In his Monday press conference following Florida’s 37-26 win at Florida State, UF coach Will Muschamp said he and his staff would be relentlessly recruiting throughout the Contact Period.
He wasn’t kidding.
The Gators have landed five recruits in the last two weeks and lost one of their commits as a result. The 2013 class is now at 25 members (nine early enrollees) and has basically met all of Florida’s needs. Anybody else UF lands from here on out is a luxury, and the rankings say so.
Aside from fullback Kennard Swanson and linebacker Jarrad Davis, Florida’s other 16 remaining targets are ESPN300 members and 14 are in the Top 150.
Swanson was scheduled to officially visit this weekend, but his trip has been pushed back to Jan. 18. The former LSU commit openly admits he wants to go to UF, but he must improve his grades to have a chance at qualifying. So I wouldn’t count him in the basket just yet.
Almost every question I got this week asked where the Gators stand with certain prospects or who they’ll likely finish with. I’m not ready to put out a mock class, but what I will do for this Mail Stack is go over the positions of need and give my thoughts on the targets still left on the board.
More names will likely pop up between now and National Signing Day, but the prospects below are the ones Florida is focusing on.
And for those that missed it, here’s from blog from Tuesday that breaks down the maximum number of prospects UF can sign in this recruiting cycle.
Commits: Adam Lane, Kelvin Taylor
Targets: Alex Collins, FSU commit Ryan Green
Thoughts: Collins officially visits Florida this weekend and then Miami on Jan. 18. It looks like this will come down to these two schools, and I personally think he prefers the Canes. But with NCAA sanctions coming and his increased interest in the Gators, UF has a shot to pull this off. Collins doesn’t care about two backs being committed and they won’t waver if he joins them. But with him being so comfortable in nearby Coral Gables, he has to absolutely fall in love with Gainesville.
Green was eyeing an official to Florida a month ago, but last week he reaffirmed his pledge to Florida State. The loss of running backs coach Eddie Gran on Tuesday might make Green give the Gators a second look, but he says his commitment is still solid with the Seminoles.
Commits: Alvin Bailey, Ahmad Fulwood, Marqui Hawkins, Demarcus Robinson, Chris Thompson
Targets: Laquon Treadwell
Thoughts: With Robinson’s commitment Wednesday, UF is done at the position. The coaches may keep recruiting James Clark, but he’s not going to get offered unless someone decommits. New receivers coach Joker Phillips visited Marquez North on Tuesday, but Florida still doesn’t appeal to him and his interest level is very low. Treadwell is the only target the Gators would still take at this point. But as I wrote last week, it’s unclear if he will visit UF after the Under Armour All-American Game.
Commits: Trenton Brown, Cameron Dillard, Octavius Jackson, Rod Johnson, Tyler Moore
Targets: Laremy Tunsil
Thoughts: The Gators now have enough linemen in this class and won’t add another unless it’s Tunsil. Florida hasn’t been a favorite for him since the summer, but the coaches are still trying to change that. Muschamp & Co. have stayed on the five-star tackle, and he told 247Sports on Thursday that he may visit UF once the NCAA Eligibility Center clears him for officials. Even if he does, I doubt it’s going to make a difference. This is the same kid that attended the LSU and South Carolina games and then told me he doesn’t have interest in the Gators.
Commits: Caleb Brantley, JUCO Darious Cummings
Targets: Montravius Adams, Jaynard Bostwick
Thoughts: Adams named Florida in his Top 5 on Tuesday and the Gators are going to get his first official after the Under Armour All-American Game. UF defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has visited him every week of the Contact Period and Adams is definitely his top priority. But even if the Gators gain the advantage with Adams in early January, they’ll have to wait it out while he take trips to Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia. So his recruitment is far from over.
Bostwick continues to favor Miami over Florida, but now Alabama and Michigan have entered the picture as well. He will take officials to both schools in January and should visit the Canes and Gators as well. But if he doesn’t come to Gainesville and/or show some more interest in UF, I have a hard time seeing him in this class.
Commits: Joey Ivie, Antonio Riles, Jordan Sherit
Targets: Auburn commit Tashawn Bower, Elijah Daniel, USC commit Jason Hatcher, Ebenezer Ogundeko
Thoughts: First and foremost, Florida will be fine if it doesn’t sign a fourth end. The Gators will have plenty of depth next season and return all-SEC freshmen Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler as well as Ronald Powell. That being said, UF would like to have one more prospect at the position for 2013.
My money is on Daniel, who officially visits Florida on Jan. 11 and is very high on the Gators. Hatcher visits the following week, but it will be hard for UF to take down the Trojans and in-state schools Louisville and Kentucky. Ogundeko announces at the Under Armour All-American on Jan. 4 and his finalists are Florida, Clemson and Syracuse. I think the Tigers have the edge at the moment. Tashawn Bower is the newest target on the Gators’ radar. He’s going to look around due to the coaching change at Auburn and plans to take an official to UF on Jan. 18.
Commits: James Hearns, Daniel McMillian, Matt Rolin
Targets: soft Auburn commit Jarrad Davis, Quinton Powell, Trey Johnson, Matthew Thomas
Thoughts: Powell decommitted from Florida on Monday in response to Rolin. He told me awhile back that he wasn’t too fond of the Gators having four linebacker commits, even though that’s been their intentions all along. I’ve seen a lot of people bashing Powell for his decision, but I’m here to tell you he does not deserve it. He is one of the nicest recruits I’ve ever met and made the best choice for him. He was honest about the process and didn’t jerk UF around once he felt like leaving. There’s a lot of recruits out there — even five-stars — that won’t come to a certain school if their position is stacked. Look at Laremy Tunsil. Besides, Rolin is more physically prepared to play in the SEC and has better potential in my opinion.
Florida still wants to add another outside linebacker and shouldn’t have an issue doing so. Davis is on his official this weekend, Thomas wants to take a visit and Powell is still considering the Gators. All three targets have other trips scheduled down the road, but UF is expected to end up with one of them. As for Johnson, his chances of being in this class are up to Hearns. The Florida commit will officially visit Ohio State on Jan. 11. What he decides to do afterward will determine whether or not the Gators pursue Johnson.
Commits: Vernon Hargreaves III
Targets: Mackensie Alexander, USC commit Jalen Ramsey, UGA commit Shaq Wiggins
Thoughts: With the current depth at the position and the possibility of Nick Washington playing corner, Florida isn’t dying to get a second commit in the class. Then again, the UF coaches would go nuts if they nabbed Alexander or Ramsey. They don’t discuss their recruitment much, but the Gators are right in the thick of things. Travaris Robinson has built a strong relationship with Ramsey, while Alexander has called Phillips one of his favorite coaches. UF still has work to do with both prospects, but there’s a lot of time left and the Gators will be in it all the way until National Signing Day. Wiggins visits Florida and several other schools in January, but he’s firm with the Bulldogs for now.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!