Florida got the Friday Night Lights festivities started in a great way with a commitment from five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Hargreaves was on campus with Jordan Sherit and 2014 quarterback Chase Litton. Sherit will be in Gainesville for FNL, so will he follow in Hargreaves' footsteps and end the recruiting process?
More thoughts and predictions after the jump!
-- Back to Sherit. The defensive end has long been considered a Florida lean. The Gators are in the lead with Miami, Stanford and Florida State hanging around. FSU was kind of late to the party, sending an offer his way about a week ago, so the 'Noles aren't really threats here. The Florida coaches love Sherit. He has a spot in this class if he wants to commit tomorrow or hold off until Signing Day. This isn't a "Commit now, or we're moving on to someone else" situation. But I don't think Florida will have to wait to long for Sherit to end it. I think Sherit commits to the Gators today.
-- Things get interesting at wide receiver. There's Marquez North out of North Carolina, who has shown interest in Florida, but seems more interested in staying close to home. He's one of the nation's premiere wideouts and could commit on the spot if he wants to (I don't think he wants to).
After North is where it gets interesting. There are a few fringe guys who can earn themselves a spot in this class with a solid performance at FNL. These guys are Alvin Bailey, Chris Thompson and Nadir Barnwell.
Bailey is probably the most intriguing. He's a talented receiver out of Armwood High School in Seffner, Fla. He's got offers from some of the top schools in the country -- Auburn, Oklahoma, Clemson, Michigan, UGA, to name a few -- but he's a little small for a receiver in Muschamp's system. Bailey is just under 5'11", 175 pounds. All three of Florida's current receiver commits are at least 6'1". There were some reports earlier in the week that Florida offered Bailey a scholarship. No has said for sure, but I'm still under the impression he did not get offered.
Thompson is a local prospect; plays at Gainesville High School. He's 6', 165 pounds, so a little bit smaller than Muschamp would like, but he could definitely add some weight if he took a redshirt. The coaches like him, probably as an option down the road if one of the current commits were to bolt. His offer list isn't very impressive -- only Florida Atlantic, Marshall, UMass and Utah have offered.
Nadir Barnwell out of New Jersey plays some quarterback, cornerback and receiver, but the Gators are looking at him as a wideout. He's got a nice frame at 5'11 and close to 190 pounds. Most feel his future is at corner, so that'll probably figure in to his decision. It'll be tough to pull him from up north, too.
Honestly, I don't think Florida adds another receiver to this class. Not yet, at least. If one decommits or another scholarship becomes available, then maybe. I feel Bailey and Thompson would just about commit on the spot if they received an offer, but I'm not counting on them getting one this weekend.
-- DeMarcus Walker is one of Florida's top remaining targets. He's one of the top strongside defensive ends in the country and he's friends with commits Nick Washington and Ahmad Fulwood who are trying to recruit him to UF, as you can see here. Bob Redman tweeted this morning that Walker is moving his decision from Aug. 2 to Aug. 24, a move that could play in Florida's favor. After all the ups and downs of Walker's recruitment, I think he ultimately ends up where we all expected from the beginning -- with the Gators.
-- Marcell Harris is a possible candidate to commit. I don't see it happening, but Florida seems to be way out in front, and he could be tiring of the process and decide to get it over with. On the other hand, he might try to take his visits, which could prolong his decision well into the season. I'd say there's a 10-percent chance he commits tomorrow, but the Gators are in great shape. Florida is saving its last spot in the secondary just for him. UF's putting together a sick secondary with Vernon Hargreaves III, Tre Bell, Nick Washington, Keanu Neal and eventually Marcell Harris.
-- And those are the prospects I think are most likely to commit to Florida at FNL. But this is recruiting; something we didn't see coming is likely to happen. And that's what makes it so fun to keep up with. Florida's 2013 class sits at 18 members and will probably only reach 23 by Signing Day, so there aren't many spots remaining. I could see as many as three of those spots being taken this weekend. And don't forget about the 2014 prospects. Many of them will be participating in the camp, too. Will someone join Ryeshene Bronson in the Gators' 2014 class? We'll have to wait and find out.