With 9 commitments already on board for 2012, it's time to look at who else could eventually be falling for the Gators. I'm going to focus on the elite prospects here. While every coach in the country loves to spit out that line about "not looking at stars", we fans just can't help it. This article from our SB Nation brethren over at Black Heart Gold Pants, would also seem to back up our love affair with the 5 star athlete, who is more than twice as likely as a four star to make it to the league, and almost five times more likely than a 3 star. So without further ado, let's look at the elite prospects that Florida has a chance with in the current recruiting cycle.
Let me preface this list by saying that Florida is not necessarily in great position for all of these guys, but if they're elite, and have Florida on their radar, I considered them an option:
1. Eddie Goldman DT 6'4"/305, Friendship Collegiate Academy Washington DC.
Goldman is an absolute beast at the DT position, and his offer sheet, is a who's who of college football power. His list of scholarship offers include Alabama, Auburn, LSU, UGA, FSU, Miami, Penn State, USC, Texas, Michigan, and of course Florida among others. Goldman is wide open at this point, and hasn't indicated who, if anyone is leading for his letter of intent. He recently took a tour of the southeast, made a stop in Gainesville, and reportedly got along very well with coach Young. There's no way to know at this point, what Florida's chances are with this monster of a recruit, but at least for now, we're in the running.
EDDIE GOLDMAN #58 JR HIGHLIGHTS (via madd100)
2. Dorial Green-Beckham WR 6"6"/221, Hillcrest Springfield MO.
DGB is a rare talent at the WR position. He is unquestionably the best WR in this class, and possibly in some time. At 6'6", he's extremely long, but has elite speed and athleticism to accompany that height. His offer sheet, like Goldman's, is a who's who in college football. He currently has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, FSU, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, USC, Missouri, and Florida among others. Many think that DGB will end up staying close to home, and that the trio of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri will be the ones fighting it out for him in the end. In the meantime, he says he's wide open, and has a good relationship with Charlie Weis and Florida. Will we land this kid? Probably not, but it doesn't get more elite than this.
Dorial Green-Beckham Game Winning Touchdown vs. Seneca (via mascotty1333)
3. Stefon Diggs ATH/WR 6'0"/188, Good Council Olney MD
Diggs is an excellent athlete, who possesses top end speed, and could certainly start somewhere as a freshman. He's an "athlete", but will probably end up at WR in college. He has exceptional hands, and is a well built kid. Like everyone else on this list, he has his pick of schools to choose from. At this point, it looks like this one will come down to the big three in Florida, and the hometown Maryland Terps. New coach Randy Edsall is no doubt making a strong push for Diggs, but Miami seems to be right at the top of his list.
Stefon Diggs #2 2010 Highlights (via rrosen24)
4. John Theus OT 6'6"/295, The Bolles School Jacksonville FL
Theus could have started for a lot of good college teams as junior in high school. He's an excellent run blocker, who drives opponents off the ball, and has great feet. He's a well polished player right now, and depending on the situation, could come in and play OT right away. Theus is on this list because he's both elite, and is considering Florida. That being said, he's considered to be a Georgia lock at this point, barring anything happening with the Georgia coaching staff. His brother signed at UGA last year, and Theus figures to do the same. It is not out of the question though, to think that if the Dawgs struggle again this year, that coach Richt could be on his way out of Athens. If that happens, Theus recruitment would probably become a Florida/FSU battle.
John Theus Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)
5. Darius Hamilton DE/DT 6'4"/250, Don Bosco Prep Ramsey NJ
Hamilton is a fantastic defensive lineman, with both the offer sheet, and the lineage to back up his 5 star rating. Darius is the son of Keith Hamilton who played defensive tackle for the New York Giants from 1992 until 2003, and played his college ball at Pitt. Hamilton could end up at either DE, or DT in college but has said that he would prefer to play DT. He's a strong kid, with good hands, and a solid understanding of the DT position. Hamilton hasn't given any indication of who's leading for his services yet, but he did mention the schools, that have been recruiting him the hardest. Those schools would be Rutgers, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech. He's also stated a desire to hear more from FSU. This one is pretty wide open, but Florida is in a good spot early with Hamilton. It was tough to find a good video for Hamilton, so this one will have to do.
Highlights: Don Bosco vs Bergen Catholic 2010 (via rutgersfootballnj)
6. Chris Black WR 5'11"/165, First Coast Jacksonville FL.
Black is the second recruit out of Jacksonville to make this list. Black is an excellent deep threat, with good hands, and great ability after the catch. Residing squarely in Gator country, you would like to think that Florida has a good chance of landing the WR. To this point in his recruiting, most think that Black is between FSU, and Alabama, but Black maintains that he has a top four of Florida, FSU, Alabama, and South Carolina, and that they're all even. Hopefully coach Weis can work his magic, and get Chris to sign with the Orange and Blue.
Chris Black - First Coast High School - #2 (via dillhyonj)
7. D.J. Humphries OT 6'5"/275, Mallard Creek Charlotte NC
D.J Humphries is exactly what you look for in a high school OT. He has good feet, great athleticism, and long arms. Humphries has not allowed a sack since he was a freshman in high school. D.J. has an offers from close to 50 schools, but the good news here, is who sits at the top of that list. D.J is considered a Florida lean, and has been for some time. Florida coaches went to see Humphries on Tues. and while you have to love our position with him, the competition for his signature is extremely stiff. Just think of an elite SEC program, and they're also in the fold here. I feel good about D.J. being a Gator when it's all said and done.
DJ Humphries Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)
8. Avery Young OT 6'6"/280, Palm Beach Gardens FL
Avery Young makes the list, and is the 3rd offensive lineman to do so. Given the lack of depth, that is currently on the Gators roster, it's a great thing that there a so many top level lineman in this years class. Young is more raw of a talent than Theus, or Humphries, but he could end up being the best one in the bunch. He's got the size at 6'6 280, and is putting on weight. Young has great athleticism for a guy his size, and is extremely strong. Young also has a brother, Willie Young, who plays for the Lions, and was a standout at NC State. Florida is in great position with Young, and following the Orange and Blue debut, there where rumors that he had committed to Florida. Florida is the team to beat for Avery at this point, and I wouldn't be all that surprised if he was already a silent commit.
Avery Young (2012 OT) Junior Highlight - Elite Scouting (via EliteScouting)
9. Noor Davis OLB 6'4"/225, Villages Charter School Lady Lake FL.
Noor Davis is both extremely athletic, and represents a position of great need for Florida. After missing on all of the elite LB prospects in the 2011 cycle, it's very important that Florida pulls in some top talent at the position in 2012. Davis would be a great way to begin doing that. Davis is rangy, and does well rushing the passer, and dropping into coverage. He could certainly add more weight on his 6'4" frame, while still maintaining his exceptional athleticism. Davis is not your average elite football prospect, sporting a 4.3 GPA. Davis is looking at schools just as much for their academics, as for their football programs. The two at the top of this list right now are Florida, and Notre Dame. Davis also has interest in Stanford, USC, and UCLA where he will visit this summer. Florida is in a good spot for Davis now, and we can just keep our fingers crossed that he decides to stay close to home.
Noor Davis #2 Junior Highlights (Part 1) 2010 The Villages HS, FL (via TheTenacious2)
10. Nelson Agholor ATH 6'1"/185, Berkeley Prep Tampa FL
Agholor has the ability to play multiple positions at the collegiate level, and to do so very well. Agholor was initially offered as a safety by Florida, but was told he would have the opportunity to play at WR, on his recent visit to Gainesville. Agholor has freakish athletic ability, and his offer list includes USC, Texas, Auburn, Georgia, FSU, and Miami among others. Florida has a lot of talent on the roster in the secondary, and is in great position with a number of the top DB prospects for 2012. Agholor would be a wonderful WR to add to the new offense, coach Weis will be running at Florida. Agholor has good size, and the ability to make things happen after the catch. Agholor hasn't given much indication which way he's leaning, but Florida figures to play a prominent role in his recruitment.
Nelson Agholor #3 (via gberlin101)
These are just some of the top prospects that are currently interested in the Florida Gators. Other guys to keep an eye on include Shaq Roland, Tyriq McCord, Marcus Maye, Eli Harold, Raphael Kirby, Jordan Jenkins, Tracy Howard, Brian Poole, Deaysean Rippy, Alton Howard, Patrick Miller, Jonathan Bullard, and Jelani Hamilton.
We will be beginning to cover recruiting more thoroughly than it was previously, so keep an eye out for more updates, and more recruiting primers like this one.