We did this a month ago and we’re at it again. The hope is to provide this to you once a month right up to signing day (aka Christmas for those of us who are TOO into recruiting).
Nothing has changed in terms of commitments since the last positional breakdown. The same 17 prospects have committed to Florida. You may think that’s a bad thing since the Gators haven’t added, but in recruiting sometimes you have to think of it this way: they haven’t subtracted either. This is a good class that could shape up to be a great one for Will Muschamp in his first full recruiting cycle with Florida. The bulk is in place with a few final pieces to fit in here and there.
With that, positional breakdown commence:
Quarterback – Commitments: None – Jeff Driskel has the lead for the 2012 starting position at the moment. There’s time for someone else to take it from him, but whoever takes the lead will have three or four years of eligibility left. Due to that, the Gators aren’t looking for a quarterback in this class, but should they be? Stay with me for just a moment. Let’s say Driskel or Jacoby Brissett earns the job outright. What happens if one transfers or decides to go toward another sport full-time? Then you have a starter, a backup, and nothing else. Now let me clarify by saying this isn’t something that worries me, but I’m also not against looking at a QB or two during every cycle. Even if Florida doesn’t, this will be one of the top target positions in 2013.
Running Back – Commitments: Mike Davis, Matt Jones – The primary goal of the coaches is to hold on to these two. With plenty of time left, they will both get attention from a number of programs, but the Gators will look to keep them committed. Florida may be happy with the combo of Davis and Jones, but that hasn’t stopped the Gators from accepting a visit from one of the nation’s top all-purpose backs. Keith Marshall has a visit to Gainesville scheduled for late November. His list is still huge at this point, but the Gators may be looking to increase the size of the North Carolina pipeline. And oh yeah, Marshall is pretty darn good too.
Wide Receiver – Commitments: Latroy Pittman – NEED. NEED. NEED. Get used to that start to the wide receiver breakdown; I don’t plan on changing it until the commitment list is three-to-four deep. Nelson Agholor and Stefon Diggs will be the names we continue to hear. I expect Florida to pull in one of the two, but have a hard time seeing both. The Gators are near the top of their respective lists, so it may just be a negative gut feeling on my part…or maybe I’m secretly hoping to surprise myself. Getting one would be huge; getting both would be huger (yup, it’s a word). Both will be the focus for the position and they should be. There’s no reason a program like Florida shouldn’t believe they have a shot at players of their caliber regardless of if it’s one or both.
Tight End – Commitments: Colin Thompson – A month ago I mentioned I found it hard to believe the Gators would take another tight end. I take that back. The Gators want Kent Taylor and Taylor likes the Gators. It’s down to Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Penn State for Taylor and he sure seems like he loves the Gators and the coaching staff. He also appears to be developing a good relationship with Thompson. Florida would be set at tight end for quite some time with both onboard.
Offensive Line – Commitments: Jessamen Dunker, D.J. Humphries – LIKE. LIKE. LIKE. That should even out the comment to start the WR breakdown. The Gators will continue to pursue offensive linemen, but these two represent a superb start. Most will tell you Avery Young could be the next to join the class and some will say Adam Bisnowaty. Either would have me adding a few more "LIKES" to the start. Young is interested in Florida and Georgia the most, but the Gators may have the lead. Bisnowaty also has Pittsburgh in his sights and hopes to make a decision during September.
Defensive Line – Commitments: JaFar Mann, Dante Phillips, Quinteze Williams – With every passing day, more people seem to think Jonathan Bullard and Carlos Watkins will become Gators. If that’s the case, I can stop now a very happy man. They would also push Florida even further up most team ranking lists. A quintet of those two, Mann, Phillips and Williams would have fans wishing the future was right now. Add the possible addition of Jordan Jenkins at the buck and, well, goodnight. Tyriq McCord was a strong possibility for a long time, but South Carolina is looking mighty good to him.
Linebacker – Commitments: Antonio Morrison, Lorenzo Phillips, Jeremi Powell – Noor Davis and Raphael Kirby were once thought to be locks before committing elsewhere. That won’t stop Muschamp and staff for recruiting one or both. If the Gators add another linebacker, Kirby is a strong possibility due to the Miami situation. These three form a good group, but more are always welcome.
Defensive Back – Commitments: Willie Bailey, Rhaheim Ledbetter, Marcus Maye, Brian Poole – These four fit various needs, but never rule out the addition of more defensive backs. Florida will fight for Tracy Howard until the bitter end, but with each passing day it appears he favors FSU and Miami. The Gators already have a solid set of young defensive backs on the roster, so it’s hard to see many more added to the class, but a player of Howard’s talent is always welcome.
Special Teams – Commitments: Austin Hardin – Welcome to Florida Austin! You may just be the only "special teamer" to commit. As I’ve said before, returners can come from anywhere, so I won’t single them out as such. Hardin is a great addition to hold down the ST fort throughout this recruiting cycle.
There’s your quick snapshot, which is never easy considering the vast number of rumors out there. More to come and keep your fingers crossed that more only means good news.