Reviewing Jalen Tabor, Florida early enrollee: Recruitment, highlights, and (instant) impact

USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Tabor shocked the recruiting world by flipping to Florida just before his enrollment. It might be less shocking if Tabor starts for Florida this fall.

On National Signing Day, Jalen Tabor signed his National Letter of Intent at his high school, Friendship Academy — yes, really — in Washington, D.C.

But Tabor has been a Gator for a month now — and that may make him the freshman who does the most and earliest in this 2014 recruiting class.

Recruitment

Tabor is one of the top cornerback prospects in the country, and Florida's only consensus five-star signee in the 247Sports Composite ranking. As the consensus No. 14 player in the nation, he had a sheaf of offers, including one from Florida, but was considered a lost cause for the Gators heading into the Under Armour All-American Game, where he surprised many by picking Arizona — where his high school teammate, Jonathan Haden, is headed — over Alabama and Maryland.

Instead Tabor, followed a different Haden — Joe. He pulled the biggest flip of the early enrollee pack in the class of 2014 outside of Dalvin Cook flipping to Florida State, shocking the recruiting world by announcing a commitment to Florida and showing up in Gainesville shortly afterward.

Highlights

And that flip was partly huge because Tabor is fantastic.

Future Impact

Tabor is well-established as one of, if not the, top defensive backs in the 2014 cycle, and there are only a few players — Jabrill Peppers, Marlon Humphrey, Tony Brown, and Adoree' Jackson — who are arguably better than him in coverage.

But Tabor also wowed scouts all week at Under Armour practices with his physicalist, and his size — he's a tall 6'1", and around 190 pounds — makes him competing for the spot opposite Vernon Hargreaves III at cornerback for Florida very possible.

With the transfer of the only other established field/boundary corner on Florida's roster, Cody Riggs, Tabor was a big get at a position of need, and while Tabor would absolutely have seen the field in some capacity in 2014 had Riggs stayed, his departure might well make Tabor a starter.

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