16 verbal commits by mid-May calls for a happy Muschamp pic. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
National Signing Day is a little over eight months away, so it's a little crazy to be talking about who will finish off Florida's Class of 2013. But with 16 players already committed -- eight on offense and eight on defense (we’ll count Marqui Hawkins as a wide receiver for now) -- it's a legitimate topic.
The Gators will likely sign somewhere between 22 and 25 prospects this cycle, leaving six to eight spots left for a number of players still highly interesting in Florida.
Who will round out this class for the Gators? Will Muschamp will have some time to evaluate and arrange his board, considering he already has more than half of this class wrapped up (although he has to continue recruiting the committed players).
After the jump, we’ll take a look at who’s left and who gets in.Quarterback: Florida wants to take one quarterback in 2013. Cooper Bateman was the top QB on the board. The Utah product had UF on his radar because offensive coordinator Brent Pease recruited Bateman while he was a coach at Boise State. That relationship, however, wasn’t enough to land Bateman, who recently committed to Alabama.
Next on the board is Ryan Buchanan, a three-star quarterback from Mississippi. He has Florida in his top three, but the home-state Ole Miss Rebels are believed to be the favorite.
Florida recently offered Tim Boyle, a quarterback from Connecticut. Both Boyle and Buchanan will visit Florida this weekend, but UF’s chances with Boyle are much better, and there's a decent chance he commit while in Gainesville. Buchanan plans to announce his decision no later than June 15.
An intriguing quarterback prospect is Asiantii Woulard, arguably the top QB in the state of Florida. He committed to South Florida at one point, but opened things up and is starting to receive strong attention from the bigger schools, including Florida. He plans to visit UF in the near future and throw for the coaches, who will decide if they want to extend an offer.
Running back: With Adam Lane and Kelvin Taylor, Florida’s most likely done at this position. Unless there’s a smaller, change-of-pace back who can also split out and play some slot receiver – say, Alvin Kamara – then I don’t see UF picking up another one. And for clarification, I don’t think Florida has a shot with Kamara. Just using him as an example.
Wide receiver: It’s interesting situation at receiver. Three guys are committed: Rodney Adams, Ahmad Fulwood and Marqui Hawkins (some sites list Hawkins as an athlete because he can also play defensive back). Stacy Coley is becoming less and less of an option here, for one reason or another. Because of the limit of remaining spots in this class, maybe, just maybe UF can squeeze two more receivers into this class. One is more likely, however.
Florida is right in it for four-star receiver Demarcus Robinson, if not the favorite. He’s a Georgia prospect who has offers from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Tennessee. Landing him would be a great way for the Gators to cap off their 2013 receivers.
Alvin Bailey, a wide receiver for Armwood High School and close friend of Florida-signee Matt Jones, has been getting offers from some of the top programs in the country, but he can’t seem to land one from UF. If the Gators offered, they’d be right near the top of Bailey’s list.
Offensive line: Florida has three offensive linemen committed: Joshua Outlaw, Roderick Johnson and Cameron Dillard. Ideally, UF would like to sign five this time around, but this is a spot where the Gators can sacrifice a number and only sign four.
Laremy Tunsil is the top offensive lineman on the board and the top player at any position on Florida’s board. If you don’t know by now, he’s a superstar left tackle who plays at Columbia High School – the same school where ‘Nole defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan played. He’s long been considered a Florida lean, but after Max Garcia announced he was transferring to UF, Tunsil is giving UGA a closer look. Florida State is in the mix, as well.
As of now, I still see Florida landing Tunsil. He’s going to be a National Signing Day decision, so there’s still plenty of time for his recruitment to get all kinds of crazy.
Defensive line: Caleb Brantley is Florida’s lone defensive line commit, and I use the term commit loosely. But when it comes down to it, I think he sticks.
Unless Brantley does end up elsewhere, I don’t see Florida adding another tackle. There is still some work to be done at defensive end, however. With Jonathan Allen recently picking Alabama over Florida, DeMarcus Walker and Elijah Daniel are the top targets at defensive end.
Walker is a Jacksonville product and friends with Florida commits Ahmad Fulwood and Nick Washington. That’s not enough for me to bet the farm on Walker picking UF. There’s some serious interest in ‘Bama, though maybe a little less with Allen on board, and Clemson can’t be counted out. We all know they’ve had success in Jacksonville before. Still, though, Florida is in good shape for Walker, and I see him in this class.
I like Florida’s chances with Elijah Daniel, too. He recently “trimmed” his list to 15 schools. UF made the cut, obviously, and things could pick up whenever he makes it to Florida for a visit
Linebacker: With four linebackers committed – Daniel McMillian, James Hearns, Dillan Lawson and Quinton Powell – there are only two scenarios that would move Florida to add another: Either one of the aforementioned players de-commits or a stud prospect wants in. Alex Anzalone is a legitimate candidate to be Florida's fifth linebacker commit. He chose Ohio State over Florida, but de-committed after a crazy story involving a sex offender -- which led to the arrest of said sex offender -- surfaced.
Defensive back: Three defensive backs committed: Keanu Neal, Nick Washington and Tre Bell. Plenty of elite talent with high interest in Florida remains, though. Vernon Hargreaves III, MacKensie Alexander, Marcell Harris and Leon McQuay III, to name a few.
Hargreaves’ father is a coach at South Florida, and many believe he’ll join him in Tampa. Florida, Florida State, Alabama and LSU are still in the mix. He’s definitely interested interested in UF, but I think dad wins out in the end.
Alexander is going to have a Marcus Roberson type of recruitment. There are going to be twists and turns that’ll make people hate themselves for following recruiting. Alexander was once committed to Tennessee, but de-committed and is now showing heavy interest in Clemson and Miami. Florida’s in the mix, but I don’t see him choosing the Gators.
I really like Florida’s chances with Marcell Harris. He’s a hard-hitting safety who recently transferred to Dr. Phillips. He plans to announce sometime this summer, and the sooner the better for the Gators.
Leon McQuay III is an interesting case. He can play safety and corner, and will do so for Armwood this season. Florida is in the mix, but don’t overlook Vanderbilt. (Yes, don’t overlook Vanderbilt in the recruitment of a top-50 football prospect.) McQuay is big on academics, and of course Vanderbilt is, too.
I’ll finish with my mock class. Please do not remind me of this mock class -- unless it's pretty accurate, of course, come National Signing Day. Current commits are in bold.
QB: Tim Boyle
RB: Adam Lane, Kelvin Taylor
WR: Rodney Adams, Ahmad Fulwood, Marqui Hawkins, Demarcus Robinson
OL: Roderick Johnson, Joshua Outlaw, Cameron Dillard, Laremy Tunsil
DL: Caleb Brantley, DeMarcus Walker, Elijah Daniel
LB: Daniel McMillian, James Hearns, Dillan Lawson, Quinton Powell, Alex Anzalone
DB: Keanu Neal, Nick Washington, Tre Bell, Marcell Harris, Leon McQuay III