This is the ninth in a 10-part series looking at the positional needs and early targets for Florida football in the 2015 recruiting class.
The Gators currently have 19 scholarships available excluding walk-ons. With potential juniors leaving early and inevitable attrition, UF will likely sign 28-30 prospects next year.
Here’s a breakdown of the cornerback position:
Returning players: Duke Dawson, Vernon Hargreaves III, J.C. Jackson, Brian Poole, Deiondre Porter, Jalen Tabor, Nick Washington, Quincy Wilson
Verbal commits: None
Top targets: Tyrek Cole, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Marcus Lewis, Tarvarus McFadden, Jalen Thompson, Kevin Toliver II
Others offered: Micah Abernathy, Kareem Ali, Carlton Davis, Mike Hughes, Iman Marshall, Kendall Sheffield, Maurice Smitherman
The skinny: Although the Gators signed five corners in February and return everyone for 2015, they’ll try to take two at the position in this class. In-state prospects Cole (FSU), Harrison (UNC) and Toliver (LSU) are three of their biggest priorities, but all of them are currently pledged to the schools in parentheses. McFadden is their No. 1 uncommitted target from the state of Florida and ranks as the 18th overall prospect in the Rivals100. He was offered by the Gators last month and is close friends with UF incoming freshman Wilson.
Florida is in the running for Fitzpatrick and Lewis, two highly-ranked corners out of New Jersey and Washington D.C., respectively. Fitzpatrick took a trip to UF on Feb. 18, and Lewis plans to visit March 21. Thompson, an unrated recruit from Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul’s, calls Florida his leader and also holds offers from Georgia, South Carolina and Louisville, among others. If the Gators are unable to land some of the aforementioned prospects, more names will emerge on their board down the stretch.