Will Muschamp may have a few new names to put on play sheets if his efforts in recruiting pay off in the coming weeks.
Rivals released its final version of the 2012 Rivals100 Tuesday. Five current Florida commits made the top 100: D.J. Humphries and Jonathan Bullard highlight the list, checking in at No. 2 and No. 6, respectively, followed by Kent Taylor (No. 54), Marcus Maye (No. 70) and Brian Poole (No. 80).
The new Rivals100 is very Gator-friendly, as Florida has a legitimate chance to land up to six more five-star recruits in addition to the two already committed. Obviously, Florida won’t land all eight; that would require a miracle of all miracles. However, closing out the Class of 2012 with five or six more five-stars is not out of the question. In fact, it’s a real possibility.
With National Signing Day less than two weeks away, let’s take a look at where Florida stands with its remaining targets in the Rivals100.WR Stefon Diggs (five stars, No. 8 overall): Diggs has had the Gators high on his list ever since he put on a dazzling performance at Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp. Florida’s chances took a hit when Charlie Weis left for Kansas, but new offensive coordinator Brent Pease has picked up the pieces and then some. The coaching staff let Diggs know how much they want him by sending seven coaches up to Maryland for an in-home visit. Diggs will be visiting Florida this weekend.
Florida’s main competition for Diggs is Auburn, and possibly Maryland. Trooper Taylor is leading Diggs’ recruitment for Auburn, so you can’t count them out. As far as Maryland, I don’t think the draw to stay in his home state is as alluring as it used to be, but the Terps should be considered the dark horse. However, Florida’s in good shape here.
Prediction: Diggs to Florida.
DE Darius Hamilton (five stars, No. 11 overall): Hamilton had been considered a Rutgers lean for the longest time, but Florida has closed the gap. His top three consists of Rutgers, Florida and Cal, and with Cal losing defensive line coach and recruiting ace Tosh Lupoi to Washington, you can pretty much cross them out.
Although Florida has significantly closed the gap on Rutgers, I don’t see Hamilton leaving his support system in his home state of New Jersey. And for that, I give Rutgers the slightest of edges.
Prediction: Hamilton to Rutgers.
CB Tracy Howard (five stars, No. 13 overall): There was a point in time when Howard was intrigued with Florida State. They had his attention, and it seemed as if he was heading to Tallahassee. Things have changed. Something happened between the 'Noles and the Howards, and FSU has been eliminated. Now, Howard is essentially down to Florida and LSU.
There’s a possibility for early playing time at Florida, something LSU does not offer. On top of that, I don’t see Howard leaving the state. I do, however, see him in Florida’s 2012 class.
Prediction: Howard to Florida.
WR Nelson Agholor (five stars, No. 17 overall): No one keeps his recruitment a secret quite like Agholor. (Well, maybe Avery Young; we’ll get to him in a minute.) Agholor is well-spoken and very intelligent, but doesn’t like doing interviews.
Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Southern Cal have been in the mix for this talented receiver. The two schools that have the most realistic chance to land him are Florida and Southern Cal. Much like Tracy Howard, I don’t see Agholor leaving the state. Also, Florida recently offered Agholor’s teammate Schyler Miles a scholarship as a linebacker. Miles is down to West Virginia and Florida, so if Florida can add him to this class, they’ll have that much more leverage with Agholor.
Prediction: Agholor to Florida.
DE Dante Fowler (five stars, No. 28 overall): Fowler has been committed to Florida State for over a year now, but he has consistently shown interest in Florida. He has never officially de-committed from the Noles, and he usually talks up FSU in interviews, but this is a case of actions speaking louder than words.
Fowler has been on many visits to Florida. In fact, he'll be visiting again this weekend. He realizes there’s a better opportunity for playing time at UF. However, just because there’s legitimate interest, I don’t see Fowler switching.
Prediction: Fowler to Florida State.
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (five stars, No. 31 overall): Harvey-Clemons is hard to get a read on. He recently named Georgia and Florida as his leaders, with Florida State still being in the mix.
Georgia and Florida appear to be dead even at this point. Both schools are recruiting him as a linebacker but are giving him the option to play offense; he's got great size, and played wide receiver in high school. The biggest twists in the storyline of Harvey-Clemons' recruitment have yet to take place. This one's going to be a fight to the finish.
Prediction: Harvey-Clemons to Georgia.
DE Leonard Williams (four stars, No. 53 overall): The way the Florida coaches have handled Williams’ recruitment up to this point has been a head-scratcher, up there with Mike Davis’s.
Williams shot up the recruiting rankings after a strong performance during the Under Armour All-American Bowl week. Despite Williams having serious interest in Florida, the UF coaches never really made him a priority, whereas Auburn did. With UF missing out on Jordan Jenkins, you’d think Will Muschamp would put the full-court press on Williams. Florida has never really got things going with Williams, and until it does, Williams won’t be picking the Gators.
Prediction: Williams to Auburn.
OL Avery Young (four stars, No. 74 overall): Much like Agholor, Avery Young doesn’t do a lot of interviews. He likes to keep things a mystery, which has resulted in a handful of different schools being referred to as his leader at one point or another.
The three schools atop Young’s list are Florida, Georgia and Auburn. This is shaping up to be a Florida/Georgia battle, with Auburn as the dark horse.
Muschamp made Young a priority as soon as he accepted the job at Florida, telling Young that he was his No. 1 prospect on the board for 2012. Will those efforts be enough to beat out the Dawgs? Mark Richt showed last year he has some late recruiting magic up his sleeve, and he’s in a good position to close out the 2012 class with a strong group of signees.
Prediction: Young to Georgia.