This is the final installment 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 safety position:
Returning players: Marcell Harris, Marcus Maye, Keanu Neal
Verbal commits: Deontai Williams
Top targets: Shawn Burgess-Becker, Hunter Dale, Jaquan Johnson, Rashad Roundtree
Others offered: Derwin James, Jamal Peters
The skinny: The Gators lose senior Jabari Gorman after this season and return just three safeties for 2015, but they have some flexibility with their defensive backs. Duke Dawson and Quincy Wilson could both play the position if need be, and Nick Washington signed with UF as a safety but switched to corner last year. That being said, Florida still didn’t land any safeties in the last class and need to get a couple in this one.
Jacksonville Trinity Christian’s Williams is already on board for the Gators, and Johnson could join him down the road. The ESPN300 member from Miami Killian attended Florida’s junior day on Feb. 1 and is being personally recruited by secondary coach Travaris Robinson. Dale, another ESPN300 member out of River Ridge (La.) John Curtis, is also high on UF and has visited Gainesville a few times. The Gators will give it their best shot with Burgess-Becker and Roundtree, but both prospects appear to be higher on other schools at this time.