August 9th, 2011 05:08am

More five-stars for Florida?

by

Berkeley Prep wide receiver Nelson Agholor recently participated in the elite 7-on-7 tournament, Gridiron Kings, at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex. (Jeff Barlis/Staff photographer)

Depending on which scouting network you fancy, there are anywhere from eight to 49 of these players in the nation right now.

They’re five-star prospects, rising seniors who have coaches begging for verbal commitments in their team’s 2012 classes.

Why, even the mere mention of FIVE-STARS has many of you giddy and surely has drawn thousands of clicks to this blog already.

All for a handful of supposedly elite athletes, the best of the best.

Maybe you don’t trust these scouting websites — Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports. Maybe you prefer to listen to the chorus of college coaches (including your own Will Muschamp) that says there is no reliable rating system.

But it’s all you’ve got. And maybe it’s just a conversation-starter, a way to guide recruitniks to go find YouTube videos and see for themselves.

Whatever the case, last week’s commitment of consensus five-star offensive tackle D.J. Humphries has brought joy to the Gator Nation.

It is a fanbase hungry for more.

And so, as your correspondent, I will feed the monster and break down which five-star prospects could join Humphries in Florida’s Class of 2012. This list is in an approximate order of players’ ratings across a composite of all four sites. It is NOT in order of most likely to commit (you’ll have to read each note for those opinions).

Ladies and gentlemen, start your salivary glands …

1. WR Dorial Green-Beckham (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) Springfield, Mo. — Who wouldn’t fall all over themselves to land the next size/speed freak of a receiver? It’s a position where Florida could use some star power. The latest word is this consensus top 3 player in the country will soon narrow down his top schools. However, I don’t expect Florida to make that list, as DGB has his attention closer to home in the southern midwest region.

2. DT Eddie Goldman (6-4, 310) Washington, D.C. — The Gators are still looking for one more interior lineman with enough bulk to tussle with the behemoth offensive linemen that have become commonplace in the SEC. Goldman is thought to have star potential and visited UF on a whirlwind tour of schools in the spring. Florida made his initial cut to 15 teams. The question now: Will the Gators earn one of Goldman’s five official visits this fall?

3. WR Stefon Diggs (6-0, 185) Olney, Md. — The “other” consensus five-star receiver in this year’s crop is a breath-taking athlete with tremendous speed, body control and hands. He threw his recruitment on its ear when he showed up and showed out in Gainesville for Friday Night Lights on July 22. The good vibes were flowing between Diggs and the UF coaches, which has led some observers to point to Florida as Diggs’ leader. Again, the need for star power at the receiver position is obvious with one glance at the Gator roster. Diggs plans to return with his mom after his season for an official visit on the UF-FSU weekend.

4. OT Andrus Peat (6-7, 290) Tempe, Ariz. — This rangy left tackle is long and athletic, basically looking like a prototype, and has won praise for his technique and disposition. Florida made his most recent cut-down to 13 teams, but getting Peat to Gainesville has been problematic so far. He said he wanted to visit in July but didn’t make it. Instead, he has raved about visits to Texas and Florida State.

5. DE/LB Noah Spence (6-3, 245) Harrisburg, Pa. — A gifted athlete, Spence is known as a disruptive pass-rushing specialist. Some scouts differ on his rating, perhaps giving pause to the level of competition he faces in south central Pennsylvania. Spence recently narrowed his list to seven teams, including Florida. The feeling appears to be mutual, as the Gator coaches sent a written offer earlier this month, as soon as the rules allowed.

6. DE Darius Hamilton (6-4, 245) Ramsey, N.J. — The son of former New York Giant Keith Hamilton goes to the same high school as former Gator Justin Trattou, a connection Darius says made him fall in love with Florida. However, the New Jersey native has said nearby Rutgers leads for his commitment. He has teammates there and a close relationship with the coaches. Still, he expects to visit Florida, Cal and possibly Tennessee and Oregon this fall.

7. OT Kyle Murphy (6-7, 268) San Clemente, Calif. — Murphy is another who looks the part of an elite offensive tackle prospect. His projectable frame and touted footwork make the Californian a coveted commodity. While he has flirted with just about every school in the Pac-12, he insists he is open to leaving the region. Florida appears to be quite a sleeper in Murphy’s recruitment, as he has talked up his connection with offensive line coach Frank Verducci and head coach Will Muschamp. Look for UF to be Murphy’s only official visit to the South this fall.

8. WR Nelson Agholor (6-2, 180) Tampa, Fla. — Agholor is a remarkable athlete who can play multiple positions, but the Gators are recruiting him as a wide receiver. Still a bit raw, Agholor shows excellent speed, hands and instincts with the ball. He is close to narrowing his list to a top eight, and it would be surprising if Florida was not on it. It’s hard to know what Agholor is thinking, because he doesn’t believe in making his recruitment public. But his coach says Agholor’s interest in Florida is high, and he has already been on campus twice this year. If distance is a factor, Florida could be in great shape, as many of Agholor’s favorite schools (such as Texas and Southern Cal) are a lot farther away. Another factor for Agholor could be his close friendship with UF safety commit Marcus Maye, who has echoed the sentiment that Agholor is seriously considering the Gators.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

These are the rest of the players with at least one five-star rating and significant interest in Florida.

◙ OT Avery Young (6-6, 280) Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. — visited Florida for the spring game and is thought by several observers to be leaning toward the Gators.

◙ DE/LB Jordan Jenkins (6-3, 240) Hamilton, Ga. — visited Florida in the spring and again for FNL and is seemingly down to UF and Alabama.

◙ DE Jonathan Bullard (6-4, 255) Shelby, N.C. — teammate and close friend of UF safety commit Rhaheim Ledbetter, with whom he will visit Gainesville later this month with their parents.

◙ DT Ellis McCarthy (6-4, 310) Monrovia, Calif. — another Californian who has continued to include Florida among his top teams for months.

KEEP AN EYE ON

Finally, here are two players who are rating just outside of the glorious land of five-stars. With a good season, they stand a chance to be bumped up in the ratings.

◙ DT Carlos Watkins (6-4, 275) Forest City, N.C. — also a close friend of Bullard and Ledbetter, and also planning to join them in a visit to UF later this month with their parents.

◙ CB Tracy Howard (6-0, 175) Miramar, Fla. — some think the Gators are simply waiting on Howard to decide whether or not they will take another cornerback in this class. Considered a UF lean until earlier this summer, Howard is regarded as a top-notch cover corner.

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Comments

27 Comments

  1. August 9th, 2011 7:44 am

    I don’t understand why any offensive player would think of playing for anyone but Weiss! If their goal is to play in the NFL, there’s no better person to help get them there, in college football! Plus, you throw in the fact that it’s the University of Florida – it should be a no brainer! Then you look at the NFL experience on the defensive side and one has to wonder the same about those guys, as well! I cant help but believe there are other things that influence kids to go to some of the other schools – things that are on the shady side! Not that we should have every kid drooling to come to UF; yet, there are some commitments that make you scratch your head!

    by John C


  2. August 9th, 2011 8:15 am

    Well there are many other good coaches that players might want to consider. There is more to the decision than the coaches, facilities etc. If this were the only considerations we would get most all of the players that we wanted.

    by Vulcan Alex


  3. August 9th, 2011 8:40 am

    Lot’s of D-linemen in that group. Getting Diggs and Agholor woud be HUGE!

    by npgator


  4. August 9th, 2011 9:24 am

    I totally agree john c.. you dont have to look far to see that corruption in college ball is a serious one.. pops up every year & seems to get worse..
    Some of these athletes think they ‘re entitled to whatever $$, cars, pot,etc
    they can get… and the game suffers from it.. maybe the ol’ ball coach is
    right, maybe we should hand out a little spending $$ each month..
    but then, can you ever really stop the ol’ $50 handshake?
    its the american way isn’t it?

    by sir chomps alot


  5. August 9th, 2011 9:25 am

    This season is HUGE for WM and the Gator program. For the second year straight, Fisher and FSU have recruiting and game-day momentum on their side. To blunt that momentum the Gators must win and win big, including a victory over FSU. Another season like last years Addazio-Meyers ‘train wreck’ would really hurt. Remember, for some reason the UF-FSU series has always gone in streaks, one side wins 4-5 in a row. Then, the other side does the same.

    by EMK


  6. August 9th, 2011 10:35 am

    [...] Florida landed five-star prospect D.J. Humphries on Friday. The Gators are going after more of them.2. Florida’s top running back prospect in 2013: the son of a former NFL pro bowler. 3. Tight [...]

    by Recruiting | MrSEC.com


  7. August 9th, 2011 10:45 am

    F$U has never won more than 4 in a row over us, while we have twice won 6 in a row over them.

    by Joe


  8. August 9th, 2011 11:11 am

    Jeff, I find it extremely more informative to know where a kid is from when reading these types of articles. Not that their location is ALWAYS a determining factor… It certainly is, more often than not.
    Thx

    by Gator in Atl


  9. August 9th, 2011 11:12 am

    it’s not necessarily anything illegal. But i can see Fisher telling an offensive recruit that Weis will only be at UF for 3 years. Remember, an opposing coach can lie about anything, many of these kids will believe it.

    plus the Gators looked completely dysfunctional last season.

    Though many of you Tebow fans won’t like to hear it, Tebow turned off some recruits. Some players want to make sure that the Tebow hype is out of the program’s system before committing.

    by SwampTalk


  10. August 9th, 2011 12:00 pm

    JOE: On the subject of streaks: Four wins by FSU is a STREAK. Six wins by the Gators is a STREAK. You are agreeing with me!! Better yet, if you have a dictionary, look up the word ‘streak’ in this context. Oh, forget about it b/c then you would have to look up the word ‘context’. Have a good one, Joe!!

    by EMK


  11. August 9th, 2011 12:16 pm

    Tebow turned off recruits? LOL

    by Steve


  12. August 9th, 2011 12:19 pm

    Tebow was a great player and champion during his years at Florida and he deserved all the praise and accolades he received. Frankly, I got tired of all the hype and press he received while in Gainesville. Football is a team game and Tebow unfortunately was not a one man team. I hope the Tebow hype has left Gainesville and gone on to the NFL. Tebow needs to continue to work hard and progresses while he learns the NFL game. The starting role should not be just handed to him because of the hype and enormous popularity. He should earn it on the playing field, while learning the game, carrying a clipboard. If he has the skills, he will eventually make a name for his self in the NFL. Go Gators and Go Muschamp. Muschamp will prove to an awesome hire for the Gators. He will build a powerhouse program in the SEC and in all of college football. Gator fans, GIVE HIM TIME.

    by GoGator


  13. August 9th, 2011 12:35 pm

    Jeff,

    With few spots left, what is the breakdown of positional need at this point? Are there ships available to take an extra at positions?

    by JCM


  14. August 9th, 2011 1:13 pm

    Any kid these days who does or does not go to a school bc they think the “other”teams staff will stay in place should take a look around the country. Lets ask Andrew Luck how he feels about not turning pro and giving up a sure #1 overall NFL pick bc one of the reasons was he wanted to stay and be coached by Harbaugh. I guess he should have turned proand then maybe he would have. Fisher only needs to have one more good year at FSU before other schools start raiding his staff….don’t have to worry about that when you suck each year.

    by g8ter27


  15. August 9th, 2011 1:56 pm

    Gator Infectus better get them recruits locked up now. Because after another mediocre season they will be jumping off that ship faster than fleas from hound. Criminoles will do no better and after all the media hype will disappoint much like Bowdens teams always did. Recruiting hype is so over-rated. Over half of all the five stars are a bust every year. Check it out and then ask why you want your team to pick up all these prima donnas who only want to be idolized and produce very little. I would take a hungry three star everytime. Look at CFB’s #1 player two years ago Seantrel Henderson (Miami via So. Cal) and how he’s busting (back surgery) but never will develop. Gotta have a coach who knows how to find players with heart. Right now I would give that advantage to Sabin, Stoops, and possibly Golden (will know more as the season unwinds).

    by Larry


  16. August 9th, 2011 3:36 pm

    Hey Jeff,
    Are you ever going to have a mailbag for Q&A?

    by GatorsEverywhere


  17. August 9th, 2011 5:38 pm

    Hey y’all, I thank you for the constructive criticism. I was busy grabbing the players’ heights and weights and didn’t think the hometowns were quite as essential. Silly me!
    @GatorsEverywhere – Yes. Grab your socks.

    by Jeff Barlis


  18. August 9th, 2011 8:37 pm

    Great info, Jeff! Thanks!

    by Greg R.


  19. August 10th, 2011 3:01 am

    Hopefully the NC connection stays strong and brings a couple more guys to UF.

    by JD


  20. August 10th, 2011 10:17 am

    Have to be honest.Urban had physical and mental problems,but he also had coaching problems.No Dan Mullen and no Charlie Strong,no good football team.Urban deserves all the credit in the world for what he did for Florida and recruited maybe the 2 greatest athletes ever to play at Florida.Mr. Tebow and Mr. Harvin, but now we know where the power behind the throne was all along.His picking of Steve A. was a disaster and allowing the fake field goal against L.S.U.completely inexcusable.Urban completely lost it and already is great on E.S.P.N. He’s had a fantastic run and if he goes back to Ohio State,everybody involved will be sorry.

    by producewiz


  21. August 10th, 2011 11:03 am

    Producewiz is right on the ‘money’. I realize that some fool will probably now accuse him/her of being someone other than Gator supporter but his analysis is correct: (1) Last year Azzadio was the de facto head coach and ran the show, (2) If UM takes another head coaching job he better hope that DM is available to be his offensive coordinator, (3) Recall, that during Tebow’s senior year with DM gone, the offensive was hardly impressive, (4) Under UM, especially, when SA took over as headman lacked discipline on and off the field, (5) The Gator Glory Years were so because UM could recruit, DM knew offensive and those in charge of the defense knew what they were going, (6) Superior talents wins almost always!!

    by EMK


  22. August 10th, 2011 12:14 pm

    Call me crazy but I believe Muschamp is very confident in his coaching staff….So he will recruit and get five stars because he is a good recriuter and it UF..But as we have seen with all these players leaving either by getting kicked off or ran off that he will not tolerate the premadonna attitude..He wants hungry players that want to work hard act right and help the team win…So 3 star or five star he will get the job done Because he will get the best out of the players he puts on the feild and he has a team that will evaluate talent reguardless of stars….One thing florida will be sure about is there will be talented football players that will put their all in and win…GO GATORS….Championship in no later than 3 years max…

    by Gator guy


  23. August 10th, 2011 2:33 pm

    ledbetter could close the deal on bullard and watkins

    by travis


  24. August 10th, 2011 6:39 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    You had promised to share some insights on your interview with the coach of the Jax player who surprisingly chose GA over FLA.
    Have I missed it somewhere ?

    by vanbroj


  25. August 11th, 2011 10:13 am

    Larry,
    I am no FSU fan myself but we are in NO POSITION to call FSU the CRIMINOLES when we continue to lead the country in new and stupid arrests!! I am a proud Gator and I am sick of these arrests that we keep racking up and hope coach Muschamp starts getting rid of these guys that represent our school that way!

    by GatorGeorge


  26. August 11th, 2011 10:49 am

    The Gators will be fine, besides, this is only a game people. The hoopla surrounding 5-star, 4-star, whatever… Just show up ready to learn and with the right attitude, the rest will take care of itself… you bunch of knuckleheads.

    by Davido


  27. August 12th, 2011 2:39 pm

    My worried thoughts : 1) Muschamp, unknown effectiveness as headcoach
    2) Weis, failed as college coach at Notre Dame
    3) Lucky to be 10th best QB in SEC
    My wishful thinking : 1) holes will open, Demps-Rainey will rip loose
    2) Brantley will have long-term protection & sling tight spirals
    3) long field goals high %
    4) sacks & interceptions will abound for Gators
    5) a partial Percy Harvin & Brandon James will emerge
    6) minimum injuries
    7) highest spirits

    by roger harrison


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