Florida football recruiting: Gators shouldn't sweat out 2013 National Signing Day

Chris Trotman

Florida's National Signing Day should be relatively drama-free. That's a good thing.

Florida's done with much of its recruiting for the 2013 class. Sure, there may be a Jalen Ramsey here or a Tanner McEvoy there — and we'll have more on both tomorrow — but the Gators have filled most of their needs and secured most of their commitments, and there shouldn't be much drama at all next Wednesday.

That includes the three Gators targets on CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman's list of the 10 recruitments to watch in the next week.

1. Robert Nkemdiche, DL -- Ole Miss vs. Bama vs. LSU vs. Florida: The nation's consensus top recruit is a 278-pounder who looks -- and moves -- like he's 240, says one college coach. Another coach predicts that despite Nkemdiche being listed as a defensive end, he'll likely end up inside as a 3-technique. "Only way he ends up as a defensive end is in a 3-4," says the coach. "But he should be a great player. There is so much to like about him. His hands are so big and thick, you'd think he must've been stung by a bunch of bees."

The Georgia product, who for a while was committed to Clemson, took his official visit to Oxford last week with his father, and the Rebels have emerged as the team to beat. As crazy as it may have seemed the Rebels have been a factor for Nkemdiche ever since his older brother Denzel (an unheralded recruit back then) committed to play for Ole Miss and then-coach Houston Nutt. Denzel Nkemdiche, an undersized linebacker, proved to be a terrific player, leading the Rebels in tackles as a redshirt freshman. On top of that, Robert Nkemdiche's high school teammate DB David Kamara has named Ole Miss his leader.

More impressive for the Rebels is the talent already committed to Ole Miss, and that too could be a factor here. One rival coach in the SEC raves about Laquon Treadwell, a five-star WR from Crete, Ill., whom the coach says has a wider gap between he and all other prep wideouts than there actually is between Nkemdiche and other D-linemen.

4. Montravius Adams, DT -- Georgia vs. Clemson vs. Auburn vs. Alabama vs. Florida:Another gifted D-lineman from Georgia. The film I've seen of Adams is freaky impressive. It is jaw-dropping watching the 320-pounder's burst off the ball, blowing into the backfield play after play. "This kid could be a beast," said one coach of the guy ranked No. 10 overall. "If he's not lazy, he'll be awesome." While Adams' list is loaded with SEC teams, don't be shocked if he ends up in the ACC.

"This is one where you have to go off the stronger, longer theory," Shurburtt said. "Clemson has been at or near the top for most of the process while others have risen and fallen. He can contend for a starting job right away and the Tigers' 4-3 fits him."

7. Alex Collins, RB -- Miami vs. Arkansas vs. Florida vs. FSU vs. Wisconsin: The speedy back from Broward County is the country's top-ranked running back and would be a huge pickup for anyone but especially for new Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema. This is another top recruit who at one point seemed likely headed to FSU, but word is the Noles' chances have been hurt by more of the coaching turnover (in this case, when RB coach Eddie Gran left Tallahassee to become the OC at Cincinnati).

"Collins, by a hair, will head to Fayetteville," Shurburtt predicted.

You will note that, despite being listed among the teams battling for each player, Feldman doesn't mention Florida in any of their write-ups. That's because it's unlikely they will be Gators.

I've covered Nkemdiche's recruitment before, but it bears repeating: No credible recruiting analyst thinks he's headed to Florida, and very few think he can be pried from Mississippi. If any team does it, it'll probably be Alabama, despite Nkemdiche reportedly enjoying his official visit to Florida two weeks ago and being friendly with Gators commits on Twitter.

Adams made an official visit to Florida early in January, and he liked it, but he's since made other visits and liked other schools, and the Georgia kid has always been considered a tough pull for Florida. He'll likely head to either Clemson or Georgia.

Collins was considered, at one point, a Florida lean, after a fantastic official visit that had Gators fans dreaming of a stacked backfield with four or five four- or five-star backs. That won't happen, it seems, because Florida has fallen off Collins' radar, and he's likely to pick either Miami, the school he was committed to for quite some time, or Arkansas, which has charged late.

Florida not getting those recruits despite never having any of them committed or enjoying a stretch as the front-runner for any of them is not a major failing on Florida's part: Every school misses on elite prospects every year, for one reason or another. But it also certainly doesn't make the 2013 class, which is a consensus top-five group even if no other players join it, a failure. We'll all be better off to remember that.

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