Florida took just two wide receivers in the class of 2014. Just three weeks after National Signing Day for that class, though, the Gators have two wide receiver commits for 2015, with Tristan Payton joining Florida's fold by committing to the Gators on Monday, as 247Sports's Thomas Goldkamp reports ($).
Payton doesn't have a 247Sports Composite ranking at this point, doesn't have a picture on his Rivals page, and isn't even the Tristan Peyton that comes up when I search for his ESPN page. He's about as unknown as a wide receiver playing for a Florida team of some note, Jacksonville's First Coast, can get.
But Goldkamp saw Payton last year while watching First Coast — which also has Florida target Sherrod Pittman on its roster — play Florida target CeCe Jefferson's Baker County in a spring game, and came away raving. Payton's also transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver, and hasn't camped all that often — the key to getting on regional, and then national radars — so those factors could probably have conspired to leave him with no rep to note.
Still, though, it's a little concerning that Florida is taking fliers on recruits with no esteem to speak of. It would be more worrisome if Payton's highlights — in which he looks shifty, catches the ball well with his hands, lists himself at 6'2" and 190 pounds, and runs away from defenders — weren't plenty impressive, of course. But Florida has a loaded crop of receivers to choose from in the Sunshine State for its 2015 class, and locking up players like Payton and Deondre Farrier, even if their talents outstrip their rankings, might make it more difficult for Florida to pursue more studs down the line.
Am I off base for wondering about this? Should I just appreciate that Florida now has a commit who showed up on campus for a Junior Day in a camo Gators bucket hat and a striped Polo? Does Kurt Roper's track record with receivers no one had ever heard of at Duke mitigate some of the worry about taking lesser-known players? We have a comments section for situations like this!