Recruiting at this time of year moves at light speed. The coaching staff has been all over the map making in-homes to current commits, prospective recruits, and visiting 2014 recruits as well. The Gators are sitting at 24 commits right now and likely have 4-5 spots left to fill in this recruiting cycle.
One of the biggest names to pop up on the Gators board in the past week is wide receiver and current Clemson commit Demarcus Robinson from Fort Valley, Georgia. He is considered a consensus four star recruit by recruiting services and had considered the Gators throughout the process before committing to Clemson back in July. With Clemson’s class imploding with several recent big name defections and their offensive coordinator likely to be leaving, it appears they may have yet one more on the horizon. Robinson has recently been talking with the Gator staff and Muschamp and company are expected to make an in-home visit with him Wednesday evening, followed by a Clemson in-home on Thursday, and then he is expected to make an official visit to Gainesville this weekend. Things are quickly heating up here and there is smoke all over this one. Despite the Gators having four receivers currently committed, there is a good possibility that Robinson flips to the Gators at some point. Stay tuned.
UPDATE 6 pm eastern:
Speed of light. Late this afternoon it was announced that Demarcus Robinson had decommitted from Clemson and committed to Florida bringing the Gators class to 25 recruits and they still have a number of guys left on the board including top wideout Laquon Treadwell who is still planning on taking a visit to Gainesville in January. Stay tuned for the latest updates on the recruiting front. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a Gator!
2014 cornerback Duke Dawson from Cross City, Florida, who visited this past weekend for the annual team banquet, has set a date for his commitment. He is expected to choose between Florida and Florida State on January 8th. Many feel that Florida has been the team to beat for some time and with the Seminoles losing their defensive coordinator and their recruiting coordinator, this one appears to be a slam dunk for the Gators.
Another 2014 recruit high on the Gators board is quarterback Will Grier out of North Carolina where the Gators have had much success lately. He visited again this past weekend for the team banquet and once again had great things to say about the town and the program . Most feel he is the staff’s top choice at qb for next cycle and the feeling appears mutual. While he may try to continue with the recruiting process, he has been to Gainesville many times on his own dime, continues to say all the right things about Florida, and most consider it a matter of time and formality before he commits to the Gators. This one may be over sooner than later, just probably not before signing day for the current class.
Some of the bigger names to keep an eye on moving forward are linebacker Trey Johnson, defensive tackle Montravius Adams, and running back Alex Collins. With the defection of Quinton Powell the Gator coaching staff has turned up the heat on Trey Johnson, a former Auburn commit. Still think that Ohio State is leading at the turn, but he is their number one recruit left at the linebacker position and he will be in this weekend for an official visit and we should know a little more by next week as to where he stands.
Adams, the number one rated defensive tackle recruit in the nation, is looking at a lot of schools but many feel that Clemson has the inside track on this one as he’s visited a number of times and always speaks highly of the atmosphere there. However, recently he has been making overtures to and inquiries about the Gators to other recruits. With Floyd likely to be leaving to the NFL the staff may be able to convince him that Gainesville is the place to be. Of course, as is always the case in recruiting, until he steps foot on campus it’s all mere speculation. This recruitment is trending upward for the Gators but still a long way to go with it.
Finally, with Florida having two big time running backs committed for quite some time, many thought there was little chance the Gators could pull in another. It’s been obvious throughout that the staff has been actively seeking a third back as they have recruited Ryan Green very hard. Recently the staff has had conversations with Collins, considered one of the top backs in a state that is loaded with talented backs this season, and he has reciprocated with increased interest in the Gators. He is expected to take an official visit to Florida this weekend and the press will be on to get him into the orange and blue. After a season in which recruits were able to see a Gator offense that flows through the inside running game, the Gators are once again a viable option for big time running backs, something not seen in Gainesville since before Urban Meyer took over the program. Once considered crazy talk, the Gators are likely to add a third running back and there’s a better than 50% chance that back is Alex Collins. Once again, stay tuned.
Potential Buck linebacker/defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko has decided to make the announcement of his school choice at the Under Armour All American game. At this point it appears to be between Clemson and the Gators but appears he is a strong Tiger lean at this point. By the time he announces, however, the Gator class may already be full and there will be no spot for him. This recruitment, in terms of the Gators, is trending downward. Since publishing, there are reports that Ebenezer committed to Clemson last evening during his in-home visit with the Clemson staff.
Another defensive tackle prospect to keep an eye on is Jaynard Bostwic. One of the hottest uncommitted defensive line recruits left is high on the Gators board and they are putting on the full court press. He recently made his qualifying test score which was the biggest question mark and now he’s a hot commodity. While many are after the big tackle, it likely comes down to an in-state battle between the Hurricanes and the Gators with Alabama having an outside shot.
Finally, four star defensive end and USC Trojan commit Jason Hatcher from Lousiville, Kentucky has scheduled a visit to Florida on January 25th. An Army All-American, he will also visit the Trojans and in-state schools Kentucky and Louisville in addition to the Gators. Hatcher committed to the Trojans before his season began, but some think he’s having second thoughts due to the distance factor and feel his family is pressuring him to stay closer to home. While that doesn’t necessarily bode well for the Gators, they are much closer than USC and could be a fallback compromise between his desire to play for a big time program and staying relatively close to home. While this one remains a long-shot for the Gators, once they get on campus anything can happen.
The Gator recruiting train continues to roll with the coaches all over the map making contact, evaluating prospects, and making in-homes. Expect more names to surface as we continue closer to signing day. As always, we’ll give you the best and latest recruiting info and insight.