interest from southeast schools and recently received an offer from LSU. He’ll be a hot commodity this year.

Sean Price, 6-4, 210 (Citra, Fla., North Marion) — With Pittman already committed to Florida, Price’s interest in the Gators has risen. He visited a few times last year and holds a Florida offer. Miami recently offered Price, and a lot of schools are starting to get involved with him.

Kurt Freitag, 6-3, 220 (Buford, Ga.) — His name isn’t too prominent right now in the recruiting world, but he’s starting to get some attention from big-time programs. Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State and South Carolina have all offered.

Ricky Parks, 6-3, 210 (Hogansville, Ga., Callaway) — Parks played more quarterback his junior year, but he looks better suited to play tight end in college. Southern schools are lining up to offer him, and he should get even more attention once he participates in camps this summer.

OFFENSIVE LINE (5)

This is an area Florida’s new staff struggled with in the 2011 class. The Gators lost one of its o-line commits and only managed to bring in two guys. There is some depth on the current roster, but this is a top priority for Muschamp and Co. The state of Florida has a plethora of talent, and Florida’s staff should be able to do a much better job in this department.

Names to keep an eye on:

Jessamen Dunker, 6-6, 315 (Boynton Beach, Fla.) — Dunker visited Florida in February for Junior Day and came away very impressed. Florida is a school that is sticking out for him, and while he isn’t ready to commit, Florida’s early moves with him could pay off in the end. He’s planning to take more visits this spring, and Florida should get one of those. Most of the SEC is after Dunker.

John Theus, 6-6, 292 (Jacksonville, Fla., Bolles) —He is considered by most to be the topoffensive tackle prospect in the country. His older brother is atGeorgia, so most think the Bulldogs might have the upper hand at thispoint. He’s planning to visit Florida for the next Junior Day this month andwill probably be in town for a practice. Everyone will be after Theus, and he’ll make his decision at the U.S. Army All-American game next January.

Avery Young, 6-5, 270 (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) —People have been talking about Young since last year and most think he’ll challenge Theus as the state’s top lineman. He’s got a ton of offers and everyone his trying to gethim on campus this spring. He and his family visited Florida last month to check in on the new coaching staff, and it appears the Gators are still a school he’s quite impressed in.Miami, Georgia and Georgia Tech could get visits this month, as well. Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Michigan, Okahoma and N.C. State, where his brother went, are all schools he’s been in contact with.

D.J. Humphries, 6-6, 262 (Charlotte, N.C., Mallard Creek) — Humphries has been bombarded with offers from nearly every ACC and SEC team. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and LSU are the schools he’s saying are at the top of his list right now. Humphries will try to get around to those schools in the near future. North Carolina is a school to look out for here, but LSU has always stuck out for Humphries because of the game day atmosphere.

Evan Goodman, 6-4, 270 (Lakeland, Fla.) — The big three schools in Florida (UF, FSU and UM) are all on his list and he’s gotten attention from each of them. He’s even received verbal offers from Ohio State and Arizona State. Florida’s deep ties to Lakeland could be a factor, but he insists he’s very open at this point. He recently visited Florida State and is trying to get to Gainesville soon.

Patrick Miller, 6-7, 260 (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Dwyer) — Like most of the instate linemen, Miller is a fan of The Big Three. All three have offered and Miller figures to be one of the rising stars at the offensive tackle position in the state. It’s looking more and more likely that he wants to stay in the state of Florida for school and that he doesn’t want to drag out the recruiting process.

Duaron Williams, 6-4, 294 (Orlando, Fla., Jones) — He doesn’t have a laundry list of offers, but his size will make him pretty appetizing to schools. Williams isn’t favoring just one school, but he really likes The Big Three. His mom wants him to stay close to home, so that could give southeastern schools the early advantage. He’s got offers from Ole Miss, Central Florida and Rutgers, but has heard from more than 40 schools.

Colby Watson, 6-5, 320 (Pensacola, Fla., Pine Forest) — His list of offers isn’t extensive, but with his size, that should change during spring evaluations and summer camps. Right now, the only schools he’s really been in contact with are Florida, FSU and Alabama. Bama and Florida are sticking out, and it doesn’t hurt the Gators that his former teammate, athlete Louchiez Purifoy, will enroll at UF this summer. If Florida offers, the Gators should take the lead for him.

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Comments

43 Comments

  1. March 8th, 2011 1:49 pm

    great work on this piece, Ed!…appreciate the info!

    by MustChomp


  2. March 8th, 2011 2:00 pm

    tight end…. no mention of Gerlad Christian? Is he not in play at this position anymore?

    by plg


  3. March 8th, 2011 2:17 pm

    Great as always Ed. Thank you, keep up the great work.
    I used to scour the internet for reliable Gator recruiting news but now, I just read your column.

    by Todd


  4. March 8th, 2011 2:35 pm

    Great work Ed! I love reading about Gator football during the off season. We despretly need OL, DL & linebackers next class.
    Go Gators!!!

    by Kwaj Gator


  5. March 8th, 2011 2:40 pm

    Good Job Ed!

    by Tallahassee Gator


  6. March 8th, 2011 2:45 pm

    Thanks for your usual great work Edward.

    by Ga Gator


  7. March 8th, 2011 2:55 pm

    You da man!!! Thanks for all you do for us in the GATOR Nation

    by gatormeone


  8. March 8th, 2011 3:17 pm

    no mention of gerald christian at TE???

    by gator nation


  9. March 8th, 2011 3:26 pm

    What about Gerald Christian at TE? He was a huge recruit. Has he left the team?

    by Ghris Diffbrook


  10. March 8th, 2011 3:26 pm

    Nice write up. Small complaint but you forgot to list Gerald Christian as a returning TE

    by Mark


  11. March 8th, 2011 3:32 pm

    Ed, what about Gerald Christian at TE?!? He didn’t go anywhere, did he?

    by Michael


  12. March 8th, 2011 3:39 pm

    Good info, but I’m really looking forward to hearing about the defensive prospects.

    by Brent


  13. March 8th, 2011 4:01 pm

    Glad my new droid has the Gators News app. Articles like this give me info I can’t find anywhere else. Thanks

    by Bob Stiff


  14. March 8th, 2011 4:06 pm

    What happened to Gerald Christian at TE ?

    by gatordone


  15. March 8th, 2011 4:52 pm

    What about gerald christian at TE?

    by poppup


  16. March 8th, 2011 8:05 pm

    Ed, good job. Don’t keep us in suspense about the Big D. You are on Fire.

    by sam


  17. March 8th, 2011 8:17 pm

    Great review – what about Gerald Christian – is he still projected at TE or was he moved to LB?

    by PBGator


  18. March 8th, 2011 8:25 pm

    COULD y’all stop giving Ed all this good credit cause if we continue doing this sportcenter/espn will come knocking this is best thing gators football have going period so if y’all don’t mind lets try 2 keep this down on the low don’t know how he does it but he might b the best at what he do,he might go missing 4 a couple of days but when he come with the news it b well worth the wait GO ED GO!

    by MONEYGREEN


  19. March 8th, 2011 8:35 pm

    you didnt mention Gerald Christian. Is he changing positions?

    by Ryan


  20. March 8th, 2011 8:44 pm

    can’t wait for sept. to roll around

    by PKBlueWave02


  21. March 8th, 2011 9:41 pm

    Just noticed when talking about TE you didn’t mention Gerald Christian. Don’t know if I missed news of a position change or transfer, but I figured he’d be seeing a lot of playing time this year.

    by Paul


  22. March 9th, 2011 12:26 am

    thanks Ed!

    Duaron Williams talked about his degree being the most important factor. That should work in our favor.

    Do you think Champ and Weiss have an advantage w the academic recruits?

    by SwampTalk


  23. March 9th, 2011 6:45 am

    Good job ed. You are the only one on that staff with must read articles anymore. I cancelled my gator country subscription because of you

    by Jimer


  24. March 9th, 2011 7:36 am

    Great work Ed this class will be awesome!

    by ATL Gator


  25. March 9th, 2011 8:15 am

    [...] to sign close to 25 players in February.How will Florida handle its numbers on the offensive side? Edward Aschoff answers that question in the Gainesville [...]

    by Recruiting | MrSEC.com


  26. March 9th, 2011 8:29 am

    Great job Ed, however you forgot about Gerald Christian when referring to our current TE’s. Or maybe I missed something and Christian is no longer on the team or has changed positions. At any rate, keep up the good work!

    by Chomp1


  27. March 9th, 2011 10:00 am

    Great article, Ed. Your articles are a great source of information. You are defintiely a valuable asset to the Sun’s sports writing staff.

    by Flalitig8r


  28. March 9th, 2011 12:48 pm

    All-right Ed, pretty interesting stuff. Only thing I have a problem with is the NCAA Football on the playstation thing you think your good at. If you’ve ever heard of a little town west of G-Ville called Trenton, well I am the city champ out here, and I’ve sent plenty like you home crying, literally. You got my e-mail, just let me know when and where. All I ask is you give me Alabama. I’m all Gator, but Bama’s bad on there.

    by GBBolt


  29. March 9th, 2011 3:05 pm

    Anyone know when the next UF Junior day is?

    by Tony Bates


  30. March 9th, 2011 3:17 pm

    I left Gerald Christian off because he played more of the H-Back position last year an that’s where it looks like he’ll be this year. His days as a traditional tight end might be in the past.

    by Edward Aschoff


  31. March 9th, 2011 3:59 pm

    Wouldn’t Jordan Reed figure to be more of an H-back then as well?

    by Randy Marsh


  32. March 9th, 2011 4:09 pm

    Mr. Aschoff, I too would like to thank you for your expertise and for keeping it real. You bring many things to light that we arent getting anywhere else. Rock on.

    by Dan Dixon


  33. March 9th, 2011 9:09 pm

    Ed, I understand that we’re done at Tailback, but shouldn’t we have 1 solid FULLBACK in the 2012 class??? We’ve got a great one coming this summer, but depth will be an issue (not counting any H-Back players).

    by cggater


  34. March 10th, 2011 9:39 am

    Still think we’ll oversign by 2 – 3 players though.

    by Gator Todd


  35. March 10th, 2011 9:40 am

    CG, we still have Hicks and Pridmore, plus the #1 FB in this year’s 2011 class. Not to mention trey Burton who i think will move there. We’re set at FB for a while.

    by Gator Todd


  36. March 10th, 2011 10:18 am

    Ed, Great article. Thanks for providing the best articles on Gator sports. Also, many thanks for the twitter updates, good stuff!

    by CMLGator


  37. March 10th, 2011 12:48 pm

    Trey Burton @ fullback? Come on now, he’s pretty versatile and all, but I don’t think blocking 250lb middle linebackers is one of his strengths. I think Omar Hunter would make a good fullback!

    by GBBolt


  38. March 10th, 2011 3:31 pm

    ED IS AWESOME!

    by JoJo


  39. March 10th, 2011 5:19 pm

    Yes, Trey Burton at FB. He’s a natural inside runner. The perfect size, extremely good vision, runs with his shouders VERY low (he trucked a number of defenders last season), excellent balance of physical power from upper body to legs, and is extremely football smart and will learn the new offense as fast as the QB’s will. No way this kid plays safety as was suggested before, and usually when I say things like this, I’m spot on. He’ll play the FB and Rb position in 2011 IMO.

    by Gator Todd


  40. March 10th, 2011 6:15 pm

    As has played out size doesn’t mean everything. Just because you’re big it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll grade out as a superstar in college. It sure would be greaqt to also look at coachability and smarts as in can you pass block AND run block in the same series? do you get confusede about who your blocking assignment is? Can you hold your block without holding? These guys will be going against other players on other teams with the same superstar pedigree as they have, not triple teams by undersized opponentd. And MOST importantly, what is their work ethic. There has to be a way to measure a young propect’s heart not just look at his size and stats in high school! If we can get some classy stallions who are coached well the offensive line will be fine

    by Paul


  41. March 10th, 2011 7:02 pm

    Hope Brantley builds his confidence and does well in this offense. That said ther should be no gimmies as to who has a year long lease on a position.

    by Paul


  42. March 10th, 2011 7:15 pm

    I do agree with closing practices…there will be a lot of adjusting from Meyer’s syle, philosophies. playbooks to Muschamp’s. The last thing that the players need is someone to evaluate them on a potentially steep learning curve. Spring will be a great opportunity for the coaches and players to get used to, and mesh with eachother without distraction which I’m sure would be there if practices were open. I love the Gators enough to not take closeed practices personnaly.

    by Paul


  43. March 17th, 2011 4:04 pm

    Just noticed that there is another Paul besides me contributing to this website, Doesn’t bother me but I didn’t know any rules. Can always call me Paul in Gville but I would rather not have to reregister.

    Thanks,

    Paul

    by Paul


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